Row hard, row fast

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Today sees my last training session before trials on Saturday. To say I’m nervous is an understatement, but I’m also quite excited. It will be a good experience regardless of the outcome. I don’t want to embarrass my club by not doing well enough, nor disappoint all the people who have worked with me to get me ready.
I am trying to remain realistic though. I only started training in June last year, and I had various occasions where I couldn’t train, such as the various hand surgeries I underwent, so I’m not where I would have been in an ideal training situation.
The enormity of what could come from Saturday, is something I’m trying not to think about too much. I know this is the next step in my pathway to my dreams, which is scary, and a lot rides on my performance, but I know it’s a process I need to go through to get where I want to be. I think that’s the thing to remember, this is what I want to do with my life. It’s not just a passing interest. I guess it’s a bit like a first interview for your dream job, so much rides on it, and you want to do yourself justice, and prove you’re the right person for the job.

Days until trials: 2. Scale of nervousness: 8, confidence: 3, and determination: 9


Where art thou?

Due to a number of things going on outside of rowing, my motivation seems to have wobbled a bit. I guess like all things, when your concentration has to be turned to something else you can’t keep as much focus on what you would like.

Having removed a number of the distractions, which were primarily related to my health. Mostly, important hospital appointments, so now I just need to process the information, but that is not as time consuming or distracting. I’m feeling more focussed again now, which is fortunate timing, given the proximity to trials next weekend.

I am concerned about trialling, I guess it’s more the unknown, and also knowing that I’m not as fit as I could be, thanks to yet another asthma flare last weekend. I know though, that all I can do is try my best, and remember I’ve only being rowing since June. I hope that even if I’m not good enough this year, they will see some potential and help me improve to the necessary standard.

I’m going to do a practise tomorrow morning, which I’m hoping will reassure me a bit, otherwise I’ll be stressed, and not focussed on my goal, which definitely will be counter productive.

I also think my motivation has waned a bit as well as I haven’t been on the water for weeks. Rowers belong on water, not on yet another erg!! I might be able to get out on Sunday, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

I’m being strict with myself this week. Making sure what nutrition I take orally is appropriate, ensuring I take all my meds on time, plenty of rest, and enough good quality sleep. To try and keep focussed, I’m also looking at some of my favourite achievement quotations, which keep making me think big and also got some motivational music on ready for tomorrow.

So the countdown begins: 8 days until trials. Scale of nervousness: 8, confidence: 3 and determination: 9.


It’s feeding tube awareness week, feeding tubes are something close to my heart, quite literally!! , but do we really need to raise awareness of them? Now I’m aware this post may be controversial and in an ideal world, no one would bat an eyelid when you flash your belly for food/meds/venting, but I’m not sure raising awareness is the right way to go about it.

Most people will never come across directly someone with a feeding tube, so I wonder if it’s not the most productive use of time and energy, as most will probably disregard any info they see about it. Plus what does raising awareness actually do? We don’t need people to be aware of them, we need to educate about the realities, and the positives to them. I personally believe that the best way to do this is to get people you know talking about it. Just posting on the Internet is a bit of an abstract way to do this. There’s nothing tangible seeing photos and messages on the Internet, it needs a much more grass roots approach.

I will talk freely about my nutrition problems when it comes up in conversations etc.. People can ask questions without any prejudice and they learn, they aren’t any more aware of them as such, but have a better understanding of artificial feeding, and hopefully when they come across it again, they treat it as completely normal.

I think part of my dislike of raising awareness is that I hate some of the terminology surrounding it. The *word* “tubie” is awful. I find it dehumanising, it reduces a person down to not even their medical condition, but down to a piece of plastic that’s keeping them alive. I particularly hate it used in the phrase “I love a tubie”, no you love a person being kept alive by a tube, there’s a big difference. I would be extremely upset, angry and offended if anyone said that about me. We are all people first and foremost, and sometimes that seems to get forgotten. Okay, I am kept alive by my tube, but I’m also kept alive by my inhalers, and you don’t see people going around saying “I love an asthmay”.

I may be being a hypocrit, as I have done publicity about life on TPN, but that was in the context of my life goals and aims, and was done in part to help PINNT, who are a fabulous charity that support people who are living on artificial nutrition. I guess it’s different though, as I wasn’t trying to raise awareness as such, just talking about my life, which happens to include TPN.

I don’t want to offend anyone, and I’ve seen some good proactive posts, but I just can’t support the general awareness campaign.


This week has been heavily medically based, in fact I’m being taken to hospital as I write this.
I have seen 2 consultants (different fields), an orthotist, who took casts of my feet, on my way to see a nurse specialist, spoken to two other specialist nurses, and spoken to my GP at least once, oh and been to the pharmacy a fair few times as well.

This has left me with things to ponder, and take in. A big part is dependent on what happens at GB trials next month, as I need more surgery, but I don’t want to make a decision until I know what my future plans are.

In terms of trials, preparation is going okay. Last Sunday I took 23 seconds off of my 2k PB, and now need to lose at least 9 more, but I think and hope that it’s possible. I know a couple of my weaknesses so hopefully I can lose seconds by working on them. Primarily I need to focus on planning my race better, I’m in the habit of setting off too hard and leaving nothing for the end. At least that should be something fairly easy to change.

I’m hoping to get back on the water on Sunday. Haven’t been for a few weeks as we were flooded, the irony of rowing being cancelled because of water isn’t lost on any one!! We are struggling a bit with Sunday rowing due to lack of coaches available which is unfortunate and a shame. I really hope we can get some otherwise it will be cancelled again. So if anyone knows of a rowing coach with some spare hours please let me know!!

I accidentally fell asleep on the journey here, but to be fair, I need to catch up with my sleep wherever possible. The transport guys got me here very early, but that worked out well as I popped in to see a fabulous friend who is currently an inpatient here, and going home this afternoon, so perfect timing.

I think all these appointments plus training have taken their toll, as I spent yesterday and the day before looking a fetching shade of purple, autonomic purple as I like to call it. I think I shall trademark it and get it put on paint charts!! Combined with a migraine attack, yesterday was a bit dubious, I must have looked rough as the GPs receptionist asked if I was okay!!

Feeling much better today, after extra fluids and drugs last night, so much shinier today. I think some of it might be caused by the fact my TPN pump is under infusing, by considerable amounts, 800 mls last night, out of a bag of 3500 mls.

Sorry life got in the way, but I’m back to finish off.
Unfortunately I didn’t get on the water on Sunday so had to make do with an erg and a swim.

Today was spent sorting out an emergency, in that my gastrostomy fell out on Sunday night, which caused a bit of chaos, I had the community nurse telling me we couldn’t put a catheter in the stoma to stop it healing over, but we had no other option as there was no body trained in replacing it. We went ahead with local protocol and put the catheter in, and I managed to get the lovely hospital enteral nurse to fix it, before I went to another appointment. I then rushed off to a
meeting, which looks like it could have very exciting potential, but I shall save that for another day.

Time for meds and a rest I think.



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