I haven’t updated until now, not because it was a bad experience, but purely because I’ve been too busy. I’ll start with the negatives, which won’t take long as there’s so few of them.
The decision was that I need more experience, more time to improve. A decision I completely agree with. Of course I’m disappointed I didn’t get a place, but that shows I care about what I want to do.
The positives, however, massively outweigh the negatives. The first is to realise how far I’ve come in such a short time. Coming from pretty much no fitness, and suffering from malnutrition, through having had 4 surgeries, and an awful winter weather wise, I probably got about 5 months of inconsistent training, so all these things considered, to have been invited to trials is a huge achievement for me.
I also know I didn’t row my best, which originally disappointed me, but I realised that had I given it my best and not been good enough things would be in a worse way. The weather was awful, so windy that in all honesty I was exhausted before I even got to the start. At points I’d just had to sit at the finish of the stroke and brace, otherwise I was going back down the course!! When it came to my actual time trial, I just couldn’t connect with the boat, I’m not sure why, perhaps a combination of nerves and the poor conditions, I don’t know. So it was a pretty rubbish row.
In terms of feedback, I was given a lot of useful advice and the GB coaches said they’d liaise with my club coaches, and be there if I needed anything from them. They’re basically going to keep an eye on how I progress, having asked me to attend certain events, and I’m just waiting for info about a date to gain international classification, so that we don’t have to worry about that in the future. I’m taking the experience as very much a ‘not right now’ decision, as they want me to come back next year. Going through the process in itself has been useful, as now I know what to expect so that will be one less stress next time.
I think the biggest positive is that it’s shown proof that the training I’m doing is paying off. Last July, at the British Rowing Championships, in better conditions my time was 8:38, but last weekend, despite much worse conditions I did 6:43. So nearly 2 minutes off my previous PB, which I’m really proud of. If I gain that much in 4/5 months, imagine me a year from now?!
As the saying goes, if you fall off your horse, you need to get right back on it, so I was up at 5:30 the next morning ready for training. I know where I need to be, so I’m off to give it everything I’ve got and hopefully more.
Push that little bit harder than you think you can, because you want it more.