The Testing is Tough…

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Finally I find myself on the other side of some of the toughest weeks we have to face as Olympic athletes. We will line up in Rio as Great Britain, us versus the rest of the world. But in order to be on one of those seats we are rigorously tested and raced against one another to find out who are the fastest people to be in the Olympic boats.

After our pairs trial (two of us in one boat, one oar each) my partner and I, Polly Swann, finished second behind our GB women’s pair, who happen to be World and Olympic champions! We didn’t have our best race, but we are trained to deliver a result maybe when it isn’t our finest day. It was a solid result and through some further testing we cemented our places in the Women’s 8+ for the European Championships next month.

The testing is tough, not only physically but also emotionally. It is pretty cut throat, and you are racing alongside great friends and teammates who are potentially about to lose their seats in the team. One of the most fundamental aspects of the racing is not only giving your all but learning how to get the most out of those around you. As rowers we rely on those around us, to row well, with rhythm, power and length. The moment one person in your crew stops doing this your boat will slow down, so it’s so important for a good rower to allow crewmates to row their best.

It is also a great lesson for us to use outside of the boat, do I get the most out of my team, my coaches, myself? It is certainly something that is highlighted through this time, and I hope I can report to you through the summer on my progress!

So where does that leave my crew and I? Well we’ve been selected now for the European Rowing Championships in a few weeks time, where we’ll be up against some fast crews. These Championships are big, but in the grand scheme of the year we’re just dipping our toe into the lake of the Olympic Season.