It has been an amazing past few months at Melbourne and being able to row out of Mercantile is truly an honor and experience that will go into the record books. To me, you really can’t compare it to what it is like back here because it is simply two different worlds. The vibe it sent out just walking back into the sheds for the first time got me up on your feet, eager to hit the waters. Though 5:15 arrivals on a Saturday for time trials aren’t exactly the perfect pick-me-up. Sitting on the erg beside tough men and women, got me to pull twice as hard I have ever done on the erg each session. Majority of the time, I never had to complete an erg session on my own. And the chance to meet and exchange shout-outs with World Champions was pretty inspiring as well. Week by week, the distance covered on my 30min rate 20 went up. As Sandy mentioned, there’s a huge part of being tough that I have yet to go into. Being able to sustain high intensity over a long period of time is something I have to keep working on.
Thanks to everyone for the truly amazing hospitality. The warm welcomes when I first arrived definitely helped settled me in quickly and nicely. It’s not just the rowing, the erg and weights, and Run/Ride/Runs that I enjoyed, there are also the little things. Stuff like rolling up on my bike and chit chatting with people outside the sheds, chilling out on the balcony when the sun is out, going out on nice and easy recovery rides along Beach Road. It is also that time spent getting to know everyone that made my time so much more enjoyable.
When I heard that the newly hired head coach in singapore left, even before I got back, i was glad that I made the right decision to stay out in Melbourne as planned. The emphasis, methodology and the attitude on how we approach sport here is very different. I consider myself a fairly inexperience athlete by international standards and had so much to learn, see and experience. I also hope I have been able to give something back as well. If I were to give one piece of advise, it would be to appreciate every single person that walks into the sheds, because to me, that is an elite environment that not many has the chance to be in. I am grateful to everyone for welcoming me back to Mercs. Special mention has to go out to Sandy Mitchell for coaching and mentoring. I will make you proud mate! As Lachy said to me on our last night of pizzas at Lucky Coq, “you’ll be back mate”. Cheers to all, Noodle