It’s a beautiful Tuesday in Hwacheon. Clear skies, sun is out. Been out to the town in the morning for my daily coffee fix. There’s really nothing else to do around here. Decided not to take the bus out to the next closest town. It’s still nice to chill out on the balcony, put on some lounge music, soaking up the sun. Only thing that’s missing are awesome mates to hang out with. You know who you are.
I must say that it was a disastrous last day of racing for me. I totally got my times wrong and I didn’t make weight in time. It was pretty devastating to make such a schoolboy error. Looking back, I knew what went wrong, but there aren’t any excuses to be made, I screwed up big time. Important lessons to be learnt. It’s my first time not making weight and I’m hoping that it’s part and parcel of being a lightweight to make such a mistake once in their careers. I’ll have to run that through with my mates back at Mercs.
Every regatta there’s so much more for me to learn. I was glad that I got the chance to train through Melbourne’s winter. It prepared me for everything that hit Hwacheon during the week. Rain, cold winds, single digit temperatures. More racing at Nagambie might have been helped me cope with the varying rough conditions in Hwacheon a little better. But like any of the others in the team, I’m very much still learning and I think that’s something management has clearly taken for granted and has openly refused to address. Let’s not get started on how I have been taken for granted. My approach has always been to race the single and I think that’s a fair, reasonable and justified approach considering the floating members who have been occasionally in and usually out, or should I say more accurately, if there were any other rowers in the past couple of years. More importantly, the excuse of lack of funds and support, it makes sense and totally justifiable to seek training and coaching elsewhere on my own. What I feel is most unjustified and irresponsible is the way I have been forced to get into a crew, with the assumption that I have to be the driver. Nothing was addressed: the fact that I have no real experience with crew boat rowing, putting two totally different styles and approach in a crew without any guidance at all? It’s hard enough to put two singies together in a crew because there isn’t much culture/structure/system with rowing in Singapore, whichever or whatever you wish to call it. As much as I would really like to share my experiences with others, it seems like people insist on staying in their bubble and adopting their own approach. I want to constantly challenge myself. Benchmark against the best, adopt an approach that has proven to win medals and I have been lucky and fortunate enough to learn from the best. Now, I’ve been forced into a corner. The idea that my fate lies in the hands of power struggles and politics irks me. A chat with Farah a month ago opened up a huge can of worms. Will I give back to the local rowing community when I’ve hung up my oars? Besides providing a reservoir to row in, a boat and a pair of sculls to use and sending me to one regatta a year on average in Asia, I can’t seem to think of anything else the local rowing community has contributed to my growth as an athlete, tangible or intangible. I’ll just leave it at that.