It’s been two months since Adam and I raced at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta and I’ve had plenty of time to digest and reflect. I knew it was important to me, but it became even more apparent in the moments following the final. Adam and I were heading down the to the finish line to do as much cheering as our lungs would allow for the NZ crews who were still yet to race, when I saw my mother… Game over. Tears began to stream down my face and there was nothing I could do to stop them. A combination of having just missed out on achieving a lifelong dream and seeing one of the most important people in my life, someone for who I do this all for, caused this overwhelming wave of emotion to hit me right in the feels. In true motherly fashion, she did the best thing should could have, silently embraced me. I didn’t realise until after, but I had just put Adam in a super awkward situation. I can only imagine what he must have been thinking… Should I offer support as well? Maybe a gentle pat on the back? Should I pretend I haven’t noticed? Should I look away? Oh look at the colourful leaf…. Kudos to him he hung around for a bit before saying he would meet me at the finish line. Cheers Adam.
The following day the High Performance Manager and a national selector met with all the reserves and the 14 athletes that didn’t qualify out of the 15 that competed (Twiggy proved her worth in exceptional style going undefeated despite having a stray log in her lane during the final). They named the 7 reserves that would stay on to the support the qualified crews through to Rio, which largely consisted of the reserves selected back at the team naming in March. The rest of us were soon on a plane back to the motherland, where a number of the group were then subject to twists and turns that I’m sure you’ve all heard about.
Unfortunately, yours truly picked up a bit of an injury soon after returning. Cause still unknown, an MRI found a ganglion cyst in left Tibular Fibular joint. Ten weeks of daily physio work, doctor consultations and three cortisone injections later, we’ve learnt how to manage it in a way that allows me to do a range of training pain free, but we’re not quite out of the woods just yet. If you follow me on Instagram, now you know why I’ve been making the occasional appearance at the pool and why one of my legs is shaved and the other isn’t. I’ll keep you updated on my progress and hopefully you’ll see me training unrestricted and pain free within a month or so. If this injury thinks it can get the better of me, it has another thing coming. To ACC and High Performance Sport New Zealand, I apologise on behalf on my body..
As for a particular momentous event going down as we speak, I have done my fair share of spectating and probably more than my share of yelling. I have been watching in great admiration as my fellow teammates display their talent on rowing’s grandest stage. I would be lying if I said I didn’t harbour a great amount of jealousy as well. Part of this experience was aptly summed up in Cross the Line’s feature: ‘Rio, pain for those that missed out’, but in going the right way about it, that jealous can easily be turned into motivation. Regardless of the team’s end results, what they’ve achieved just to get there, is truly incredible and they inspire me to better. To quote Mahe, I am still determined to “Add to the legacy of black rowsuit”.
Sleep? Who needs sleep? Go New Zealand!