Today marks the end of the first month of full time training for me in the national team program. It has been grueling. I am trying to adapt to the mindset of training hard no matter how tired I am mentally or physically. Today, on the fourth 2.5 km training piece down Elk Lake (see photo), my body feels sluggish from fatigue -almost as if I have hypothermia. I look up at the coach boat following behind us with crazy eyes and one of the coaches says “That’s good Jerry we want you to be exhausted -now don’t slouch.” So goes most days. I’m not used to pushing this hard this regularly, but I’m told I will adapt. The first 3 months are supposedly the first hump you have to get over before you find any increase in speed. But, it never really gets easier. I think your body just becomes conditioned to train harder and the head coach, Mike Spracklen, designs our training program so that every ounce of available energy is drained. This creates a continuous mental burden on the athlete. This mental strength, I think, is what separates the very good from the best. Much of the past month has been downright depressing and stressful. Going into camp fresh and then slowly being broken down each week is a very difficult thing to do. It requires a great degree of trust and confidence in your coach. Luckily, we have one of the most legendary coaches in rowing with us -Mike Spracklen. He does not seek to motivate the athletes as he believes that should come from within. Ok Mike, I’ll keep throwing logs in the fire.
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