03 Apr 18 days
It began at the start of this week. We had a late morning training session out in Penrith and another one at noon. They weren’t really hard sessions, just long and grinding and mentally painful because the second row was a 20km paddle around the 2km course. By the time I left Penrith it was 2pm. I drove to the gym after that and found myself struggling with weights session. I did half of my session on that day and completed the other half the next day. And then everything went downhill from there.
Every rowing session in the morning seemed so hard and the sessions were nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve had done these sessions a hundred times at least. Trainings are meant to be hard, and then you push yourself and whether the outcome is good or not you know you’ve given your all and that is all that matters. But the kind of hard i felt this week was a bit different. It was like I know I had it in me but there’s this massive wall of fatigue and pain that is just there and I couldn’t find a way around it to get on the other side. It was hard and painful and I allowed it to be hard and painful. And the result is just a built up of frustration day after day of bad training and it scares the shit out of me because the qualifiers is so fkg close and I cannot, oh dear God, I cannot afford to feel this way!
I talked to my coach about it, my mental skills coach, strength and conditioning coach, my nutritionist and my sports doctor about this because I was freaking out at how my energy levels suddenly changed and I needed answers. (And I am always ever so grateful to have this group of amazing people supporting me. Thank you.) And they all basically said the same thing, THIS IS NORMAL and that I just have to trust the training, trust myself and trust that everything will be okay- even better than okay- soon.
I had the Edward Trickett Regatta yesterday and it was in the middle of the day. I woke up at 6am and couldn’t go back to sleep so I spent the Sunday morning doing normal Sunday morning stuff like grocery shopping, laundry, and reading. I did think about the race, had a race plan in my head but I already had this doubt in me that this fatigue shit is gonna wreck up my race, but of course I told myself that it won’t but I realised something recently:what you tell yourself and what you believe in is two totally different things. I know this sounds stupid and I must be out of my mind to go for a race having doubts but I tried not to have them but they are there, at the back on my head, waiting to pounce on me at the right time. And they succeeded. They managed to execute their plans really well. They jumped on me when I needed to not think about them the most- when I was racing. Halfway through the race I was thinking, shit shit shit. And that’s it, GAME OVER.
When I finished the race yesterday, all I was thinking was WTF WAS WRONG WITH ME? I swear when I crossed that finish line, I didn’t want to do this anymore. I told my coach this and he said yes maybe we can cancel the flight in 2 weeks time.
The fact that he was angry but he was still there talking to me and wanting to know what went wrong and telling me that he’ll see me at training on Tuesday, meant that if he is not giving up on me, why the hell am I giving up on myself?
I was just so fkg frustrated and disappointed and it was just an awful feeling and I know that the only way to make me feel better is to not think about it. So I went to my aunt’s, had dinner, spent time with my little cousin, and yeah, life goes on, aisyah. You either stay down or pick yourself up and move the fk on.
So yeah, today’s a brand new day, a brand new week. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. I wanted yesterday to be ridiculously amazing and it turned out to be just ridiculous. But it’s all good. I have 18 days to sort my shit out and to do all i can so that I can race the race of my life in Korea.
I used to be scared of how fast the race is coming closer but you know what? My coach is right, the fear is what I put in myself. There is nothing to fear. There is nothing to be scared about.
In fact, I had a shit race yesterday and already I can’t wait to smash it out on the boat tomorrow.
There is something inside me that is greater than any obstacle- I just know that.