14 Jun 4 cities in one week!
I have been wondering why I’ve been extra tired lately then I realised that I’ve actually been to 4 different cities in a span of a week and knowing that my body is horrible at acclimatizing, it is no wonder my body feels a bit strange and all I want to do is to lie down!
Last weekend, I was over at Sunshine Coast, Queensland, for the Australian Masters Rowing Champs. The weather wasn’t what you expect Sunshine Coast to be. It rained every single day for the 5 days I was there and the wind wasn’t very friendly either. According to the weather reports, the winds were “cyclonic”. Some of the races were cancelled due to crazy weather but thankfully, I still managed to race. Won Gold for both events, although my timings weren’t really spectacular.
That is the thing about racing, I realised. I know that the Final B at the qualification regatta 3 months ago was the best race I’ve ever rowed in my entire rowing career. And then I, my coach, and everyone else will expect me to perform like how I did in Korea, for all the upcoming races. And that’s when I start having expectations and by now, we all know that having expectations is poisonous and it weighs you down. Like when I won the Gold medal in the 2013 SEA Games and people expect me to be able to win in every race after that. It doesn’t work like that. Life is not that simple. Racing is not that easy where winning one race meant that you’re meant to win the next. Now that I’ve qualified for the Olympics, does it mean that I’m supposed to be winning all the races because well, I made it to the Olympics? Does it work that way? Is this a rational thought? What was it again that Uncle Bay said regarding irrational thoughts? I can’t remember. I need to have a chat with him soon before I start to break down again 🙁
Life is so bloody complex. But hey, that’s what makes life a bit more interesting, doesn’t it?
Anyway, so I was back in Sydney for a few hours on Sunday after I flew in from Brisbane. The storm and wind has moved southwards and I’ve brought the crazy weather to Sydney. I remembered the turbulence on the Brisbane-Sydney flight was so awful I was just telling myself not to purge.
I went back to Singapore for about 3.5 days or so. It was nice being with the family, catching up with a few people and saying hi to the familiar faces. But there were a few things that made me short trip to Singapore miserable and all I wanted to do was to get out of there. I’m gonna leave this for another entry because otherwise this post would be a novel.
The time spent in Singapore was a bit too short for everyone’s liking but I think sometimes being at home is a major distraction to me. No offence to my family, friends and the media people but being at home, I feel obliged to make everyone happy. I guess that is why professional athletes usually hold training camps far away from home. It can be hard being away from home but I think it is important.
And then there was the 13.5 hours flight to UK on British Airways who were persistent on refusing to check in my oars. So I ended up not bringing my oars and leaving an angsty brother who had to take home the oars with him. This is definitely a rower problem- travelling with a pair of oars. I thought after 12 years, I would be used to it but with the different baggage policies in the different airlines and the ever-changing rules that is being imposed, I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to it. Hearing the array of reasons the airline officers at the check-in desk offer us (i.e. customers) why my oversized baggage is not allowed to be checked-in crack me up sometimes. The doors to the baggage compartment of the Airbus A380 isn’t big enough for my oars to enter. Thankfully, I don’t have to ship my boat around hey.
The day I arrived in UK, I was so tired I remembered falling asleep everywhere- on the couch, on the dinner table, I don’t remember being that sleepy- ever. I did go for a run but it was one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done. This is the reason why I hate flying. Even the frequent Singapore-Sydney flights I do tire me out, so can you imagine a 13hours flight? I’m still trying to adjust to the 9hrs time difference between UK and Sydney (7 hours for Singapore).
I traveled to Brighton on the first few days when I arrived in UK. It is the middle of summer but the amount of rain > amount of sunshine this country gets. Brighton wasn’t a holiday- as what my coach claims it was (the only holiday Olympians get is the day after the Olympics) because the first day I was there I was too tired to do anything. The second day, I went climbing hills for leisure which was definitely a workout. And the third day, I was on my way to Henley.
And then I am finally here in Henley. A posh, wealthy town situated along the River Thames where everyone knew what rowing is and I’m not surprised if everyone who lived here has rowed at least once in their lives. The Henley Women’s Regatta will be held this weekend, while the ever so famous Henley Royal Regatta will be held at the end of the month. Racing in Henley, like what they always tell me, is special. It is a privilege. The racing is also very different because you have all these traditions which dates back to the 1800s that is still being practiced. Apparently, women are only allowed to race from 1988. Sheesh!
Here are a few of the things that make racing at Henley different:
1. It is a head to head race which means there are only two lanes.
2. It follows a knockout system whereby winner of the race stays while the loser gets kicked out.
3. It is 1500m race for the Women’s Henley and 2112m for the Henley Royal Regatta.
4. The results are recorded according to how far the winner is away from the loser (and yes, they use the word loser).
Sounds pretty exciting, no?
So there you go. Queensland-Sydney-Singapore-Henley in a week. Wix.com is not allowing me to upload any photos at the moment so keep a lookout for my FB Page for photos of my trips!