Three weeks of vacation goes by too fast. It's already the end of October, and I can't believe we have only been training for one month. The first erg tests and on-water races are coming up, but my head is still in the we-are-just-getting-back-to-training phase.
Sitting in the boat again was the first obstacle of the year. Being able to sit in a big 8+ last year, arriving at Stanford, I was back into the rhythm. This year, it's all alone in the single and moving, just myself.
Then came the beginning-of-year-hands.
My post-vacation “baby soft hands” were suddenly bleeding and in shreds. I guess that's what 20km every morning does. At some points, I was wondering how I was going to be able to hold onto my oars to get them down to the dock, let alone push while in the boat. I couldn't even think about dealing with the pain of weight lifting.
Then the next obstacle came in but this one was both a good and bad thing. No one likes being sick, but my body was not used to all the training, so the post-training camp-off days were the perfect time to relax and catch some kind of virus. It just happened that several people on the team got COVID-19 the week before camp but somehow, “luckily,” I contracted something other than covid. This came at somewhat of a good time. See, my hands were so bad that due to our little off time during the week, my hands never had time to heal and because they were literally bleeding and infected, continuously rowing with them was just making it worse. The two days off lying around on the couch hoping to get better, helped with the hand situation. They are all good now, for a rower's standard but I am a little worried that we have most recently started sweep rowing and I know that will be whole new hand battle.
At the beginning of October, I changed homes and moved out of my parent's place into an apartment with Tim and another teammate, Patrick. This Olympic year is a good time to invest in a place to sleep away from where we train. You know how they say don't work where you sleep. That most certainly makes sense to us now. Switching on to work mode when arriving in the morning and switching off in the evening makes a difference. It's wild; I swear I am already a better person because of it.
Let's hope next month, November, brings fewer obstacles and more fun, although I already see an erg test in sight.