Taking The Reigns

I haven’t been to training for a while, I confess. Life has a habit of getting in the way of extra curricular activities, and life has indeed done that to me recently.

I’ve been nurturing one very ill guinea pig – syringe feeding him 4 times a day as he recovers form molar surgery and syringe feeding him water. He’s almost 7 years old, and I love him dearly so he’s been a priority to me lately.

On Sunday he was well enough for me to go back to training so I jumped back onto the front of the boat and went out for a series of runs up and down Docklands.

We had a trainee sweep on the back of the boat as Darren was on his way to China, so I took over all the calls for the training sessions, which was a whole new experience for me. I usually work off what the sweep says, and relay their calls so actually taking control of the whole boat was brand new and I was terrified!

The first run was a bit messy – I was still trying to ¬†figure out how to get my calls precise, and remember to call technique points, and keep an eye on the stop watch as well, but I managed to get it together pretty quickly after that and take the team out for a pretty good training session. I have a whole new level of respect for sweeps now who not only have to yell out calls, and focus on stop watches, but also steer a boat as well, because it’s a lot to try and do when you’re trying to keep an eye on the guys in the boat to make sure they’re responding to what you’re actually calling out.

Also, massive props to our trainee sweep too for taking us out on Sunday because it was crazy windy and I would have been absolutely terrified to be steering a boat in those conditions. She did amazingly well, and managed to look cool, calm and collected the whole time which was fantastic considering it was only her 5th time steering a boat. I tried steering once and we went around in a giant circle and I freaked out, so it’s not an easy job and she’s not much bigger than me!

My aim for next week is to get back to another training session on a weeknight, since I’ve been missing a few of those recently. Small steps … Always small steps. But given how things are with my life right now, small steps are really all I can ask of myself.


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