127 years ago when I was a rower, I was invited to participate in seat racing for the Queen’s Cup – to race for Victoria in the the open women’s 8 at the upcoming National Rowing Championships.
I was a sculler with limited sweep boat experience, and I can only imagine that selectors were doing their due diligence in giving me a go, or making their lives easier (generally, multiples of 4 or 8 rowers are needed to adequately seat race athletes for places in an 8+) or both.
Either way, despite my anxiety at this first (and last) opportunity to represent The Big V at National Champs in my newly adopted state, I had one race and was informed afterwards I wouldn’t be required again.
A sleepless night in the shitty regional motel followed by an overwhelming 2km rowing bow side and trying to channel my inner future Athens Olympian (not the one who lay down) had been for nought – the chaff had been eliminated.
For the next 13 years, I went on to change sports a few times, and was fortunate to represent my country at the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon World Championships and wear the green and gold at three Road World Cycling Championships from 2008-2010.
But in true testament to the cliché that you’re never tool old to do something for the first time, I’ve been selected to race for Victoria at the upcoming AUS Track National Championships at the shiny new Anna Meares Velodrome in my old home town, Brisbane.
I’ve been privileged to prepare for the 3km Individual Pursuit with the support of extraordinary minds like 5-time Olympian Shane Kelly and the Victorian Institute of Sport, and wonderfully loyal sponsors like Endura, Cervélo, Power2Max, USE Exposure, Dash, Kask, C-Bear and Mavic.
Along with trying to tap into those upper power zones and cadence ranges that I’ve been blissfully unaware of in preparation for the Hour or as a time trial specialist, so I’ve been trying to acquaint myself with more #evilergo sessions thanks to some mighty experts!
Even more terrifyingly, I’ve put myself back into that tricky territory of trying to acquire new skills in testing conditions – high speeds, performing technical manoeuvres with team mates – as part of the women’s 4km Team Pursuit squad.
It’s been exciting, stressful, satisfying and ultimately fulfilling the definition getting out of ones comfort zone in order to grow as an athlete. Holy shit am I growing!
It’s taken a while, but I’ll be sporting my first blue Big V skinsuit 🙂
I’m really looking froward to this coming week of competition. There is insane depth and talent in women’s track endurance in Australia at the moment, including the outstandingly talented dual World IP Champion Bec Wiasak, so I’m honestly not going in to this week with any aspirations that rely on a ranking.
My goal is to go faster than I did 4 weeks ago at the VIC Track Champs when I rode 3:39 for the IP. And if I ride the TP, my goal is to not majorly f&ck it up….