From failure comes determination

Of course, it’s easy to be philosophical about this as it all went to poop because of illness, not because I failed.

But I still failed

Quick recap. Scottish Indoor Champs 2015. I won it. (Wooo!) The guy who came third told me I was quite close to the world record. And so a plan was born. I gave myself a year to train hard – then try to break the world record at this year’s competition.

Along the way I learned a lot, changed a lot, joined a new team, made a bunch of new rowing friends, broke a British Record, had mental ups, had mental downs, had a bit of a mishap with “soda doping” at the North East Scotland Champs and I’m sure I stretched the patience of my amazing wife.

None more so that when I abandoned the family for a couple of hours every day when on holiday in Tenerife – just so I could squeeze in last minute training before the event. We went two weeks before the 2016 Scottish Champs and to be in with a chance of breaking the record I knew I needed to keep training.

A lot of hunting and selfishness eventually meant I could leave the family in the pool, run for 10 minutes to the Spacio10 spa in Los Cristianos – do some sprint sessions and then run back to the hotel.

I’d hoped this would keep me ticking over. Then when I got home, I’d spend 4 days hammering the 1k training hard – then taper for two days after a rest day in prep for the Scottish Champs and the World Record attempt.

And then.

I got tonsillitis.

Actually I think it was Strep – but tonsillitis sounds more severe so I’ll run with that. Either way, fever, swollen tonsils with white spots, zero energy, confined to bed and no way I could train.

Well that’s the record shot then. I did toy with the idea of competing anyway.  I could probably have squeezed out a 3:10 and come second – but I knew it would do a lot more long term damage – so stayed at home and chased twitter etc to see the results.

I’m happy that Guy won instead of me. But sad I couldn’t compete and rather devestated that after a year of training for the sake of one comp – I had to get I’ll just in time for that one comp.  Gah!

Personally I blame the hygiene of people on all-inclusive holidays. People are animals….


What now? Well I’m not giving up that’s for sure. Fitness Matters are running a 1k competition in April. So I’m shifting my focus to that. And if that doesn’t happen, I’ll aim for Scottish Champs 2017.

I could do it anytime. In fact the CTC this month is a 1k. If I rowed 2:59 for it I’d break the world record. But I won’t – I think I need to be in a competitive environment to squeeze out the best of me

Which brings me to the immediate future plans which go like this:

December 10th – British Rowing Indoor Champs – London

February 5th – English Indoor Rowing Champs – Manchester

February 12th – CrashB’s – Boston Baby!!!!

So it’s all about the 2k for the time being. The I can build off my form to crank it up for Aprils 1k attempt with Fitness Matters. I’m still following Sam’s plan. It took a while to get back into it after the tonsil problem, but two weeks after I recovered, I’m almost back at ‘ramming speed’.

Some of the sessions I’m doing are testing to say the least! 4 x 750 is hell. 8 x 1min at full whack almost made me see my dinner again. But I know I’m getting back to normal faster, and hopefully developing a faster normal in the meantime.

Hope for the BRIC’s is to hold 1:39 for the entire race and end up with a 6:36. Then if I can, get down to 1:38 for the English – and again for Crash-B.

And in amongst this all, I’ve got a new mantra. A new hashtag, a new focus phrase.


If I was the tattooing type, I’d get this on my forearm. The point is, I can be setback, I can be swerved off course, but it won’t beat me. Because Nothing Beats Me.


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