|"Recognition of Dawn, 10.11.19", watercolor on paper, 18 x 24", by David O. Smith, 2019.|
Worked from memory, view from thestern in between race pace pieces
Today marked the first time this fall's training of hitting a complete "wall" - feeling my body have as close to nothing left as it does while still conscious - with 4k remaining of a 5k race piece.
In this situation we really have a choice to make - do we cave and give into the feeling, whatever feeling it is, and let the situation overtake us? Or do we decide to not let that happen, and go down fighting?
I'll let you mediate on how you can respond to these situations, but it most likely comes down to one answer or the other, no matter how you qualify it. Today was a good situation to be in - it's hard just to GET to that place, where the body is beginning to fail at the task you've set out for it, and I also believe that effective training (infrequently) touches on this zone, one of extreme discomfort and uncertainty, and allows us to have the opportunity to choose how we react, what do we decide to do?
If we do not put ourselves in situations like this in practice, where stopping or changing the rules is not an option, and our body is failing us, but we must keep going, then we'll never know what might happen in a race scenario if something isn't going our way.
I'd like to think, if nothing else, aside from going fast, from feeling good, from rowing well, or any of the superficial things... I at least made a conscious choice today to stay aggressive and wage war on my body rather than give in and fold. Let's not call it heroic by any means, just a choice. There have been plenty of times in the past, especially before joining up with Seattle Scullers, when I would have made the opposite choice (fold) or not even had the initiative to put myself in this place of choice to begin with!
This week was a hard week! Each day, Monday-Saturday, was a "high-torque" practice of some kind, in addition to being the heaviest loading week for weights progressions, 3 x 12, 16, 14 reps for each exercise I do. We did race pieces yesterday, then backed that up with more today. I'm grateful to be able to go through these kinds of practices with no way out, only a choice of how to respond to the demands of the piece, in the moment, and develop the SKILL of racing hard even when the body is not at all wanting for additional GO...
Go anyways. You might as well, and it's easier for the rest of your day to know that at least you gave your legitimate best on the day, and died trying.
Have a happy, restful weekend, everyone.