But for now, the focus is on the Diamonds at Henley. This has been my number one goal from the onset of this year and if I'm totally honest, probably since I saw Jamie Koven win the Diamonds in 1998. I was 9 years old walking on the banks of the Thames with my brothers wreaking havoc and watching the boats go by. Our Dad had told us about Jamie Koven, World Champ in 97, and I thought Jamie Koven was as cool as Michael Jordan. I have always wanted to come back and win the Diamonds. I have competed in it twice, the last time being in 2013 when I lost in the Semifinal to Alan Campbell by 2 lengths. I am eager to improve upon that showing. The entries came out today and the top names include Robbie Manson from NZL and Cam Girdlestone from AUS, among many other talented guys. Obviously these are top caliber scullers but I do not feel scared to get on the plane. I am going over there with loads of respect for them and all the other competitors but all the confidence in the world in myself. Belgrade showed me that I have as much raw speed as anyone and I am excited to use a couple new tricks to allocate it better over the course. I felt like my biggest limiting factors at WC1 were poor pacing and not having enough belief in myself that I could hold anyone off in the last 500. I hadn't spent enough time in training visualizing crossing the line first, not just being competitive. I have thought about Mahe a lot. Many call him self centered and egotistical but his confidence is his greatest tool in his racing. He has the strongest belief on the course that he will cross that line first, no matter what. Yes, he goes 5:40 and is an absolute machine, but that alone does not make you as consistently dominant as he has been. All those heats, semis, and finals over all of those years. The only way you can produce time after time is with a rock solid belief in yourself, an unbreakable confidence. When analyzing how I raced in Belgrade, thats where I saw the biggest room for improvement. If I am a length up at the 1500m mark, no matter who I am racing, the only reason I lose that race is if my belief in myself is not strong enough. In Belgrade, I thought, " I am length up on Aleksandrov, but he's stronger than me, so he will probably come back on me". And thats bullshit. I've been told for so long by people that I am not strong enough to be a top sculler, that my erg score isn't good enough. I block the majority of that out and don't listen, but even if I let 5 % of that in, over time that adds up and you begin to believe it. When things are going well those thoughts don't come up, but its when you are in the 6th or 7th minute and you are in real pain, thats when that 5% I let in comes to the forefront of my conscience. After having those thoughts in Belgrade it occurred to me that the only thing holding me back from being up there with the best is allowing those thoughts in my head. So I've been working on bringing the Mahe mentality into the second K of my race. I've been working on introducing a Damir belief into my last 500. But it also can't be totally plagiarized, it has to be my own, and it needs to be authentic. I've written on this blog before that " I am as strong as I believe I am". I have never thought that to be more true than now, I am just not sure I truly bought into it they way I do now when I wrote it last.
Also, the website The Frynge is running a campaign on my behalf over the next couple of weeks. 10% of every purchase made on the website will go directly to helping me fund my season. They have some cool stuff on there so check it out. Here is a link to an article they published a couple days ago about last year's experience in the quad. Thanks a lot!
Point Seven From Rio
|The Hosmer was a little angry when I first arrived, but she finally calmed down.|