A hard week, but full of fun 14-20th December

So nearly up to date!


A triumphant start of a very hard week.

After our late nights getting back from Karapiro we were given Monday morning off, but not a rest day – 30mins steady state, so I treated myself to a run – my achillies are super sore, hoping they behave themselves and it’s just the lack of running recently.

Tuesday was to be a training session involving Ballena Bay – brings dread into every Wellington rower’s heart……. After warming up, our coaches requested that 3 of us stay behind while the other set off……. we hadn’t made the top 8.They spoke to the other 2 first and then me. I kind of knew what was coming, I’d been thinking about it but didn’t know quite how it would work out.

It was a hard conversation for all 3 of us.

There are 12 people in the novice squad.

8 get to row in the coveted 8

1 is currently injured

2 get to row in a double

and then there’s me…….

This I’d worked out. What no one had worked out was what to do with me…..

Needless to say I cried, a lot, I couldn’t disagree with what they were saying -the 8 best novices are amazing (the best squad they’ve ever had), the 2 in the double are amazing also. So, we talked through options, some I vetoed (giving up, moving to Masters – they’re lovely but I want to complete my season with the Novices if I can), a few things popped out of the discussion to think about, so we left it there.

I was amazed to be given the option of just heading home, but wanted to brave it out and go finish the training session with the girls, so we went and found them. It was good to get some fresh air and run back from the Bay with them.

Wednesday – this was going to be a tough week

One of the ideas was that when the 8 and double were out I could (on a Wednesday as that’s when they train) go out with the Masters, so I did! Allan who coached me at Corporate rowing was there and made the mistake of being nice to me….. cue tears…… went out in the 8 with them, had my own personal coach sat behind me, was a rockier ride that I’m used to (us Novices have better balance than they did) but was good to be out on the water!


We did something in the evening…….

Friday – rest day!

But also email chat day – having thought about things since Tuesday, I had questions/requests to discuss. Was a very honest exchange, but no point being anything else!

I get to try being in a single – a boat all by myself – terrifying – but it means I can still row even when everyone else is out on the water. I get to sub into the 8 when people can’t make training (makes me feel like I can’t be sooooo terrible) and I’ll still do all the land-based training too 🙂

Saturday – meant to be a regatta


But in true Wellington form it’s too windy, so instead we were out at 7am for a row. The water was beautifully flat and I had fun in the coach boat as they rowed out to the airport. I swapped in on the row home as someone had a injury. Sadly by then the water wasn’t as great, but good to be in the boat 🙂

Then, a lovely thing happened as the Masters had just arrived and were heading out to Petone to row as the water wasn’t great in town. They asked if I wanted to join them – fab as it also meant I got a lift home!! We went out in an 8 and it was a lovely row, I really enjoyed it – sitting on stroke side really helped with that (and also I wasn’t the worst in the boat!!) Their coach at the end said I had a lovely finish (part of the stroke), well, bless him, I felt so bad as I then proceeded to burst into tears – after everything that had happened this week, praise was a bit too much for me!! We then proceeded to have a lovely chat and he said that I was welcome to come and borrow a wide-bottomed single from him if I wanted (he usually coaches the club next to ours) they’re more steady than the racing boats. He also said he’d have me in his novice team, but that’s never going to happen as I love mine too much.


No regatta did mean I could make it to sailing for the first time this season….. we sail out at Titahi Bay. We got there and it was WINDY, the water choppy and an on-shore wind at that. Too windy to sensibly go out – we may never have made it off the boat ramp!


Not sure why (retrospect is a wonderful thing) but we decided to go out in kayaks instead….. we’d gone less than 100m before I decided I was going back….. as I turned around I capsized…….  but managed to 1. get out of the boat, 2. keep hold of my paddle, 3. hold the boat, 4. realise my rowing hat had fallen off and managed to rescue it, but best of all 5. put my feet down and discover I could stand!!

What a relief, the kayak was so full of water and there’s no way I could empty it unaided, so I walked it over to a little boat ramp, hauled it up and awaited assistance……. Help arrived via a boathouse full of geese (apparently they rescue injured birds) kayak emptied it was back into the water and less than 2 minutes paddle to the boat ramp to the club.


The evening was no less jam-packed with a trip to the Westpac Stadium to watch Wellington Phoenix play Sydney FC – our work night out. Was great, we had a lounge, food and an amazing view. My boss is a massive fan, taught me the chants, my favorite being the one when you spot seagulls flying over the stadium – ‘Seagull’ ‘Seagull’ ‘Seagull’ until they’ve disappeared…….. Final score was 1-1, disappointing Wellington weren’t ahead in the last 10 minutes as then we’d have been treated to the sight of the Phoenix fans removing their shirts and twirling them around their heads….. My boss challenged me to get a selfie with the team captain at the end of the game – mission accomplished – photo and an autograph…. Bodes well for my next performance review I think


Sunday was a quieter day (thank goodness!)

Another 7am rowing, this time the girls went out in 2 quads, I got to cox one and they spent an hour or so chasing each other up and down the water – I got a tad soggy, but was great fun.

The girls then went on to do weights while I had a go in a single – v scary, just you in a boat by yourself – you go off balance, you fall in, it goes wrong, it’s your fault – no one else to blame. But also, you are totally in control – if it goes right you stay dry and can work on correcting what’s going wrong without affecting anyone else. Apart from a mad 5 minutes where I drifted into a load of other boats that came into the lagoon (while everyone was watching) and the one time I got myself stuck in the corner of the lagoon and had to be pushed off with an oar it went pretty well!

I stayed dry, didn’t panic too much, loved actually rowing it, struggled with turning round – my oat kept sinking, but left the lagoon happy and ready to do it again soon 🙂





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