Olympic Legacy – it’s influence on me

Six days on from the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, I am still feeling their absence as are much of the British population. With the lighting of the Olympic flame, there was a shift in the British psyche; a naturally sarcastic, cynical and sceptical nation, Britain was suddenly filled with a positive and driven energy as we supported our athletes to victory. Whilst we are all returning to our normal behaviour, what the Olympic fortnight proved was that British people are underneath it all still driven and motivated with a inherent desire to win.

On a personal front, I was already feeling a renewed enthusiasm for training following my arm injury from earlier this year. The Olympics arrived at an ideal time because it has just further fuelled this. Watching Team GB succeed day after day through the games just kept showing me how much an individual can achieve if they put their mind to it. It made me realise that I do not believe I have ever tried to reach my full potential in rowing (or just physically), albeit within the limitations of my life (I’m not getting any unrealistic ambitions on Rio 2016!).

After getting back in to rowing in 2008, I had two really strong seasons 2008 – 2009 and 2009 – 2010; over that time I had numerous wins and also lost my novices in both rowing and sculling. Since then though, I feel like I have been slightly adrift in the sport. In part this was not helped by the rules change of 2009 which made it easier to accumulate points – all our wins equated to points and we effectively priced ourselves out of any categories where we could realistically compete. Having spent the last two seasons up with ‘the big girls’ in WIM1 categories, we couldn’t compete because we didn’t have the time to train at that level. Sadly this has lead to us almost never racing – even those who were not injured over the summer like I was have not raced since WeHoRR, which is demotivating when we train to compete.

So for me personally, the legacy of the Olympics is the push to try and realise my potential. I shan’t be enacting any dramatic life changes, but I am going to commit myself to my training, give it the time, consistency, focus and energy it deserves. Whilst I am not old, I am in the age bracket where female rowers typically peak – this window will not last forever. I want to see if I am capable to performing better than I have previously, despite the fact that I am likely to meet people who train more or are just generally better than me. Whatever happens, at least I won’t regret it when I do get older!

I wanted to share this for two reasons:

1. I think everyone holds back on something in their lives, be in sport or otherwise. We should all take this opportunity to push ourselves further wherever we have been holding back;

2. At some point during the season I will need to come back here and remind myself of how I was feeling. Because trying to be better is hard work and I know I will waiver at some point! (Likely candidate times for me to re-visit this are either just before the first 5k test or when it hits double digit negative temperatures in winter!)

4 comments On Olympic Legacy – it’s influence on me

  • Interesting post Angela, I found the Olympics to be amazing throughout as well. Wish I had taken a couple of weeks off after leaving JL to just sit and watch them all as I missed so much of it.

    I found it quite annoying that the main TV channels still focussed on the obvious sports too much. I like football as much as the next person but don’t think it should be in the Olympics (not the men anyway, not sure about the women) and certainly didn’t want to watch it on the telly. But I really enjoyed getting involved in some of the lesser shown sports like Hockey, bmx (mental), mountain biking, triathlon etc.

    I have also felt the effect of the Olympics ion my diving lessons as we have had a group of noobs join recently. Great to see others joining in but yesterday’s session was a bit too full.

    You’re right though, we should try and take the opportunity to try and push ourselves somehow, whether in a chosen sport or other activity. It is very easy to coast along in life but when you see what can be achieved, it makes you feel as though you should make a bit more effort.

    • Thanks for your comments Sander – I don’t get that many! I think quite a few people feel the same – a few of us were grumbling at work about football already dominating the sports pages again. It is definitely interesting to hear about the uptake in diving; we are seeing the same in rowing clubs across the country. Think diving is possibly less well followed than rowing too (or maybe that is just my very skewed perspective) but it’s great to see more people getting in to these sports. Sam’s about to start archery so, over time, we’ll make then feature on tv a bit more…maybe 🙂

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About Me

Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (5 & 2). I'm a Gardener, am houseplant obsessed and addicted to tea. By day I work in tech and also look after my littles. I'm trying to get our family to live a more sustainable life. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Twitter so you never miss a post. Hope you enjoy reading!

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