it's friday night. i'm back from henley already. it wasn't supposed to happen this way.
here's how it was supposed to work:
we were gonna tear it up this weekend, kick ass and take names, and Rowing and Regatta Magazine was going to do a cover feature on the novices from Bristol who came out of nowhere, overcame rediculous adversity both from within and outside the club, carried on despite every possible fucking setback, and won gold in their category: "Amazing Victory for the Ultimate Underdogs."
here's how it went:
we got knocked out in the qualifier.
there were roughly 50 boats entered in the Intermediate women's coxed 4 category. because of the knockout structure of the regatta (crews pair off two at a time, winner goes on to next race, loser is done, like Final Four basketball), there were only 32 slots available, so we had to go through a qualifier round, a time trial. Crews go off one at at a time down the course at 30 second intervals. everyone is racing the clock. they time each boat, the 32 fastest are paired off to compete, the rest of us sit on the picnic tables in the enclosure by the Barn Bar and cry onto our Jaffa cakes.
I don't know what our time was. I don't know where we were in the rankings, 33rd or 50th. I don't give a shit. We lost out. We never even got a chance to compete. I'll have to wait an entire year now before I have another opportunity to alleviate my concience and wipe clean the sins of old. (ZB reckons I've got nothing to redeem, and he's probably right, but that doesn't change the way I feel, the way I've felt for the past 2 years, about the matter. It's just something I have to do.)
So that's it, then. Been training my ass off all year for this, and in 5 minutes it's all over. Fucking hell. Why do i do this to myself?
oh, and the next person who says to me (with great sympathy, of course), "But at least you got good experience. It's always good experience to compete at Henley," is gonna get my foot in their fucking face. Sorry, but losing is never a good experience.
I know it wasn't a waste. It was good training for the novices and myself (training is never a waste), and we'll be a much stronger crew next year for all the extra work we've put in, but GODDAMN IT I'M SICK OF HAVING TO TAKE THE LONG VIEW. I DON'T WANT TO TRAIN NOW TO WIN NEXT YEAR. I'VE BEEN DOING THAT FOR 3 YEARS! I WANT TO WIN NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!!!
I know that when you consider how incredibly inexperience 3 people in my boat were, and that we really only just got rowing well together this week, we really stood no chance in hell. But that never keeps one from hoping/trying/believing, does it? It really was going well this past week. We were swining together, moving as a unit, really gelling. If we could have had just a couple more weeks to keep working on the finer points... well.. but we didn't. We had today. And we fucking blew it.