Never in my life have I had so much fun losing.
On Saturday of this past weekend I was at Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake. Sal and I were entered in a double scull.
We got our asses handed to us on a very wet platter.
To be fair, it wasn't our fault. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but hear me out. Poor Sal was sick as a dog. When she picked me up in the morning she couldn't get any air through the gallons of snot and mucus filling her sinuses. Her breathing sounded like a kid blowing bubbles through a straw into a chocolate milkshake. So really, we never stood a chance.
The only reason she even got out of bed was because I had mentioned that my in-laws were driving all the way down from Preston to watch. 4 hours in the car just to watch me splashing about in a boat for a minute! (Pirate was playing cricket that day. They didn't drive 4 hours to see him play. Ha!) I thought it was rather heroic of her to even make the effort.
We had a good start. We went off the blocks at 40 spm, our best start ever. But Sal couldn't get any air into her lungs and so couldn't get any power out of her muscles, so I basically pulled us down the course. We stayed well in the thick of it for about the first 500m, at which point we looked at the sign reading "500" and simultaneously (we established later) thought "Fuck, is that all?! I thought we were coming up on the 1000!"
At that point 4 of the 6 crews pulled away and we were left fighting with the crew in lane 3 to not finish last. We were neck and neck with our co-losers for the middle thousand, after which I got a massive cramp in my left forearm, a consequence of having a death-grip on the blade, and couldn't hold my oar. The harder I drove with my legs the harder it was to hang my weight on the oar. Without wanting to I found myself letting up on the pressure and the crew in lane 3 got the better of us. We limped across the finish line gasping, moaning, not moving at all together and looking very novicey indeed. Which was, naturally, the point at which my in-laws saw us. Wank.
So we drank some Lucozade, shrugged it off, declared that we'd done our best in impossible circumstances, and got on with the serious business of picnicking with the in-laws in the shade by the lake. And it was an utterly lovely afternoon.
An added bonus was bumping in to a good friend of mine from Manchester that I haven't seen in several years. I wasn't expecting him to be there and suddenly there he was in front of me. What a treat!
Eventually the in-laws dropped me off at the train station in Reading so I could make my way home, where the Pirate and I met up with the other Bristol rowers for a curry dinner, which was fun, and then went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. (I'll put up my review tomorrow.) A great day all around. Never mind the utterly spectacular, catastrophic defeat. *shrugs* Whatever.