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A Battle Royal between body, mind & soul

2014-01-22

I´ve tried to summarize my 2013 season a couple of times but every time I seemed to find myself staring at an empty Word-document.

To say that my 2013 season had its ups and downs is definitely an understatement. During the winter I radiated with inspiration and motivation. In 2011 I finally recovered from my years of heart problems and won a Bronze Medal at the Coastal World Champs in October. It seemed that anything was possible. 2012 started very well but ended early due to a season ending back injury. After spending much of the summer in grueling rehab training I was hungry to get back in racing. And with my home town hosting the 2013 World Coastal Championship I was determined to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity.  

In March my world turned upside down. My mom suddenly died. While I was growing up she taught me to be strong, persistent, independent and believe in myself. Both in words and by example. Through the heart problems this was crucial and if I hadn´t fought with the same determination that my mother had taught me, I would never surpassed it.

My #1 supporter and I after an Open Water Swim Race in 2012

The loss of course changed my focus. I was still training a lot, but I had a hard time to push myself to the limit. As the racing season started I performed very poorly and after a few months, I started to get worried. Maybe I can´t turn this around in time for the WRCC. By the end of May I decided to put my mourning on hold. I have to get back in racing shape in time for the WRCC in Helsingborg. I can´t let this once in a lifetime opportunity go to waste, and perhaps most important, It would have been what mom would have wanted.

I started to get the focus and determination back. The sessions were getting harder and harder. I was heading out in every weather condition: rain, heavy wind, big waves only made my want to do more and better. By August I was in great shape again and also prepared for the likelihood of tough weather conditions.

To my disappointment the racing weekend had the least amount of wind during all of August. Up until the day before the races there had been heavy wind every day for the last four weeks and the day after the finals the wind picked up again. It was of course nothing I could do about it, so I focused on the race instead. I knew these conditions opened up for many other rowers and that the race was going to be really tight.

In the end I managed to battle home a Bronze Medal. Even if I went for Gold and had high expectations, especially in February, I can´t be that disappointed. Where I was mentally, just a couple of months before the Championship, was a VERY long way from taking a World Championship Medal.

 

Conclution. People ask me if I´m happy with my Bronze Medal. Under the circumstances, I must say that I am. I of course wanted to win, but with the emotional roller coaster that came with my moms death, along with not only competing as the home favourite, but also to organize a World Championship I am actually proud of my performance. I am also positive that if the weather conditions would have been rougher, I would have won it. But as the say, there is always next year ;-)

It was my third World Champ Medal…. And actually my second Medal after doctors doomed my rowing career and said I was never going to race again. Not too shabby for a labeled sport cripple

It was my third World Champ Medal…. And actually my second Medal after doctors doomed my rowing career and said I was never going to race again. Not too shabby for a labeled sport cripple.

Now I look forward to the new challenges in 2014