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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When Someone has Helped You, You Have to Have Their Back

The world works in mysterious ways. There's been some goings on at the Victoria Training Center that I don't fully understand and I don't really feel like getting involved in, but I do know that Mike has missed two days of practice as head coach which is more than I have ever known him to miss in two and half years of rowing with him. His absence has been due to meetings with the head honcho of RCA and it's just not the same around the boathouse without him. Then yesterday I came home and was cleaning up around the computer area and found a scrap of paper with a poem on it that I wrote back in 2009 when I was training with the men in Italy before the world cup in Spain. If you know Spracklen, you know that he is quite an impressive author of poems, so I wrote it in a gesture of appreciation for having supported the lightweight women during their transition period of getting a new coach. It was what I thought to be my last training camp with the men before I moved to Ontario for the summer to complete the unknown. Anyway, the point of this blog is that I have not had much of a chance to discuss my training with Mike Spracklen and what it means to me. I want to share this poem not as some political statement but more just as something fun to express what Mike has done for me and how I have always wanted to train on his program. I hope to give back some support to him that he has so generously showed me over the years.

Our Time with Mike

Our time off was over,
our season was anew,
my chance to row for Spracklen
was finally coming true.

We started off light,
we weren't pushing yet.
I thought it was already brutal,
would more leave me dead?

Pyramid after pyramid,
we slowly added more,
"Your bodies can handle more," he said
but five runs was quite a chore.

Then we went to Cali
for our training camp.
The lighties almost didn't go
but Mike had left his stamp.

Some didn't make it,
some dropped like flies.
I heard him say "You're wanking it!"
but the lighties never died.

Kilometer after kilometer
we pushed within the pack.
Men's singles vs. lightweight doubles
to the bridge and back.

Then came trips to Shawnigan
rowing our lightweight quad.
We always had a man to help,
Fraser completed our squad.

We learned to row with power,
we learned to row with time,
we learned to row with left hand infront,
then the rates would climb.

Ladder after ladder
on Friday after weights.
Six hundred hard stokes was a challenge
made bearable by team mates,

Who rowed along beside us
through the rain and the pain,
building trust in each other
was the name of the game.

He said to trust your fitness,
he said to trust the plan
"You can know you're working harder
than any other man."

Now here we are in Erba
getting ready to race.
I believe in what we have done thus far
and know we can hold the pace.

We are a team that's strong
and it's because of you,
a man who knows how to lead us
towards a dream that's true.

Your words will be with us
through first, middle and last,
we'll drive it home to the line
and not forget the past.

I will not say good-bye
but more like a so long.
I know I will be back some day
because in this environment
I belong.

Thank you, Mike.

Also, if someone needs a poem written for their girlfriend or something, just let me know. Hahaha

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