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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Theory of Relativity

It's 930pm on a Sunday night and I am definitely not in any shape to be describing to you how objects might bend as we travel through space at the speed of light, so I'll cut to the chase and announce that I am about to describe a different kind of relativity.

This thought occurred to me between what I thought was going to be two 28km rows at Shawnigan Lake this past week. We had already finished one 28km row and I thought the next was going to be the same but found out during breakfast that it was only going to be 24km instead and I felt so completely relieved. Then I gave my head a shake! Twenty-four kilometers in a double for the second time of the day is still a TON of work! And it's not just 24km of steady state work, it's 24km getting chased down my either men's fours or a men's eight working at full capacity. However, I had convinced myself because it could have been 28km, that we were all getting off easy. A typical "hard row" on Elk Lake would be 18-22km. Then this got me really thinking.

It is fascinating what the mind and body can accomplish when working together. Somehow, while doing an endless number of 7km "runs" at Shawnigan, I started to convince myself that that was the norm and that my body better be prepared for that amount of work. I started unconsciously to stretch both physically and mentally what was the boundary of what I was willing both physically and mentally to do. These changes in mind and body occur at such a subconscious level that you suddenly find yourself thinking that an 18km row is a break. Perhaps some of you are reading this right now thinking that I'm still crazy but it's what has happened to me and I'm very glad for it. This is the epitome of training; hard is relative. Something that we perceive to be "hard" is only something that is more than we are already doing. If we do more, then hard is no longer what we were doing but rather something even more. Why would we constantly work within the boundaries of mind and body? Why would we only do as much as we did last time? Einstein's theory states that the outer limits of the universe are travelling farther away from us and at a rate faster than the speed of light. If we don't push those boundaries of ourselves we'll be left in the dark. I would like to imagine that an Olympic gold medal brings a lot of light.

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