After the success of the 2012 season, having qualified and competed at the London Olympics, did you find it difficult to begin training again?
Mentally no, physically yes. My mind was still operating like that of a high performance athlete, but my body was at much lower level – as you would expect after 4 weeks of no physical activity. So my body struggled to keep up with my mind. It was painful and quite challenging at times. At the November trials during 2k erg test, I remember myself repeating in my head, “I don’t want to do this.” At the halfway point I managed to get those thoughts out of my head. But things got better after that.
It must have been tough to miss most of the international regatta season for you. How did you manage this disappointment?
I was like a yo-yo. At the end of the day, if you’re not healthy enough, and not getting better, there is nothing you can do. You have to see a ‘bigger picture’. It was lucky enough we had our holiday booked so we went to see friends and family, which was what we needed. It was hard to come back and train in NRC when girls were preparing for Worlds.
What is your favourite training session?
Hour of power (ha, just kidding). I like bungee sessions and weights. And sprints on the water, that’s good fun.
You’ve got to love what you do
For many athletes around the country, now is the time they start to get back in the gym and out on the water. Some start again after a break of a few weeks, months or years. Could you give any advice for rowers getting back into shape?
Take it step by step. There is no point to overdo it in the first few sessions/weeks. Set some goals and smaller targets to make it easier to keep the focus. Enjoy getting fit! You’ve got to love what you do. And best of luck next season!!
Photo courtesy of Kaspars Puspure (Sanita Puspure training at the NRC)