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First off, I am a terrible blogger. Every fifth blog on this site is an apology for not posting (as if anyone is reading the posts). But if you are, sorry again. I will try and catch up... LIFE IS BUSY HERE!!!!! Since when does anyone get time to burble on about themselves anyway? Well I am now... so pay attention...

As the last post was about winning our first GOLD! medals in our rowing skiff, I will skip straight to the Shieldaig regatta on 10th August, when we managed to win another two gold medals, and came 2nd overall. Yet again we were somewhat amazed, because many teams attending had been at the World Championships only a few weeks before, so we assumed we would be mediocre by comparison. Perhaps our home advantage gave us an edge. As usual, everyone rowed like tigers.... even the people who don't always like rowing like tigers.

The fact is that not everyone here always enjoys the rowing training - especially if we are pushing hard. We are definitely divided into two camps - one that likes to be absolutely beasted in training, and the camp that definitely doesn't. Getting this rowing team to go fast is an exercise in compromise, from both camps. Luckily, everyone seems to enjoy doing well, so we are roughly aligned on that front.

If I am honest, I always finish the regattas a bit flat, but that's just me. Its not that I expect to do better, because so far we have vastly outperformed expectations, being on the steep part of the improvement curve. But if you want to do well at something like the rowing, you have to ask a lot from people - all of whom have different thresholds about how much they are prepared to suffer. You understandably end up pushing some people a bit far, or in an effort not to put people off, not training as hard as you could. Its an exercise in compromise. I am almost the worst offender because I am not very good at doing anything less than my best. If that makes everyone else who doesn't want to give it their best look bad, that's not it either. We all have different "bests". "Best" is a complicated thing and it varies from person to person. Most people here don't have a demon on their back that ruins the participation in any game/sport unless you are basically trying to be one of the best out there. Somehow our rowing team has to function at all levels. Its sort of working, but we do have our moments... its the price of doing so well at these regattas. Luckily, we like each other a lot... despite all of our differences.

Anyway, as for the regatta itself, the predicted storm held off (the south got pasted instead) and so even though the day was grey, we felt like we had lucked out. We had a bit of an incident which cost us some places in the first race - one of the teams who should have known better drove into us when we should have had right of way, but never mind. We expect a bit of argy bargy on our "round the island" course. Second place overall was something we wouldn't have dreamed of even two days before. As the village potter who made the medals said (yes, me!), "if I had anticipated winning a medal, I would have made them better!"

Anyway, I have no idea where we go from here - there is a slim to nil chance of us actually winning our own regatta as long as we continue to welcome serious teams - but stranger things have already happened. The bigger challenge is to grow the legacy of the rowing club in the community, which means making room for everyone.

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