Greg Searle: It's now time to focus on some fierce racing
Tuesday, 01 May 2012
We have been in Varese, which isn't far from Lake Como and Milan. There is a beautiful lake here with views of the Alps. I have very fond memories of training here throughout my rowing career. We went straight from here to Barcelona for the Olympics in 1992 and to the World Championships in 1997. It's funny because we have done some really good sessions in the last few weeks and I've not often thought about all the times I have been here before.
We've also passed the 100 days to go to the London Olympics mark since I've been here, and I haven't thought about that much either. I guess what I am doing quite effectively is "living in the present". That is to say that whilst I have belief in myself from what I did 20 years ago and I have motivation from what will come this summer, I am thinking about what to do today, and not much else.
The good news is we have done good things today and every other day since we have been here. Sometimes the conditions seem to have been against us and we had a few tricky days when there were definitely a few less happy voices in the camp. When I heard the cries of "I hate Varese!" and "Why do we keep coming to this place!" I tried to maintain my all round positivity, without being too annoying, I hope. I have a lot of affection for this place and it's funny to think I won't be back here as a rower again (probably!).
I think we are also all aware that London in July/August could throw anything at us and we need to be able to embrace wind, rain and waves just as happily as sun and calm waters.
The whole team have started to settle down now that our selections are done and we prepare to race in Belgrade in a week or so on the weekend of May 4-6. I think everyone is looking forward to testing themselves against international opposition. For us in the eight I imagine we will see the "usual suspects" from Europe at this first race, but not necessarily the English speakers from further afield. This should mean a match up with the Germans for the first time in 2012. Whilst we know bigger races are coming later in the summer we will want to start as we mean to go on, so racing there will be fierce.
In the mean time, we will have about a week at home during which I will be doing my best to juggle my son Adam's ninth birthday party and my daughter Josie's gala at Milton Keynes alongside keeping the momentum going which we have gathered here. If done well, I think the mental break of some time at home will be great.
Greg Searle, the 1992 Olympic coxed pais gold medallist and 1996 coxless four bronze medallist, is a BT Ambassador. BT is the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More details click here.