A Battle of Numbers

Aside from running around as Duty Manager in what was a very busy Hotel this weekend, today has evolved into a battle of big numbers.

In the red corner, we have today’s endurance training session with high volume rowing and fighting out of the blue corner we have the knock-out punch sensation of another amazing donation.  The unconditional generosity of some people continues to astound me.  It feels almost surreal to announce today’s donation of $2,000!  No logos on the website, no names, no conditions.  Just a great person doing something extraordinary.

This project started with two goals….one, to cover as much of my race expenses as possible, and….two, to generate fund raising for ME/CFS Australia with a hope to increase awareness, empathy, understanding and real support for those suffering from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.  It is almost with disbelief that I announce Goal #1 has been put to bed…leaving us three months to smash Goal # 2 and really make a difference in the lives of others.

As this project continues to grow, this experience has forever changed my perception of the not-for-profit charities, fund-raisers and good causes that intersect our lives on a daily basis.  To express empathy for a cause in need is a natural human response.  We nod in agreement. We shake our heads in dismay as we hear stories of hardship. To actually feel the difference a donation or any other gesture of tangible support can make is truly an eye-opener.  I am now officially a push-over and will embrace any opportunity to “pay it forward”…no matter how small the contribution is, it all counts.  For those that have not seen the movie by the same name, watch it.  In defiance of all that Tough Mudder stands for, I dare you to cry a bit.


Row 10,000m at Time Trial pace.

< 37:37.2 >

This is the first time I’ve rowed 10km in a single stage and was not really looking forward to the idea of it, despite the obvious value. But on the back of that donation, how could I possibly walk away from it? Once the row was over and I had stopped rolling around on the floor groaning like a wounded animal, I was pretty happy about the stats:

  1. The second 5,000m split was 2 seconds faster than my previous best time for 5,000m.
  2. The second 5,000m split was 11 seconds faster than the first 5,000m split.
  3. The first four 2,000m splits were all within 0-2.5 seconds of each other, showing consistency over distance.
  4. The final 2,000m split was the fastest by 8 seconds, with an all-out effort over the final 500m.

Concept 2 Rower : Session Summary

You might also like to know that the completion of this time trial was not without it’s share of melodrama.  At just over the half-way mark, my phone rang about three times…Gus was calling, so I thought he knows where I am and can probably wait another 15mins or come in and see me…but there’s no way I’m stopping now.  A few minutes later one of our gym team, Van, comes over to me and tells me that Marcelle is on the phone and needs to speak to me. Again, thinking she can drop in and see me, I managed enough breath to tell Van, “Mate, I’m in the middle of a long time-trial and can’t stop…can you let her know?”.  This guy has just elevated to legend status, because he dutifully passed this message to her on the phone, in response to which Marcelle curtly said “You’re going to have to get him. I can’t get into our room.”  Van…ever the team player…politely advises Marcelle…”I’m sorry ma’am, but  I can’t do that.”  Marcelle was momentarily speechless. Hilarious stuff.  Fear not though…Van then went about taking care of everything for her.  She loved him….and wanted to kill me.


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