Thursday, September 27, 2007

E-mail eh?

It has taken me all this time to find that I can e-mail an 'article' / entry to my blog. So now in the window of a work (or other) e-mail account and no one can be sure if I am corresponding with a contact or my blog! I kinda like the degree of subversion involved, brings out my inner pulp fictional spy.

I had a look through the 'Andy on the move' blog archives yesterday, I was chuffed at some bits, I cringed at other bits, but generally I was impressed with the most coherent diary of any form that I have ever kept. I was the kinda kid who got a new pocket diary every Christmas from relatives, got all excited about the newness of it, filled in the contact pages in the front and then made 2-3 random entries for the first week in January before giving up entirely. I did find a few of those diaries about a year ago and laughed aloud at the consistency of my behaviour. The one year that I did in fact write anything more was to chart the mis-adventures of an infatuation with a school friend... there was a goodly helping of cringe in that diary keeping attempt I can tell you!!

I spent a portion of my mornings e-mail catch-up pinging mails to the club, and then this afternoon received some glowing feedback on a couple of my efforts. The thrill I gained from the feedback led me to ponder... In the end I had to look something up to see if it fitted things I often do... courtesy of [via a google search of course] I turned up this...

1. performed, exercised, received, or suffered in place of another: vicarious punishment.
2. taking the place of another person or thing; acting or serving as a substitute.
3. felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others: a vicarious thrill.
4. Physiology. noting or pertaining to a situation in which one organ performs part of the
functions normally performed by another.

Now, I don't purport to relate directly to the first or indeed the last descriptions, but the middle two.... I do seem to be something of a vicarious thrill junkie. Explanation... I read more than my share of daring do biographies and get quite the involved buzz from them; I watch rather a lot of movies and the bigger the engrossment factor the better; I very much enjoy hearing that others have enjoyed the fruits of my labours, be that work, the rowing club, my family, a random e-mail I've sent... I enjoy the pleasure of others around me very much.

What I am left wondering (as well as noticing that e-mail blogging has given me the licence to go on a bit, sorry) is simply this... is that a bad thing? I suppose I enjoy it so much that it can't be, can it?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oarsome session

It really is all about the activity.... I feel so much better for getting on the move again. The training log, although simple, is making a big difference. Also sessions like tonight help to inspire... it went really very well. We swapped sides in the pair, which isn't quite as simple as it sounds. I got in the stroke seat and we tried to gel over one trip before doing technical stuff from there on.

The gel phase was interesting as I struggled a little to get used to not doing all the extra things you do in the bow seat, it was a bit like trying to write with the wrong hand at first. The technical phase went surprisingly well, the exercises at times were relaxed and controlled. I did feel I was looking down at the boat too much and tried to sit up, it was good to have DC sat behind me giving feedback too.

We have agreed to rotate fairly regularly, but haven't really settled on the pattern for it just yet... we are going to try and get some coaching input at some point soon on the subject. As it was we were both heartened to hear some bank side feedback as we were putting the boat away. We received it from another of the junior coaches so once he understood what we were trying to do he quickly shaped his feedback to our efforts and was very helpful in what he was saying.

It does seem that my biggest hurdle (my own diagnosis) is to relax and keep a fluid confident posture in the boat. I think if we rotate like as we did 1in3 or 1in4 outings that will really help a great deal. I thank my lucky stars to have a partner who is patient and intelligent about his approach to rowing :o)

Last weeks training table

Last weeks training table is below, I have yet to figure out how I want to keep track of these this time around.

It did show a marked return to form with the cycling commute, which is great, although I have changed buildings at work and my route isn't as satisifying. I now have to play with traffic on my journey and cross a main road at lights mid way through the ride, rather than having a nice long run through the park with short stretches of road crossing either end. Still I am toying with making my ride delibrately longer so that it is more enjoyable... enjoyment over effort now I think that sounds sorta healthy!

Training LogRowStretchRunErgoCircuitWeightsCycle

Ps. I am reckoning these tables should see me well back into the "Andy on the move" groove :o)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Buzz, blades, bell peppers and builders

Buzz, blades, bell peppers and builders...

Buzz - the joy of having done some sport or exercise. I missed a session last night and was very grumpy just because I didn't get the endorphin buzz that I was anticipating. Sport is an addiction, and the best kind of addiction I know!

Blades - talking of sports buzzes my wife has purchased her own sculling blades (oars), to ensure she gets the most out of her sporting endeavours... hmm, now where can I buy a crew?!? hehe It is pretty amusing coming home to find a pair of oars propped up in your dinning room it has to be said, I can only wonder what the neighbours make of blades wandering in and out of the house several times a week!?! (a storage spot is still being sought out at the club!).

Bell peppers - we prepared a feast of chilli (I think that's the correct term) from peppers grown on our jungle'esque window sills. I cooked up 8 portions in the largest pot we have, I am not sure the flavour is quite the same scaling up so far, but we haven't tasted it yet so we'll see.

Builders - the process of packing has to be completed by Monday when the work will now commence after a meeting decided it yesterday, yippee!
Overcast, less breezy, still cooler than of late.
[I don't have the links to these - I am happy to remove the images if necessary]

Monday, September 24, 2007

Random weekend stream of thought

Well what a topsy turvy weekend, different movements in being on the move without fitness work. We are having building work done to 're-birth' our house as a new tailored to our lifestyle kinda space. The planning stages seem to be nearing completion and the on the ground action is imminent... so much movement as been packing our house into... our house... moving all manner of stuff into new locations away from build zones. Madness - kinda like the biggest spring clean going with the added fun of finding new homes for stuff.

I created five bags of shredded paper that will make its way to the compost bin, which has moved anyway to make room for other innovations. Ah, that was a whole other 'on the move'... turning a compost heap - lots of fun in that inner child 'I love muck' type way ;o) The best part of the compost adventure was that the kitchen clean up had unearthed old / out of date foodstuffs to tip into the heap as it was turned... I do hope tins of baked beans don't give compost heaps bad gas!

We've made good progress, and streamlined so many rooms its craziness!! During the fun my mum came to visit as the last official guest of the old house, she has suggested she'd like to be the first official guest in the new renovated house... didn't have the heart to tell her the dog gets that honour upon his return from building work (noise) exile.

Even my sisters posse turned up to heap the chaos on a fraction more, Sian dealt with the extra mouths excellently and they left well satisfied. My brother in law is going into the photography business and is setting himself up, he does have a well appointed website set up and is canvassing actively for business around the area "David Young Photography" [link since broken]. His stuff looks great, though I did a google search and he's not the only David Young in the trade... I haven't asked him how chuffed he was to find a dot com available, hehe

On the subject of links I added to more sports links to the 'on the move' listing...
canterbury sports clothing - I have purchase an excellent base layer from them, though I personally keep it as an 'undershirt' base layer as the bod doesn't allow buff muscle poses!?!?!
Simply Oarsome - Rowing Apparel - from whom I have ordered rowing all-in-ones, they haven't arrived yet so any form of review would seem a little previous.

As the title line says "Random weekend stream of thought", I'm sure there was something else to blog...... ah well, next time!

Very gusty, cooler, broken cloud.

[links checked and updated April 2011]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Question of Club roles

I have been doing many other things than just rowing at the club this last year, and I constantly ponder and wonder about how much I am doing. The problem being that I love a distraction and if something captures my interest, as rowing does, then I am all to quick to throw all my attention at it.

The last year I have been trying to look after all things racing events away from home river competitions, we've been pretty successful at re-organisation and putting in place clear obvious systems. Its taken chunks of time but the inner control freak / OCD / perfectionist in me has enjoyed it.

This year I received large nudges to become the novices vice captain... flaming tempting, but for some truths I couldn't escape just at the moment...

Primarily, I have a huge year ahead with work, I am on the verge of a contract renewal and as an ever aging scientist my shelf-life is incredibly uncertain. My current line manager is off having a family, and so I am seemingly in the lap of the Gods regarding re-employment issues. Essentially I need to be careful with managing my time, and my current commitments are known quantities in planning my efforts.

Secondly, I don't feel I have the experience to pull it off as well as the previous incumbent of the role. I don't have the club wide contact network that helps to lessen the work, and I would want to have more coaching experience before trying my hand at such a challenge.

I am enjoying my current involvement with the racing entries, I would like to give that at least another year to follow through on our efforts of this year. Thus, I've sort of postponed any change of role to next year.

It would appear a bit cheeky saying "oh no, next year" but it makes sense right here and now. One way or another my career issues should be clearer by May next year, so I would likely be happier to engage with such a task/s after that point.

I am committed to continuing to help the Novice rowing group, through coaching (coxing, etc.), involvement in L2R, admin, and so forth.

Sometimes its hard to decide if I really should push forward on the water for myself or whether I'd derive more pleasure from helping others enjoy the water... I will continue to wrestle with this so some time I feel.

Today - weather overcast but mild, slightly showery.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mixed reviews LRC regatta

The review was courtesy of the City of Bristol Rowing Club blog... go have a look at their excellent club blog... Gurt Lush

Hmmm, a mixed review from that there Gurt Lush about this years Llandaff regatta, at least they seemed to win a fair bit.... more than I managed! Drat!

Gloucester Rowing Club also seemed to have had a productive time of it... GRC website - Entries, Results and Reports

[links still active as of April 2011]


Well I have found a way to get a training table within the new blogger architecture, it was much easier for my little brain to comprehend the old html based code. I will though have to figure out how to store old sheets again at the end of the week.

The training table is right at the bottom of my page, might try finding a link or moving it up the page!?

Seems to be having some positive effects already, its amazing what actually keeping track of stuff will do... I might even get the scales out soon if this carries on.

Sculling will be the way ahead on the weekend (pair buddy is away), should be interesting. Can I manage to apply anything I have learnt in the double scull lately.

PS. its okay blogger, although I have discovered facebook, I still love you :o)

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Okay, so I am frustrated with all things crew related, organisation seems to have melted to nothing, and so it looks like I am in for a patchwork Head racing season at best. Thus yet again I am determined to make some solo efforts to get fitness back with a vengeance while trying to address as much technique as possible in small boats (the single, the double and the pair).

I have decided a new training log is the way of ensuring a follow through, and checking progress. Just have to find the code again, d'oh!