Patricia Carswell |

Life on the river: preparing to race?

Award-winning blogger and journalist, Patricia Carswell, shares her latest exclusive British Rowing blog – Life on the river. This time, she explores the prospect of racing again

There’s a lot in the media about social anxiety as we return to post-lockdown life, but a surprising silence on the subject of mixed feelings when it comes to resuming sport. There’s kind of an expectation that our return to rowing will be a process of unadulterated joy, and for the most part it is. I’m the first to admit I’ve been little short of overjoyed to be back on the river, and as for the chance to crew row again – well, it’s just brilliant.

But even I have had the odd wobble – mostly relating to the prospect of racing. In the last year I’ve got into a comfortable little bubble. Nobody knows my erg scores unless I choose to share them. Nobody is challenging me to put myself to the test. And part of me is quite happy to stay there, thank you very much.

When I think about racing, I can’t help the odd anxious thought from creeping in. Will I be fit enough? Can I actually face that level of physical and mental discomfort again? Might I be humiliated racing against people who’ve had more opportunities to train this year?

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