Have a plan; stick to the plan!

by gbsmith4

This past week, Nancy ventured to the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints to compete in the “Veteran Women 30-minute row.”  Now, the Erg Sprints is a funny kind of event: an indoor race, in the middle of winter, surrounded by a bunch of other crazies pulling as hard as they can on an indoor rower.

Surprisingly, these events are well-attended.

Now my job is nothing more than to “cox” which is a glorified way of saying “be supportive.”

The hard part, of course, is the actual erging and it’s the kind of slow torture I have studiously avoided each and every year.

That said, I’m always willing to help out as long as it doesn’t involve any heavy lifting.   In fact, all I had to do was ensure Nancy had a plan and stuck to it.

Of course, that’s the important part and where most people fail.  It’s not the actual erging that dooms them, but rather pulling willy-nilly with no concept of either an end goal or how best to get there.  (As a sidenote, this is also what dooms 99% of traders…)

Anyway, Nancy DID have a plan and was nice enough to write it down for me so I wouldn’t mess up my one and only job.

(Yes, that’s the actual hand-written note soon to be displayed in the Rowing Hall of Fame….)

And that job was to simply ensure she hit those numbers: neither too high, nor too low.   A 2:11.6 average was either going to win the event or someone in better shape was going to beat her.  But, 2:11.6 was right around the best she could expect.

Sure enough, she held close to every time check and even kicked a little at the end to come in 11 meters ahead of plan at 6845.  Hard, of course, but fairly routine.  No wasted effort, no panicking when other rowers lurched ahead at the start, and no desperate attempts in the waning minutes to make up lost ground.

She did gather up the blue ribbon, and it was a pretty sweet ending.

Of course, she gets full credit for a fairly exhausting 30 minutes of activity.  Still, I can’t help thinking it was that rigorous attention to a well thought out plan that really won the day.