Commitment to the cause

15 July 2018

Commitment to the cause

Second laboratory visit for Heads Together and Row

In this latest blog post, Heads Together and Row crew member Jeremy Reynolds reflects on the team’s latest visit to the sports laboratory for testing, and what they have learned from it.

Our second visit to the sports laboratory was reassuring and provided impetus in equal parts.

It’s a great opportunity for us to be part of the research project and we’re most grateful to Dr Justin Roberts and his team* for the chance and their good humour during the testing. You can’t help feeling slightly amused as you’re being prodded by fat calipers or coupled to a machine by a mask whilst rowing.

For all of the crew, individual improvements in physical fitness showed the personal hard work, away from the excitement of being together on the boat, or at events, is paying off. Sacrificing hours to the rowing machine, weights room, mobility and core work, whilst difficult to squeeze between home and work life, has become daily investment that we know will pay dividends once at sea.

That said, none of the crew would proselytise that our current fitness levels were sufficient - this round of tests was a timely reminder of the distance still to go, and served as an opportunity for renewed commitment to the cause. Discussions about one final round of testing, probably late October, brought home the limited time remaining.

In a similar vein, another round of mental resilience testing not only provided a useful range of metrics showing current perceptions of personal and team, but Dr Caroline Rook’s careful, targeted questioning also gave us an opportunity to reflect on the development of individual mental strength and crew cohesion so far, and areas/paths for improvement.

The day thereby provided a valuable moment to look back over the efforts that have got us this far, and forward to the final furlong of preparation ahead.

*Dr Justin Roberts and his team are based at Anglia Ruskin University, where the laboratory testing took place.

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