There’s a strange sort of feeling one gets after the end of something huge. Something between elation of the moment and the despair that it’s all too illusory.
You want to reach out and grab one specific second and hold it all your life – a moment of glory too great to put into words. A single split second when you rule the world.
SA Champs is the culmination of months and years of training. Sacrifices of sleeping in late, hanging out with friends, dating a girl, just chilling. The aches, the blisters, the pain, the tears and utter physical and emotional exhaustion.
It’s all worth it for that moment when you cross the line and the shoreline erupts and you know you’ve made it.
The medals are great. The personal realisation that everything you’ve done has paid off is better. And the knowledge that no matter where you came, you competed against the best in the country and finished the course.
Sometimes, I have more respect for the boats that come in last than the ones who come in first. The grit and determination it takes to carry on and finish, still giving your all, take enormous courage and sportsmanship.
Coaches, rowers, officials and family have all invested so much in making this spectacular weekend a real celebration of rowing in South Africa – and they all deserve a gold for sheer tenacity.
Now, we’re all home in our own beds and slowly the peaks of elation and nadirs of despair will fade into memory.
For a few weeks we’ll enjoy sleeping in, catching up on Netflix and doing all the stuff we’ve been putting off for the season.
Then, slowly, creeping in like mist upon the early morning water will come a crazy desire, a need, to have it all start over again.