My Story by Ian Gibson (Pioneer Fitness)
My mission, “To go and compete at the Crash Bs, the Holy Grail of Indoor Rowing, the biggest Indoor Rowing Competition in the World.”
Around 2,400 athletes competed in the 2,000 metres or Adaptive events.
I entered in the 55-59 Lightweight category. I am 59 years. My training went well.
I kept to my heart rate bands, listened to my body and put myself through rower’s hell at least once a week. I also kept up two 40 kilometre cycle rides and two 1k swims a week.
I don’t have the genes or levers of an elite rower! I love the erg and the benefits it delivers, the best exercise one can do. I like the following words I read recently written by a mature Athlete.
"Perhaps most important of all, we (older athletes) are strong willed and determined. For despite the growing reality of our nightmare (ageing), we continue to dream we can achieve as we have before".
For me it was all about the experience and my own personal philosophy, “Do it now for you do not know what is round the corner”. When I arrived in Boston it was surreal as I peered from the cab, I had left home on the beach in 29 degrees C and now it was MINUS 30 degrees C. You can’t imagine the cold unless you have lived there!
I met many fellow ergo enthusiasts! I met this American guy who I guessed was about 70 years…we spoke. He was 90 years old! His name is Robert Spenger. He achieved an 8mins 42 seconds 2k in the CBs. I met other legends like Paul Guest (Australia) and Madotto Francesco (Italy) both had competed against one another in previous Olympic Games. Both were now competing against one another in the 75-79 age group, both were well over 6ft and looked so strong! You may have read about Paul in the previous C2 Newsletter.
When event day came I was just about recovered from the flight.
At the end of my race I didn’t know my time; I didn’t really care because I had done what I set out to do, my best. My time of 7:56 was a “recent PB”. I was a bit younger when I did a 7:32. I stayed to cheer on Sam Loch (Aus) as he valiantly battled Cuban rower Angel Fournier Rodriguez who won in a time of 5:45.9. By the last 500m, Fournier was showing 1:21, 1:20 and even some 1:19 splits. It was an exciting race!
If you have specific questions about my CBs experience please contact me, I hope in some small way my story will encourage you to have a go at your “event” no matter what, don’t put it off, because you never know what is round the corner.
Looking at the calendar there are a few events coming up? Why not give it a row!
Thanks for reading my story.
Best wishes, Ian Gibson