Monday, January 23, 2012

The Build-Up

"You don't know what a hard day's work is.
Wait till you get over here" - our pilot Heath

Heath no doubt will work us hard for out first race in Whistler in a little over a week.

But as far as I see it...the biggest challenge about bobsledding for Australia isn't doing nuts and bolts at minus twenty degrees, or competing against the world's best... it's about training back home on your own before the sun rises.

It's been two months since my last race in Calgary. Here in Canberra, I'm several thousand kilometres from my Lucas and Gareth in Perth, and a good day's worth of air-travel from our pilot Heath in Canada. Self motivation is the key, the desire to get back and race.. and improve.

Regardless, I'm still not used to my alarm ringing at 6am most mornings. Every horrific honk makes me question my will to live.

But when it does go off, I simply ask myself, "Do you want to compete at the Olympics? If not.. go to sleep. If you do, get up now".

I think everyone has these sleep debates, I'm just not used to them quite so early.

When you work full-time... 6am is the only time to train.

It's certainly given me a new found appreciation for all athletes. You have to sacrifice alot, fortunately so far, all I've had to sacrifice is sleep.

With motivation though, the harsh realities of training hard while working in a career job seem to not worry you so much. And we've had plenty to be motivated for.

The next stop

The World Cup and the World Championships... they are the next competitions. In a week we will race the World Cup in Whistler... followed by the world cup in Calgary. Then we head to Lake Placid for the World Championships.

It's exciting, but I haven't been totally thrilled with the weather over there recently..

It's a busy schedule ahead. No doubt it will be physically challenging, but from what I hear out west, Lucas and Gareth have been pushing themselves (and a bobsled on wheels) to improve. Heath has declared he's been 'training the house down' on numerous occasions For my part, I've worked hard at putting on weight and can proudly declare I've gained a few kilos (not christmas ones) since the last trip to North America.

The sleds have made their way across to Whistler...

Our team mascot wouldn't miss the journey...

Jamooli, our biggest fan...
It's been an exciting build up over the last few weeks, with a bit of media interest in the form of my own network, ABC, and some print media as well.

Alongside that, the support from our sponsor Energy Watch, as well as from our family and friends has been fantastic.

I hope you can follow along over the next few weeks as the myself and the team prepare for our biggest test as we go up against the best in the world for the first time.

It will be great to see our hard work put into action and there's no doubt we're all champing at the bit to see how we compare. Whatever happens, it'll be another great learning curve in our overall build-up to Sochi 2014.

I'll leave you with a shot of my old jumping shoes, lying in readyiness on my training oval a few hundred metres from home.. It's the last place people expect someone to train for bobsleigh.

Till next time, keep feeling the rhythm!


  1. I'll be following you, Ben. Have a family member who does the skellie thing, so know how hard you guys work.

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