Being a full time athlete, I didn’t really think I would get much out of Outward Bound. We are a committed, determined and disciplined bunch so what could I possibly learn from OB? I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I didn’t know everything.
I realised that what might be best for my outcome, could possibly not be the best for the team. I saw how selfish I could be and how this impacted the overall effort of the team. I also learnt that being a leader requires more than just being good at a sport.
It is great now seeing how I have changed, as I now look at the wider picture and can see the results in action. What has driven to me to where I am now is my will to win. The feeling of under performing hurts and knowing I could of done something better wills me on to get a better result next time. I'm always searching for the perfect stroke and race. There were numerous occasions where I pushed off the pontoon, doubting that I would be able to finish a tremendously hard training session. Not doubt, two or so hours later I would pull back up to the pontoon, having completed it. Having been taught this lesson on many occasions, I now go onto the water believing anything is possible.
Today I still get taken back by how far I have come, from the scrawny 13 year old that was first introduced to rowing. We never won anything and I failed to make crew selections. We didn’t know how to row, but I still enjoyed it. That enjoyment has stayed with me right up to now, having achieved multiple World Championships medals and an Olympic Bronze medal. Persistence has been a key factor through my journey - which has yet to finish. These values that have been with me throughout my career are all shared by the Outward Bound experience.