Guest Post: Scott Frandsen – What Does Excellence Mean to You?

We subscribe to Scott’s blog.  He is a challenging thinker and being an expert pair rower often has insights into training and racing that we find helpful. The picture shows the top pairs from UK, NZ and Canada cooling down together at Luzern Regatta.

LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND - JULY 10:  Andrew Triggs...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Training has been going well since my last post and we are now less than a week away from racing at Canadian Champs. It is an important regatta for us but our focus through the fall has been training for a much bigger race next summer. We have essentially trained through it, keeping our volume up and only doing a week of race prep type work. It doesn’t make much sense to go through a full race preparation and taper cycle and break up a solid block of training at this point in the season. It has been interesting to see the different approaches in the lead up to the regatta and the differing priorities. Race pace comes back fairly quickly for Dave and I, but it will still be a regatta where we get better as the weekend goes on and we become more accustomed to racing. We travel to Ontario on Wednesday; racing begins Friday and finals are on Sunday.

We have had some amazing weather this fall on Elk Lake. This is usually my favorite time of year… paddling out to our meeting point in the mornings with the sun coming up looking out at all of the different colors in the trees. It definitely makes me grateful to be doing what I do.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field.” ~Vince Lombardi

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote ever since I saw it a few weeks ago. What does excellence mean to you? We all have our own interpretations of what defines excellence and the steps or mindset necessary to get to that elusive end-goal. I love watching people chase their version of this, whether it be in sport or music or art or whatever it is that inspires them to dedicate their lives to that solitary goal. I love watching the Olympics, or any other elite athletic competition. I’ll watch any sort of playoff game or race (even baseball!) because those competitions are the pinnacle of what those athletes have trained for and waited their whole lives for. While I don’t watch them consistently, I’m a bit of a sucker for shows like ‘X-Factor’ or ‘American Idol’, simply because I love seeing that moment where people realize how good they are or that moment where they have to perform and they nail it. I love seeing people passionate about what they are doing and witnessing those defining experiences. Few people will ever challenge themselves enough to achieve something great, but those that do have the opportunity to be just that… great. Few people even know what it takes to get to that defining moment. The time commitment… the training and dedication… the unwavering and relentless pursuit of their goal.

Now, the disclaimer to what I’ve just written is that the majority of people don’t want that for themselves – they are perfectly happy with how they are and the lives that they are living. Most people aren’t wired to need that focus and to push and push and push. Other things are more important to them, and that’s okay. But, hopefully without sounding too self-congratulatory, that is who I am… to my detriment sometimes. I alienate a lot of people in my life because they don’t appreciate that intensity or insistence on ‘walking the walk’ in every aspect of the pursuit of my goal. As I write that, I know that it sounds pretty robotic or ruthless… and it is lots of the time, but it is also a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding. And that is why I love this training environment so much – it is cut-throat and there is nowhere to hide. You are judged on who you are and what you do… every day, every week. You have to go out and earn the respect and trust of your teammates in everything that you do. There is something simple and pure to that. For me, a lot of the joy and satisfaction comes from the process and knowing that I’m doing everything I can to be the best that I can.

An example of a what I was writing about earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mElhT7V3bA

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