I’m sure every one in life has people they don’t get on with. The people you try not to be left in the same room as for too long. There are very few people I actively dislike, I generally choose to ignore them and get on with life around them. There are quite a few people that I would’t choose to spend time with.
What happens though when one of these people offer you help? Especially when you need the help they’re offering?
The bowman is still training in a quad so I spent this morning out in a single. I’ve not been in a single for a long time and as I always am the first time out, was shaky at best. I spent a few miles paddling getting used to it again but wasn’t really getting anywhere. The problem is that I have never really been coached in a sculling boat. When at the end of a length one of the more irritating members of the club (also out in a single) suggested we did the next length together, my heart sank. I’d got used to working at my own rate. If I wanted to stop I could. If I wanted to go to arms only for a few strokes there was nobody to complain. Now I had to not only make small talk, but stay at steady state in a boat that wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do.
It is often said that the people you don’t get on with are the ones you can see yourself in. If this is true I apologise profusely to all who know me. This guy was one of those people who knows they are always right. There’s no point giving your opinion. If it differs from theirs it’s obviously wrong and if it doesn’t it serves no purpose other than to inflate their ego. They delight in being able to impart their knowledge to people and explain why they are doing things wrong and why the way they do it is the best.
The one place where this is a useful attribute is in coaching. I now had a voice beside me giving me a blow by blow account of why everything was going wrong in my boat. No detail was spared. If he thought he could find fault, he’d say. Possibly the only thing more annoying than this was the fact that it was useful. I needed someone outside the boat giving feedback and advising on technique. The things he said were things I need to work on. I spent the rest of the session begrudgingly going along with him and listening to what I was doing wrong and how he was a mighty fine sculler having been at Henley once. To add insult to injury the changes worked. It did start feeling better and by the end I wasn’t bouncing from one bank to the other with such regularity. I suppose I ought to be grateful.