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There's a Lesson in every Challenge


08 Dec 2020 | Emma Benham

This past Sunday was the British Indoor Rowing Championships, which ordinarily are as much an anticipated social event for the rowing community as they are revered competition. This year the competing teams from around the world participated from their homes and clubs across the globe, and Kingsley tuned in from his home gym in Marlow. The competition is raced as a relay with four participants from each club taking part and, if someone can’t join due to poor wifi, yes that did happen, then the whole team is out, sorry USA! Fortunately, the British wifi stood up and Kingsley and his team went on to row a successful race narrowly losing out to the Israeli National team by a mere seven seconds. Kingsley also managed to secure himself a 1k personal best shaving 30 seconds off his previous time to clock in 3.50 minutes.

“The more I push myself in my training the more I see the reflection in my work.  If I am motivated in the boat, I am motivated at work.”

Always a lesson

As with every event, Kingsley saw the event as an opportunity to learn and grow as an athlete. In any machine-based rowing race the rowers themselves set the resistance on the machine. While it might seem easier to just set a low resistance, the weight of the rower and their technique plays a key role. As a heavyweight rower, Kingsley needs the resistance in order to get the power in each stroke, rowing fewer strokes each minute but travelling a greater distance with each one. “I am always analysing my technique. In this competition I noticed how I need to be more disciplined and row at a lower rate to keep the speed consistent, that’s what I took away.”

Back to it

The very next day Kingsley was back into balancing his intensive training regime and his day job, as a Tech blogger and coding tutor.  “There are many similarities between tutoring and rowing. The more I push myself in my training the more I see the reflection in my work.  If I am motivated in the boat, I am motivated at work.” While Kingsley’s training balances mind and body Kingsley himself admits his job as a blogger and tutor fulfil a different need and enable him to throw himself completely into something other than rowing. “When I am rowing there is no room for anything else, in my mind it is all about managing the pain barrier and trying to push it back, and ensure I am using the right muscles. I have no space for anything else. The coding work, however enables me to use my mind in a different way and, I really feel the better and I am at one, the better I become at the other.” So it seems balance is needed in all elements of what Kingsley does; from setting the resistance and keeping a steady pace to managing the training of the mind with the training of the body. Although Kingsley always says;

The real training doesn’t start until you feel like you want to give up.”