Maybury steps into the unknown
Greg Maybury took part in the Team Bermuda fitness combine for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup over the weekend. This is his account of what the day was like.
I think it's only normal to be nervous when you venture into something that's entirely new to you. While fitness testing wouldn't be a foreign concept to the athletes in attendance on Saturday morning, the possibility of earning a place in Bermuda's Red Bull Youth America's Cup team was enough to bring about anxiety.
From the moment you begin check-in, it becomes obvious that this isn't your average training session. I was asked immediately if I had eaten that morning before I filled out multiple forms and waivers in front of several cameras. Five staff members were needed to carry out this process for us, and while I appreciated their well wishes, there comes a point where “good luck” sounds more concerning than encouraging.
The actual fitness aspect seemed to race by in a blur. We were escorted from the Clock Tower Mall to one of the old machine shop buildings, now repurposed to be as modern a gym as any on the Island. Warm-ups lasted two minutes before it was my group's turn to sprint and do pull-ups followed by push-ups. The session, up until this point, was no more taxing than a normal work out.
It was compounding this with the sailing-simulating ‘grinder' that gave us difficulty in lifting the water bottles we so desperately needed after. The machine was set to a high resistance and we weren't allowed to stop for a full minute. The resulting burn was like nothing you could naturally do to your arms through lifting or pushing.
Finally, we were challenged to tread water and swim both traditionally and under water.
This stage was not measured, but simply observed to ensure each person could survive in the sea despite extreme fatigue. Even though all four members in my group were able to complete this, there were no longer any questions as to the presence of life guards and ambulance personnel.
To my knowledge, the selection process has not yet begun, but I'd like to congratulate all the athletes who took part in the trials. It's a truly humbling experience to attempt a new sport, especially when you're accustomed to excelling in one that you already play.
Perhaps the author Jim Rohn said it best: “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
I think I speak for all of my peers when I say it would be an honour to represent Bermuda in such prestigious event and I wish the successful applicants all the best in competition.