Today I think I began to comprehend the true importance of goals, of having something to work towards, of inspiration.

I’m a cox, so in my squad this means I’m a bit of an in-between to the coach and my squad. And one of the struggles recently has been a lack of aspiration. The girls were asked to set themselves goals for rowing, which mostly they did. Only problem was, the goal was to get to a point in the squad, but not to achieve anything with that, not to medal, not to qualify for a certain race. So what happens when there are eight girls who’ve achieved their goal, and only one wants more from it?

Rowing isn’t an easy sport, and it is pretty tough to get through winter training, through ergos where you have to push yourself to the point of throwing up, through the physical and emotional torture (before you wonder what kind of sport is it, it is rewarding), and anyone who can without goals is inhuman. When you are at the point of giving up, you need a reason to continue.

And we solved this struggle the other day, as a squad. But only today did I set myself any specific goals. When I’m wondering whether to quit, whether the sacrifices are worth it, I hope I have the answer now. Because I want to get to Worlds. My coach says it’s feasible, so the first step is to believe him.

Because that’s another thing about goals, they can make you or brake you. Confidence is pretty low in my generation, and having a goal is giving me that little bit more confidence to push myself and take the risk. But it doesn’t always work. So if it goes wrong, you have to keep sight of that goal and try again. And that is so hard.

Even if your goal is just to make it out of bed every day, I applaud you. Goals give back that little spark you lose when you lose a loved one. The goal to just get out of bed in the morning is the only reason I’m here now.

I’ve lost two grandparents, and although I will never get over them, that goal kept me going when I didn’t know what to do. See where that’s gotten me? I now have a goal to compete at an international event. Maybe I’ll never achieve that, but I can try.

Never give up on your goals, because one day you’ll look back and be glad.




dedication, motivation and determination.

as a tiny one, I was always told

‘There’s no such word as can’t’ – Grandpa Hughes

When we lost Grandpa, a few years ago now, they had this engraved on a plaque, which they stuck on the wall above his bench at the local RDA charity. Pretty cool guy huh? His motto was put up to help all the disabled children when he wasn’t there.

This man, his life and his motto help me through life every single day. Now life isn’t simple on my end of the stick, but it’s a lucky one and I’m so grateful but I digress, but this motto gets me through every single hardship there is. Accompanied with ‘If you don’t have time, make time’ and I’m sorted. This is me now

I resolved years ago to let my Grandpa’s mottos become mine, because I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Every time I feel like giving up, I tell myself ‘There’s no such word as can’t’ and on I go again.

My Grandpa had an iron will, if he put his mind to it, he did it. No ifs, no buts. It would be done. And I try to do that too, be a bit like him. You don’t want to trifle with us Hughesies, we are those of the iron wills, but that’s a story for another day.

What I’m trying to say, is that to me, determination, dedication and motivation are so important in life ( and that’s why). I mean without them, nobody would get anywhere really.

Today, I got up at six o’clock (not early but…) in some pretty miserable whether (was it snowing? No. Was it raining? No. What was it doing? Somewhere between the two…) and put on 9 layers of clothing to go rowing in the minus degrees. Rowing isn’t an easy sport, nor is riding, and it’s not something for the faint hearted either. Or the squeamish… But the dedication shown by my crew is top notch. And I don’t mean to blow my own recorder (because I don’t have a trumpet) I’d like to say mine is too.

Now how I could do this without motivation, determination and dedication I don’t know. But I don’t need to, because as long as I remember my Grandpa, I’ll have all three. And that’ll be forever.

this one’s for you Grandpa x