Local Lad Hopes for 2012 GB Team
Alan Sinclair is a local lad from the Black Isle. For the past year he has been based at Henley-on-Thames, a prestegious rowing club in Oxfordshire. Read on to hear about what he has been up to and his aspirations for the 2012 GB Team.
How did you get into rowing? It's not something most of us have ever tried!
My Dad was one of the founders of the Inverness Rowing Club and he brought me down a few times when I was younger. I wasn't hugely enthusiastic about it to begin with but after the first few races I found it incredibly exciting. There are so many things that happen in rowing that you never experience and appreciated until you've raced. And, like me, you'll probably find yourself addicted.
There must have been a point when you decided to dedicate a huge part of your life to rowing. How old were you? Was that hard to do?
I was 17 and had just moved to Aberdeen University. There was a group of athletes wanting to do serious training (roughly 12 sessions a week) and they had a meeting which I accidently turned up to. I signed up not thinking much about it and thought I could cope. I wouldn't recommend doing it that way as it meant for the first term I slept through every 9 o'clock lecture, despite that I loved it!!
A lot of us are not great at getting up in the morning in the morning, and we've heard that you get up at 6.50am every day. What's your secret?
6am it was in Aberdeen and there is not secret! I love my sleep and find it just as hard as most people do to get up in the morning. I've tried super loud alarms at the far side of the room, drinking loads of water before bed, leaving the curtains open...but unfortunately the only thing that really works is going to bed early.
How hard have you had to work to get where you are now?
Very. The longest time I have spent not training in the last 5 years is less than a week, it's not so much hard work as it becomes a habit and I get extremely restless if I haven't done any exercise.
What is the biggest sacrifice you have had to make to get where you are now?
Moving away from home, from friends and my girlfriend to go to Leander Club, where I now row. It's the best club in the country with more Olympic and World Championship medals than any club, in any sport, in the whole world. I needed to learn from the best if I want to be the best.
What would you be doing if rowing didn't exist?
I honestly couldn't say for certain although it's likely it'd be some other sport involving a lot of pain and speed, so something like cycling seems to fit quite nicely. Maybe that's an idea for after I win the Olympics in rowing! :-p
Do your friends treat you any differently now you are so successful?
Not at all. Most of my close friends are rowers themselves. They are all very proud of what I have done but it doesn't change anything. I still get teased about wearing Lycra!
Do you feel you have missed out on anything because you have spent so much time in a boat?
I've missed out on a lot of stuff - I pretty much don't have a social life and because of the time I've spent away from my hometown I've lost touch with most of my school friends. But the people I've met and become friends with because of rowing makes it all worthwhile.
Do you ever get bored of rowing?
To be honest, no. The training can get a bit monotonous and there will be days that are harder than others, but if a day comes when I get bored of doing what I do, I'll quit. You will not excel at anything in life that you don't enjoy.
What advice would you give to someone who has a dream or an ambition?
Consider all the lifestyle, financial and physical costs it will take to get there. If it's really worth it, you'll find a way to pay the price.
What is your dream?
To be at the Olympics in 2012 representing Great Britain.
What has been the highlight of your career so far? What would you most like to achieve?
So far, either winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Regatta or winning two golds at the Home International Regatta.