Just last week i had the added privelige of me top pal Bomma (his nickname as when he was youngster he could not pronounce his real name Tom correctly) come and visit for a couple of nights. He managed to fit me into his schedule in between a wedding and 60th birthday he had traveled to europe for with his danish girlfriend. Bomma and i first met in 2003 when we rowed and won the under 23 worlds together. I dont know if it was the 20 pints following the selection trials that year or just we were destined to be good mates but in real aussie fashion we struck off a great friendship and one which i cherish greatly. In 2003 we trained in perth which is bommas home town and i consequently spent alot of time at his joint. In 2005 bom decided to come down to tassie to hang out with me and ended up staying for 5months. In 2006 it was my turn again to train in perth and therefore another 2month stint at his place and in 2008 bom was training for the nice ironman and decided that 2months in varese in northern italy with me was the best place for him to prepare and it was again my turn to accomodate him. Therefore over the years we have spent alot of time together and i can honestly say never had a glitch. I reakon this is a pretty good sign of a friendship.
This has led me in the last couple of days to reflect on the important things i have learnt from bom. Firstly bom was the first to encourage me at the time to have a look at cycling in 2007. Cant be that hard and how much much suffering for that long on bike everyday he told me, and with that belief i embarked on the journey that has led me to where i am now. I have had to reinterate to him on numerous occasion the sport is perhaps a little harder than we pigioned holed it 3 years ago. Secondly he really pushed me to take on challenges. Being a person that loves structure and set perametors and goals in my sporting endevours crazy challanges where never part of my routine. These have included a range of things from 8hr cross training sessions, to seeing how many beers you can consume in one go with his giant funnel, 4 being my record and perhaps our most daring challenge, riding from hobart to lake barrington. With Boms back calling an early end to his rowing career his forays into fitness, or witness the fitness as he likes to call them have become more speratic. This means that whenever we get together boms tends to put himself though alot of suffering but he always seems to enjoy it. Jess gets a little mad with me when he arrives home barely able to stand each day but i assure her he would not have it any other way. And i reakon this appitimises bom, he is happy to suffer to hang out with his mate, and this is pretty cool as you know he is a bloke you would want in the trenches with you.
Anyway back to the ride to barrington. This was in 2006 and the rowing nationals were being held at lake barrington and i had recently had hip surgery and despite my protest that i was ready to race the national selectors would not let me race until the final sunday in the interstate regatta. This annoyed bom as much as me as he was living with me at the time so he decided that the best way to show them i was fit and ready to row was to ride the 300km to lake barrington. Simple enough we thought, only 10hrs ish at 30kmph so off we setthe day before the regatta started. The ride was not so bad, a little challenging at times and bom started to suffer pretty bad about 60km in a town called deloraine. This town is now affectionately know as Bommerspain among the rowing community following his recital of the suffering he was experiencing. For me it was not so bad and to be honest i arrivied feeling pretty good, it was the first indicator that perhaps cycling may suit me. Enjoying 10hrs on a bike with kost of it riding into a howling northerly of the Bass Straight is probably not somthing many would enjoy but i did. So upon arriving and bom and i thought the point had been made and i would get to race afterall, we were simply told how stupid we were and that i was still not allowed to race until the following weekend. Anyway we did not think it was stupid and like with all challenges had opened up a new range of what to judge a long day on the bike on. For the record i finally got to race on the sunday in the interstate regatta and we won the lightweight four for the Penrith cup for a record 8th consecutive year so i felt i had earnt the right to travel home in the car. I would have ridded but it was late in the afternoon and had some celebrating to do and bom had also decided that riding the mt wellington time trial the following morning was the best way to recover from the rowing regatta. So after a nice night out i was up early to go up the mountain as fast as possible. By this stage i had not ridden the bike for the 10days of the regatta, somthing i would consider unthinkable these days before a cycling race, but this was different, this was another of boms challenges only this time he followed in the car yelling out the window. It was another painfull day and although from memory i went ok, i dont think i rode my bike for a while afterwards! This is a pretty good example of how most of our time is spent together. Infact even in his two days here bom decided it would be a good idea to do a bit of a fitness test on the Col de Madone, Lances test climb. His idea was i would ride up it flat out and he would follow on the scooter. This would give him a chance to do two things he greatly enjoys, looking at a bloody good view over the mediteranian, and watching me suffer. Again for the record i did suffer and averaged 420watts for the climb so despite suffering was nice to see the giro had given me some good condition.
This final thing i will touch on that bom instilled on me is if it aint worth the exercise to burn off then it aint worth eating. This came about when i was keen to go to macdonalds following the rowing world cup in lucerne switzerland in 2003, bom quickly laid down the law and said in a foreign country under no cirumstances would i be dining in mcdonalds. If you want a burger we will get a proper one at the pub and wash it down with a pint, cant get a pint in mcdonalds he said so i guess you can argue with that logic. These food lessons evolved continued whenever bom felt i was not paying the correct attention to me diet. As a have showed before, it is not so much the food thats the issue, just where you get it, and also the experience you have from eating it in that place. This has ultimately led me to be terribly fussy about where and what i eat. Not even breakfast escapes scrutiny and Jess gets a little stroppy with me as it often causes me to think way to much about whats on the menue or be to fussy about the restaurant or quality of food we buy. I simply cant eat a meal i am not really stoked about, It all boils back however to the simple principle that if you are going to eat it, it has to be worth the effort required to burn of the calories. Therefore i can eat as much pavlova or toblorone cheese cake as i like, just means a little longer on the bike the day after. On the contrary if i dont feel like doing much exercise i know the has to fit the bill for this, therefore this what most would seem a silly little rule bom decided to instill in me like gospel, has actually become pretty usefull in my current chosen endevours where nutrition truly is the fuel that keeps you going!
So thats a little snap shot of bom and the time we have had over the years. I would like to think i have also taught him a thing or two but he would have to tell you about that. What him coming to stay did really make me reflect on how lucky we are to have mates, and specially those that a you grow up with and help guide you into the person you become, usually positive guidence i hope! I am sure in the years to come we will do plenty of other silly things and no doubt learn alot more from each other and i look forward to that. Also maby some of these little stories give a bit of an insight into the way i go about things and the person i have become. So i guess what i am really trying to say is look after your friendships and never take them for granted.
cameron james wurf