The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2013/14 has begun! We're now 48 hours into the race and we're lying in third place so far. Its early days but we've had a good start and above all, it's an amazing feeling to finally be out in the Atlantic after two years of preparation and training.
This Christmas, I won't be eating turkey with my family, unwrapping presents and watching panto. I'll be eating dehydrated power food, wrestling with an oar, and watching nothing but the endless waves of the Atlantic ocean.
It's my fourth week back training, in what is a forty nine week campaign. Last season ended at the start of September with a fifth place in the GB men's four at the World Rowing Championships, a respectable but not electrifying end to the season...
Henley is tribal; hence the colours, the blazers and gatherings. Racing is pure, mano a mano, arousing passionate displays of support. The crowd is perceived as posh but that's mainly a judgement on the traditional style.
Being part of a successful and competitive team means the biggest challenge is not when we perform on the international stage, but to be selected. As such, each day is a chance to impress the coaching team, each day is a chance to become an Olympic medallist.
We are preparing to become the first all-female crew to row the 180 kilometres from Oxford to London for charity. This will take place over three full days between 23 and 26 June and will result in catastrophic muscle ache, innumerable hand blisters and, to put it bluntly, numb bums!
For those of you who don't know me, I am best defined as a Feminist on the Rampage. Out to root out sexism in every corner of the planet I find it, woman-on-a-mission style. But I fully, wholeheartedly support the Women's Naked calendar. Let me tell you why.