quinta-feira, maio 15, 2008

Arlove gives it one last try

Arlove gives it one last try
15th May 2008, 8:15 WST
Catherine Arlove is going through hell for the Olympics and loving it.

Preparing for her third and final Olympics in Beijing in August at age 37, the judo exponent remembers when her body started punishing her.
It was ten years ago and Arlove had been fighting back to back judo bouts.
“I woke up and couldn’t move,” she says.
“Ever since then my body hasn’t been able to recover after competitions. I have to sit in the bath for three or four hours.”
Not that getting older is limiting. She just looks at it as another challenge.
“The level (of training) changes in the Olympic year, the planning is so much more intense, it’s so much harder,” she say.
“I often say it’s a relief when you make the Olympics... you start to get the excitement.”
“But in the back of my mind it’s hell, it’s absolute hell until the week before (the Games).”
It’s also hectic, with Arlove’s busy life offering little reprieve.
Around her Olympic training schedule she fits in her work as state director of the Victorian branch of the health group, Backinmotion, while also studying for a law degree and completing a masters degree in economics.
The work, she says, started as a bread-winning exercise, something to keep her afloat while she trained for her first passion, Judo.
But knee reconstruction surgery two years ago made Arlove re-evaluate her priorities and discover new ways of winning.
“We have 25 businesses in Victoria and we hope to have 100 across the country in five years,” she says.
Now her days are broken up into small parcels of time and it takes a few reschedules before this interview is done in the 30 minutes or so it takes for her to get from work to training (and she will catch up on office work when she gets home that night).
“I love doing judo and I love to learn,” she says.
“Perhaps that’s why I haven’t been able to get up to the number one position on the podium, because I haven’t been able to dedicate everything to judo.”
“And I’ve tried that and I ended up being a really terrible judo player.”
She says her crammed schedule would be impossible without the skills she’s learned in 20 years of competing in five minute judo bouts.
“All the skills I learn in sport I just apply to education, learning and career.”
“What we do (in judo) is you break the whole five minutes down into blocks. So you go moment to moment. You go ten seconds at a time.”
“To try and stay concentrated for a whole five minutes and to have that as a strategy is almost impossible.”
For Arlove, victory is only a small part of success. The sport is in the trying.
She says her performance at the 2000 Sydney Olympics is one of those moments that haunts her.
Eliminated in the second round of the tournament she says the spectacle of the event in her home country got to her and she says it wore down her ambition.
“Sydney - I didn’t throw everything in. I was overcome by the pressure, by nerves and I fought well below my level.”
“It was one of the worst losses I’ve ever had.”
Recovering from that setback, Arlove came fifth at the Athens Olympics.
“My theory about the Olympic Games is it’s the last man standing syndrome. The people who make it are the people who just don’t give up,” she says.
And her plan for doing it?
“Generally, you know you’ve got someone beaten when they hit the floor.”

FONTE (photo include): The West Australian - Perth,Western Australia,Australia

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