In October 2001 I started rowing, I trained hard, worked on my technique, hit the gym and worked with my crew and coach to make us as good as we could be.
In June 2002 we raced competitively, five times in four days, got promoted and won "blades" - something only ten per cent of rowers manage over their careers.
I was asked if I was happy with the achievement, I wasn't. All I had done was avoid disappointment.
We had trained to be better than those around us and the promotion and oar with my name on it on the clubhouse wall were the natural result of this.
Yesterday Lewis Hamilton won his first Formula One race. Grinding every other driver under his heel. First in qualifying, then in the first stint, then every time the safety car came out to remove the lead he had built up.
But the prevailing emotion after the victory sense was not surprise, it felt normal. Normal that this 22-year-old had dominated a field of the best drivers on the planet. A field of Grand Prix winners and former and world champions. Normal that this result pushed him eight points clear in the drivers' championship. Normal that he had done it in his sixth race in his first season in the sport.
In the press conference afterwards he was happy - of course - but calm. Collected. In control. Just like he has been in every race this season.
He has lost it once - a crash in Monaco - but he simply failed to notice this. And watching him four-wheel drift a car around this famous track, inches from the walls, to try and out-qualify his team mate (the double and reigning world champion) in a heavier car a few hours later was the thing that made me really sit up. In fact, it was the first thing in an F1 race that has got me out of my seat in the sport for a very long time.
He races the car, slides it drifts it, out-brakes men racing in their hundredth grand prix, holds his nerves under pressure as people with lighter cars ride his rear wing to try and pass and attack his team-mate's position.
And yet he remains a likeable, intelligent, good-looking, modest person. One who seems to take the sport and winning in his stride - simply because that's the way it's meant to be.
From the first time he stepped behind a wheel he has been the best on the track, and he has worked hard to stay there. This is normal. Why should F1 be any different?
It's just a shame he isn't four years older - to see him take on Schumacher in his pomp would have been a sight to behold.