One of the comments on my last blog came from nick2012. I think what he is asking is, why do we have to judge ourselves on Olympic medals? Are the Olympics over-hyped?
I tried to write a reply, but it turned into such a long post I thought it'd be easier to simply include it in a new entry.
So what do the Olympics mean to us? It's hard to know where to begin.
Our sport is totally organised into four-year cycles. Training principles, rowing technique, funding, organisation, coaches, priority boats, training camps, equipment and so many day-to-day necessities are reassessed and sorted out after the Olympics for the next cycle.
Athletes also define their lives by four-yearly cycles, and you know that everyone peaks at the Olympics. In other years, people are at different stages in their development but for the Olympics, for that fortnight every four years, every single elite athlete irrespective of sport is aiming to be at their best.
Everything that happens in the four years between Games is a stepping stones but after the Games there are no more steps to take: that particular journey will be over and a new one will begin.
There is no "next year"; after each Games, the slate is wiped clean. Steve Redgrave often said that he would gladly exchange all his World Championships medals for the Olympic one at the end of every four years, and this is what it boils down to - the Olympics is everything. Nothing else comes close.
So as nick2012 asks, why are the Olympics such a big deal compared to the World Championships?
In the rowing world, the World Championships is an annual regatta. Winning it (as I have done, in 2007) means you're the best in the world on that day, and that can call yourself a world champion.
It gives you a deep pride that you're the best in the world at what you do. The Olympics, however, go beyond sport, and therefore mean more.
Whereas the World Championships is a regatta; the Olympic Games are an epoch-defining event that touches the lives of everyone who competes, whether they come first, second or last.
I think it's because the Olympics are such a strange event - a bizarre cocktail of imperialism, politics, commercialism, culture, people and cities, with sport as its excuse.
So no, I don't think that the Olympics are over-hyped; which brings me on to the question of whether the achievement pales as the hype wears off.
I think we should be clear on one point: the Olympics is, in sporting terms, the most prestigious event to win, and athletes want to win the best events, not because of how the public views it but because they want to be the best.
Athletes aren't doing a job, or seeing out time, or making a career choice. We are here with the single purpose and driving need to win Olympic gold.
That is it: the single reason for the entire structure of British rowing to exist, and the single reason for me to get out of bed every day and get in my sculling boat.
We're not doing this because it's going to look good on our CVs, or because there are good pension rights, or there are opportunities for flexi-time (there aren't).
We're here because every one of us has decided at some point in our lives that we have a burning desire to see how good we can be at our sport. If you want a bunch of balanced, normal, stable people, then don't try the British Olympic team.
It's important to remember that other people view our careers, our achievements, our medals and our results very differently to how we do. Even the people closest to me, my friends and family, still don't quite appreciate how I relate to what happened to me in Beijing.
Of course, when I went to the Olympics I felt like I had the hopes of the country on my shoulders. There was an incredible feeling of will - so many people at home willing us to do well out in China.
But the reason I wanted to win that race was nothing to do with the mass public in Britain, or the rowing supporters in the grandstands, or even my friends and family, coaches and support staff.
I desperately wanted to win that race for myself. And I'd desperately wanted to win that race for myself for years and years before I had even been selected for the Olympic team, and probably long before I ever took up rowing.
Yes, there is a great degree of popular interest in the great sporting events that occur every few years, but the athletes at the coal face will be utterly selfish, arrogant and driven in their motives.
Once the "hype" has died down, will there be a feeling of emptiness? No. There will remain a deep, deep satisfaction that you reached the summit of sport.
And as for the Olympics being the defining moment of our lives, perhaps I phrased that wrongly. To the outside world, the Games are the reckoning of us as athletes.
Our success is judged by the number of Olympic medals we've won, and quite rightly so. But to us as people, of course there's more to life than sport. Anyone who knows me knows that rowing comes far down my list of priorities, behind family and friends, health and happiness.
Of course in 20 years time, when I look back at my rowing career, my Olympic regatta will be just one of many memories that I have.
If I'm asked to name the most memorable times in my sport, or the achievements of which I'm most proud, or the best times, or the worst times, the Olympic regatta will just rank as one fortnight amongst many that I've been a full-time professional athlete.
As people we don't pin our entire self-worth on the result of that fortnight; but as athletes we are here to perform and it's how we do at the Olympics which decides how successful we are.
I hope that's answered some questions. It's a tricky subject, because you'll find that every athlete is motivated slightly differently and reacts differently to success and failure.
Another member of the team would, I'm sure, give a different response to your post than what I've said. I can only give my point of view. Of course there's much more to life than an Olympic gold, but it's one of many paths to take through life and once you're on that path, the quest becomes all-consuming.
Annabel and her crew-mate this year, Anna Bebington, are next in action at the World Championships in Poznan, Poland from 23-30 August. Watch the finals live on BBC TV.