2014 - the Season I Used to Dream of

I still remember the excitement before Kitzbühel – before my first ever Senior Elite Championship race, before my first ever Olympic Distance race, and my first race after exams. It was the race that had kept me sane through exam season, the “light at the end of the tunnel”. I wasn’t nervous; I was just damn excited to be on the start line! I remember making fun in my head of people taking photos of me before the race – like when I set up transition or was warming up. Why would anyone care about what I do? It’s not like I was going to end up in any contention for the win…

But then it all came slightly different than I had expected. On the run, I was suddenly starting to overtake people. And then I crossed the line in second place. I was shocked, overwhelmed and extremely happy all at the same time and just wanted to sit in a corner and cry. Did that really just happen to me?

edmonton-u23women--web-msj 23  mediumIt’s been a season that I’ll never forget. There have been so many new things to do and see for me. I felt privileged to stand at every single start line that I stood on, and yet I managed to keep up with some of the best – and that still takes me by surprise every time. I have also learnt a hell of a lot about myself this season and noticed areas that I want to improve on, that I want to work on; and ever since I noticed them, I’ve been looking forward to winter to work on them. There’s been a strange excitement for winter training in me for a while now. The thought of working on the things that have held me back in some races this year excites me, and hopefully I’ll “come back” a better athlete than I was this year.

One thing that I also have to mention about this year is how amazing all the experiences have been. I’ve met so many new people – great athletes (who were extremely nice, friendly and welcoming people at the same time!) and have been allowed to travel to so many exciting places. But the greatest thing of all was how welcome all the other athletes have made me feel – the little girl that still sometimes wonders how people have come to know her.

I’m now back home after my the first term back in Oxford, back to student life – in a new house, living with new people (all of them athletes) and with fresh motivation to work hard academically and physically. As I’ve said, I’m excited for the winter, excited to do some XC racing for the University and going back to a “normal” life for a while – hiding in Oxford working and training.

Since the official end of the triathlon season, I have also done a few cross country races for Oxford – which I have loved as every year – and I even managed to win the British Universities Duathlon Championships! After my university term finished, I was then off to Fuerteventura for two great weeks in the sun with the lovely people on the Austrian Triathlon team. Lots of laughter later and with tired legs and arms, I was then back for Christmas, enjoying some calm days with the family.

Now it’s time to say bye to 2014, a year that still makes me shake my head and smile when I think back on it. 

This is also probably a good place to say a massive thank you to everyone who made 2014 the year it was:

  • To my family for enduring me in my best and worst moods, for always standing by my side and helping me making seemingly impossible things possible.
  • To my coach Roland for all his belief, the time and effort he puts into me and for always helping me to make the right decisions for me.
  • To my boyfriend, for standing by my side, no matter what form I’m in, and always helping me to make life that little more fun.
  • To all my sponsors and supporters for being there, for believing in me even when I was in doubt and for always knowing how to put a smile on my face.
  • To every single one of you, for all the lovely messages I have received and the support I have felt – during the race or otherwise!

Here’s to 2015, to whatever the year will throw at us, may all your wishes come true and may we seize all the opportunities 2015 throws at us and make a mark for the right reasons!

© Sophia Saller 2016. All rights reserved. Impressum