The year 2016 and onwards

I realise it has been a while since the last one of these, in fact it has almost been a year. So I think a blog is definitely overdue and I thought my birthday would be a good time to get back into it… The lack of blogs is not really because of a lack of things happening in my life, more because I have always been waiting for some good news so this blog - which I inevitably had to write at some point – would have at least a slightly positive twist to it. I’m not sure if I will manage, but I will certainly do my best to try!

 

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I’ve never been good at admitting weakness, admitting that I was struggling and times were hard – I always thought that by not admitting to it, you made it easier for yourself to just get on with it and get through it. Now I think I was wrong and the last year has done a lot in showing me that. About a year ago, I had just recovered from injury number one last year and missed qualification for the Olympics at the first selection race. The injury had taken a lot out of me – not just physically but mostly mentally. But it wasn’t just the injury itself – surely, the injury in combination with the time pressure of the Olympic selection races coming up and my will to qualify (after I had a really solid winter of training) was stressful. There was more: My father had been diagnosed with cancer just after I won the U23 World Championships in 2014 and at the start of last year, his health was getting worse. I would travel back to London to see my family most weekend and it was always in the back of my head that this would probably the last chance my dad could see me at the Olympics. So the sport became more than just sport – I didn’t just want it to happen, it felt like I had to make it happen, so whenever something wasn’t going right, it really got to me. I was on the edge and so was the rest of my family – we didn’t really know what the future would hold, there was always hope left within us that it would just all turn out ok in the end, that dad would fully recover. But then every time we had built up some hope, it would be taken away from us again.

 

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All that just made me try to run head first through a wall when it came to training – I trained through injury pain that I should definitely not have trained through, trained harder in aquajogging and on the crosstrainer than I should have done and ended up just wrecking my body. In the WTS in Hamburg I then just had to admit to that… I was limping the 5k run and the only thing that got me over the finish line was my refusal to accept another DNF. When I got back to the Hotel room after that race, I cried uncontrollably for a while – I knew that I could not carry on like this, I had to take some time off to sort my body (and soul) out. I spent most of the summer at home in London with my family and a week cycling/hiking/swimming with my brother in the Bavarian Alps. That time was a wonderful gift that I’m actually extremely grateful for. And as the summer was coming to an end, my dad’s health took another turn for the worse and he passed away at the end of August. What followed was another tough time, which is made so much easier by going through it together with the rest of my family, and still there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dad. So much has changed in the past half year… I have grown up a lot and I have grown to be so grateful for all the people I do have in my life that provide me with so much love and laughter.

 

I have also found back my love for the sport of triathlon and winter training was going really well and I had a lot of fun racing cross countries and competing in swimming (and beating Cambridge in both Varsities along the way…). Recently I’ve managed to have an unlucky crash on my bike though, which has resulted in a bone bruise in my shin… So another few weeks off running for me – but unlike last year, there is no panicking, no running through pain and no time stress. Instead, I’ll make sure that the next time I get to race on the big stage, my body will be fully fit again and until then there is still a lot of strength training, cycling, swimming, aquajogging/crosstrainer and (soon again) running to be done.


So for now all that’s left to say is: Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realise those were the big things.

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