Sunday, 23 September 2007

From Coast to Coast...

What a week, what a season, what a year... and it all finished with a huge great slab of chocolate cake to celebrate qualifying for the World Championships in Vancouver 2008. I've had such a great season that I truly didn't think it could get any better after I got Bronze in my age group in the National Middle distance race The Vitruvian, and here I am two weeks later wondering how on earth Tom and I are going to afford the trip of a lifetime for me to represent Great Britain in Vancouver in June next year!

When I went to race Bala last weekend, I didn't think for a second that I had a chance. I'd done The Vitruvian the week before and knew I would still be fatigued from that and I had the onset of tendonitis in my right ankle so my race plan was to just nail the bike regardless of the consequences when I hit the run. Then we saw that I actually raced quite well and since last Sunday Tom and I have spent the rest of the week stalking the British Triathlon website and am convinced between us we've made it the most popular site in the whole world after the number of hits it must have had trying to see if I had qualified or not.

By the time Friday came and there was still no change I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to wait until Monday to start the stalking all over again (it's actually quite tiring all of this stalking malarky!) So our plans this weekend revolved around someone elses achievements for once and it made a for a fantastic weekend and a great change to water, bicycles and trainers. Tom's step dad Ray has taken on the phenomenal challenge of walking The Coast to Coast over 15 days (200 miles across the country from West to East starting at St Bees and finishing next Friday in Robin Hoods Bay.) Yesterday, me, Tom and his mum Yve all travelled round most of the back roads of Cumbria to see Ray in Reeth at the end of his eighth day. What was so lovely about seeing him was he actually couldn't contain how much he was enjoying his challenge, the joy was actually pouring out of his face. It was in his huge ear to ear grin and danced in the sparkle in his eyes as he told us about the things he'd seen with his two walking pals Vic and Mary. His elation was infectious and it made me want to cry because he was living his dream, something he's wanted to do for many years and now he's doing it and he doesn't want it to end. What I witnessed in Ray was pure sunshine, a high that no drug could touch and here he was sharing that with his wife and Tom and me and it really made me think about what achievement means to people and the people that want to share it with you. I talked to Tom a lot about it today as I realised that I think I try and box away my achievements thinking I'm not really worthy of enjoying them or that I've stumbled on them by default. I'm under no illusion that I'm going to win or even medal at the Worlds (and that's not a negative comment just a very honest one) but I'm over the moon that I have the opportunity to go and after being touched by Ray's sunshine I'm not going to hide that I'm excited and proud and when I run down the finish chute in Vancouver with the Honorary Southern's flag in my hand, a GB kit on my back and the people who love and support me by my side then I too will grin from ear to ear and hide nothing from those who've come to see me enjoy a race I never in my wildest dreams imagined I could race in.

"Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit. " Conrad Hilton

Life is great :)

H. x


Debra said...

May I be the first and by no means the last to congratulate you on you Vancouver place, well done you!! And there were we looking at whether we could afford a few days to Frankfurt, think Vancouver may be a little beyond the purse strings at the minute, shame!! Tis a beautiful city

Khara Mills said...

Wow, oh my god H, you should be screaming this achievement from the roof top girl! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! That's totally amazing and I'm sitting here in tears having read your blog. This has clearly been an amazing year for you and you deserve every bit of the success as you've put in all the hard work. Khara xxxxx

H said...

Debra and Khara,

Thanks for your messages. As you can imagine I'm over the moon and really looking forward to another amazing year of adventures! Hope you're both fit and well. I'm trying the ankle out tonight so maybe I'll see you both at run club?


Jevon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jevon said...

Fantastic... so well done. Am even more proud than ever to be British knowing that you're representing us over there. Race hard and enjoy.

H said...

Cheers Jevon,

Hope all is well with you and your training?

I'm still suffering from tendonitis annoyingly so feel a bit out of sorts not being able to run :(

H. x