I never thought I would do a triathlon, so here goes!
It is just under two weeks before the JLL triathlon, and the third year that my company have been involved. This year will have the best take up from Hemlow and for me it will be my biggest challenge yet.
My sport is cycling, normally mountain biking, so when we entered in 2017 I jumped at the chance to partake in the cycling relay as a safe way to get involved for Cancer Research, our nominated charity that year Being on a road bike was very different to mountain bike trails, but the 20km format meant I could give it my all in pursuit of a good time for my team.
2018 I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone and committed myself to the open water swim, something that terrified me, not being a strong swimmer, but I trained hard and overcame my fears for Click Sargent, our 2018 charity. Open water swimming will always daunt me, but it is definitely an adrenaline rush at the start.
Having conquered my fears in previous years in the other disciplines, this year I have decided to go all in and commit myself to taking part in the full triathlon. It feels like the time is right and in addition to this I am particularly motivated to raise money for this year’s charity, the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).
In my twenties I loved motor bikes, but following a major accident which landed me in hospital for over a month, a long recovery followed in which I spent a period of time in a wheelchair. In fact if the surgeon that carried out my surgery had not volunteered to work a double shift, I would not have a left leg now, and for that I am forever grateful. Although it was not my spinal cord that was affected I became much more aware of the frustrations faced by those with a spinal cord injury.
This second chance has been the catalyst for me to embrace sport and help raise funds so the SIA can continue their great work, but due to the nature of my injury I have always avoided running. Until I committed to this triathlon, I haven’t even tried to run for fifteen years.
I have been tentatively training without over doing my knee and can now confidently cover the 5k distance, the part I don’t fully understand yet is how difficult it will be after the 750m swim and 20km cycle.
I know that I wont be breaking any records this year, but feel equally excited and nervous for what will be my biggest sporting challenge – Here goes nothing!