(Prepare for a very soppy blog!)
As the 2016 season draws to a close, I have time to step back and look at my achievements this year, and that is when it hits me just how far I have come.
Only 2 years ago I was terrified of the bike. After 6 years of competing in the children's triathlons, and many crashes on my bike, self-esteem issues, and being bullied within the sport, I hung my triathlon shoes (and helmet!) up and didn't touch my bike for 2 years. It wasn't until Perry came along and convinced me to start triathlons again that I actually washed the cobwebs of my bike and used it.
Now 2 years later, I am the British Sprint-Distance Triathlon Champion, National Aquathlon Champion, third medallist in the British Standard-Distance Triathlon, 3rd in the European Aquathlon Championships and 5th in the European Triathlon Championships! And all achieved in one year!!!
It hasn't been an easy ride - Perry and my parents have had to put up with my roller-coaster of moods, and have had to pull me out of my multiple periods of confidence issues throughout the 2 years, but their support has never wavered. It has been 2 years full of both physical and mental training. I even think that without their help and understanding, I wouldn't have the guts be writing this for all the world to see. I had never really told people about how my experience in the children's triathlons had effected me so much until about 6 months ago - since then, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I can finally move on properly.
However, without Pedal Potential and Sovereign Play Equipment helping me HUGELY for 2 years, I wouldn't have been able to move on and become the Triathlete I am today. Triathlons is a very experience sport as you have to essentially pay for 3 separate sports! Pedal Potential and Sovereign Play Equipment have helped to lift this burden off my parents, and also myself. It has always been a nagging thought for years that they work so hard for me and never think about themselves, so to have the help of these two companies has eased my mind immensely.
And of course, my biggest supporters: my parents. They haven't just been my supporters for the 8 years that I have competed in Triathlons, but they have supported me from the minute I was born. From helping me take my first steps, to teaching me how to swim, to travelling every corner of the world taking me to competitions, their support and help has crafted me into the Triathlete that I am now. There isn't enough words in the dictionary to explain my love for them, but I'm hoping that I show them every time I race for them.
If you had asked the 13 year old me who stopped competing in triathlons that I would have all of these achievements in one year, I probably would have laughed in your face. But now I believe that anything can happen...