Life sometimes has a harsh way of delivering you messages, but as they say, everything happens for a reason. Three weeks ago I was running along the forest trails of Flagstaff, Arizona, at a pace I had never dreamed of running with such ease at 7,000 feet of elevation, singing to the song “I have a good feeling”. I wanted to pump my fists in the air, jump up and down, but I kept my calm and ran, fluently, with a smile on my face. I was, in my opinion, in the shape of my life thus far. I had a race the following weekend, Ironman New York, which I was actually excited to be racing, for the first time since I could remember. Quite simply, I was happy. I have this strange link shared between my fitness level and running shape, and my happiness. Quite simply, running fast makes me happy.
Fast forward two weeks and my world had collapsed around me. Now you might think I am simply talking about the crash I had 100m from transition, or the fact that this crash ended my race prematurely whilst in 3rd place at the US Ironman Championship. Perhaps even the fact that my US season was over before it had even really started. Unfortunately I am not talking about this at all, I’ve faced a lot of adversity in my life, and feel that for the first time in my career thus far, I handled the disappointment with the most maturity I have ever shown towards such disappointment. Despite the fact that I had sustained a concussion, quite severe road rash, soft tissue injury, boney fractures and bruises, I had a much larger emotional issue to deal with, at the exact same time.
There is only so much one can deal with at once and so I must thank those that showed so much support and love to me at a time when I needed it most. To my coach, Brett Sutton, your combination of support, decision making on my behalf when I was incapable of doing so myself, and tough love to keep me grounded and thinking straight, has opened my eyes and taken me to an environment conducive to healing and recovery. To my family and friends for welcoming me home with so much love, I can’t tell you how much this has meant to me. To my sponsors who have been so supportive, thank you, I will return to full health and return your generosity, we have a long journey ahead. Finally to all my friends and supporters around the world for your kind words, messages, encouragement and support, this has shown me how many people really care about me, so thank you.
So whilst my crash in New York brought huge disappointment, despair and sadness to my life, it has also presented me with a new opportunity to reassess my life and my career. I will take this opportunity to be a better person, both on a personal and professional level, and move on to the new opportunities that life presents. At 28 years old, I am at a stage where I have plenty of years left in my chosen career as a professional triathlete, but am also at the perfect age to make changes, capitalize and make the most of my opportunities on Team TBB and working with Brett. Now back in Sydney I am also fortunate to have Matt Koorey on board to work with Brett and I on a local level, and so I welcome Matt to the “team” and thank him for walking into the train wreck! I look forward to “hurrying slowly” and make the promise to both you and Brett to listen and change my attitude to recovery.
So it’s time to move on, catch up with friends and family, and as my coach has instructed me, go sit on the beach and relax. Wow, how often does a coach tell you to do that
I’ll keep you all updated on my recovery and look forward to be back racing when my body and mind are ready. Oh, and of course when doc let’s me