As a pro triathlete, Facebook and Twitter are part and parcel to everyday life. I guess they are part of everyone’s life now. We all have our fair share of idiots we accept as friends on Facebook. People that disagree with every opinion you have, people that abuse your real friends’ opinions and the porn followers who think my name is a stage name. It’s just a fact of life. One thing that bugs the living hell out of me is ‘Pro Envy’. As a hard working -sometimes injured – triathlete I sometimes (rarely actually) post that I am tired, or skint, or pissed off …whatever – fairly common emotions for a toiler I would say. I immediately get cross feedback, from age group athletes who envy my talent, job, lack of money …who would give their Ferrari and mansion for the life I have. Everyone wants to be capable of winning a World Championship Triathlon.
Whilst in the pool this morning – swimming my normal 6km- I had an idea. I will write a week of how my life was as a young, ‘talented’ athlete, which got me to where I am now. This is not in any way a complaint against my childhood, my career or my life story. It is a factual account of a typical week in my summer at the age of 14. It is not an exceptional week – I will get round to the 120,000 m swim weeks in time. I have an unloaded question for you…..is this talent? Do you understand what it took then and takes now to be a pro? If you would give your life now to be a pro, why didn’t you give your Friday night disco then?
Harsh ? Maybe, but I grew up to be harsh…..this is why
4.47am Wake up
5.30am-7.15am 7km swim
7.30am Catch bus to school but get off 2 miles earlyevery day in case I get to walk past Daniel – i like it but run the risk of being late.
12pm Cross country club – 4 mile run at lunchtime (me, my sister and the teacher)
5pm Mum arrives to pick us up from school
6pm-7pm Circuits , ropes, weights, running
7pm -8pm Swimming relays and sprints
5.30am- 7 km swim
11 am PE – chose gym to do some weights
6.30pm Track at Basildon 12 x 400m in 72– warm up 3 miles /drills/warm down
9pm – Home
5.30 – 7.30 Swim 7km
12pm X Country 4 miles
6.30-8pm Swim 5km
5.30am – 5km Swim
School Leave Early
Travel straight up to Leeds for Senior Nationals 1996 (takes 3 hours+)
Mum drives home as she has work the next day. Sort myself out from here
Swim 4km in race pool
Nationals ASA Swimming Championships 1996
Warm up 3km
Sleep 3 hours
1st Senior Nationals 400IM 4.57 LC
Drive to Sheffield with Dad (An hour away)
English Schools Track Champs- under 17
3000m – 1st 9.43
Travel back to Leeds sleep in hotel
National ASA Swim Champs
2nd 200 IM
3rd 200 fly
Travel back home
5.30 am – Swim 7km
Notes :-need to get ready for European Juniors and International Schools 3000m Champs Mike pleased with 400 IM title not with 200 IM as not a PB. Must work harder. Feel tired this AM. Announced in assembly – heels so clicky walking up very embarrassing. Exams this week, coursework due Friday.
So there it is. I had a lot of fun, a lot of experiences, lots of travel, lots of work at a young age. I would not change my past for the earth but it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea- people that were just as capable as me gave it up pretty quickly. I’m just trying to say that the time I invested from the age of 11 is why I am who I am now. I get tired- so let me moan a little. I think I have investment enough energy and time to justify it.