I didn’t just wake up one day and think that the world would suddenly care about my rubbish attempts at being a triathlete.
After signing up for my first triathlon I kept it quiet for a few weeks, only telling Shane and Matilda.
But once I started training, it was clear that my hopelessness had the potential to be quite entertaining for my friends and family, who were probably bored by my incessant pictures of Matilda on Instagram anyway, so could do with a change. I decided to start a series of posts I dubbed ‘Triathlon Tuesdays’ because I am a big fan of alliteration and also super good at thinking up names of things.
I posted the first picture but had to edit my accompanying novel because Instagram didn’t want me to write more than 6 pages in a caption. The struggle continued a week later, posting week 2’s picture and 1200 word essay, at which point my exasperated sister suggested I start a blog. Week 3 rolled around and my sister’s only response to my beautifully coloured picture (see below) and accompanying diatribe was ‘START THE BLOG NOW’ and when your sister yells at you in capital letters you must obey.
Clearly the initial aim of the blog then, is to entertain you. But as I type, something more important has developed – my new main hope and goal is that I might inspire someone else to ‘have a go’. Because you deserve to have a go. Because you can have a go. Because, why not have a go?
My beautiful mum became a fantastic runner when I was about 8 years old. She won many long-distance races in her peak, even beating the actual real-life British Olympic representative in a 20 mile cross-country (aka trail) run that is etched into my brain forever (my sister and I met her as she ran into the oval where the race finished, and yelled to her that she was beating *insert name of arch rival here*, and ran beside her all the way to the finish line as proud as punch)
Many of the weekends I remember from my childhood revolve around going to one of Mum’s races: there’s the time we were at Framlingham cheering her on, and my little sister needed the loo really badly and eventually just had to go, but she was wearing gum boots so ended up with swimming pools around her little feet. Another time I clearly remember accompanying mum into the changing rooms after the race and being terrified of ALL THE NAKED LADIES. One race that has always been hard to talk about was when my sister and I were pushing another little girl around a roundabout at a playground near the finish line and her hair braid got caught on one of us and we ripped her hair out. And our Dads nearly got in a fight about it. Other memories involve the delicious home-made cakes that the various running groups would always be selling to raise funds at the races, which Dad would treat us with. There was this one cake made with treacle that you spread butter on, which was my favourite because I would lick the butter off first and get two goodies for the price of one… anyway, memories.
I don’t actually remember Mum starting her running career – in my head, she could always run. I guess I was too young to notice things like that. But she likes to tell the story of our neighbour, who inspired her to run with the groundbreaking suggestion that you don’t have to run fast. Such a simple, short sentence that for mum, opened up the possibility of going for a (slow) run. And gradually she want for two runs, and then 3. And she got better each time, as well as faster. To the point where she was running marathons, and her best time was 2hr59minutes, THAT IS 42.2KMS IN LESS THAN 3 HOURS, which is officially amazing for a short little lady that had two children.
So I know that something simple can change a person’s life. If you are prepared to take it easy on yourself and start slow. I hope that while you are reading this you are open to change, like my mum was over her cuppa and a natter with the neighbour. It might change your life!
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