Jan 23, 2022

Some of this story you have probably heard before but I’m going to tell it with a different mindset.

My journey into the fitness world started when I was at school, I loved sport and was in all the teams, I wasn’t the best but I was good enough to get into the teams. The particular sports I was really good at was badminton and trampolining. This love of sport continued into adulthood and at 21 I did my exercise to music course to become an aerobics instructor and then travelled to Australia for a year, where I taught some classes. On my return I decided to set up my own classes (as I had no job and no idea what I wanted to do) in step and aerobics, I got a little ford van to transport my steps to the venues and it was great fun, a lot of hard work advertising it and some heartache along the way but I loved it. This escalated to doing my personal training courses and where my love of weight training came from. I learnt olympic lifts, free weights and resistance machines but what I really learnt was how to weight train properly and I loved it and spent the next 20 years training most days. Until the age of 35 when I decided to try a triathlon……

Randomly, a client of mine was moving to Australia and left me her bike. So I thought why not try a triathlon. I had a couple of sports therapy clients who were triathletes and loved listening to their stories. I wanted to learn to swim properly as I didn’t even know you breathed out into the water (that story has definitely been told in another blog of mine), so this was the start of my love of triathlon, as I got pretty hooked on it from the start. I worked my way through the different distances as I wanted to develop rather than just dive into the long distance stuff (to be honest, I never thought I’d ever be that stupid as to do an ironman!) but that was where I ended up, in 2010 getting online as soon as Ironman Austria was about to open to book on, as they sell out fast! But I got in……

Then devastation…….. I decided to use my partner at the time’s private health to see what was wrong with my hip, as it had been niggling for years, all the time I was doing triathlon, it had started before triathlon, in my early 30’s with random giving way, so I just thought it was muscular. When he gave me the news that I had osteoarthritis in my right hip, that I basically had the hip of a 60 year old and I was only 39! That he could do nothing to help me and to retire from triathlon, well I was devastated! Triathlon was the love of my life! It was what made me so happy! I was distraught and I went into what I call the House Of Pain but it’s actually called The House Of Change!

I’d been in the contentment room when I got my blow that sent me going backwards and forwards from denial to confusion, I went into a depression of anger (as anger is my default), I destroyed my relationship (which to be fair wasn’t right anyway). I saw two other hip specialists and after an MRI and more bad news I took the advice of the final specialist, which was to carry on doing what I was doing until I couldn’t do it anymore. So I stepped out of the confusion room and into the renewal room with the mindset to get on with my life, I had an Ironman to do!!!

So that is what I did, I trained for my Ironman, doing minimal running to keep the hip under control and I went to Austria and I completed my first Ironman and I LOVED IT! So much I booked another one the following year which I managed to knock off 1 hour! I did do a couple of 70.3’s in Mallorca the following 2 years but my hip didn’t really get back to where it was pre Ironman’s and so I made the decision to retire from triathlon and train to become a triathlon coach. I still loved the sport and thought this was the best way to give back all my motivation, knowledge and enthusiasm for triathlon and still be involved in the sport. So in 2014 I became a BTA Level 2 Triathlon Coach and started working as a coach for TRI2O Triathlon Club with Clive Alderson, who unbeknown to him, was like a mentor to me. I learnt a lot from working a long side him on a Friday morning, as these courses only start you on the journey, you need to work a long side an experienced coach to really become a good coach. My next step in the journey was doing my BTA Level 2 Diploma course to be able to coach 1:1, again this highlighted to me how much I didn’t know and sent me onto the path of increasing my knowledge with loads and loads of reading and the more I learnt the better I was becoming and the more confident I felt and the more I was loving coaching by getting other athletes to achieve their goals. But I wanted more……….

Now I am on my BTA Level 3 High Performing Coaching Course and a whole new personal journey and a whole new way of coaching and a whole lot more book reading!!!!! It is this journey that has made me look back over my life and look at the hard times more positively. If I hadn’t of got the arthritis I might never of become a triathlon coach, a job I really love doing and am passionate about becoming the best coach I can be! I’m learning to look at the bad things life throws at you as a learning experience rather than get upset by them as how does being upset help, it doesn’t! Learn and move forwards! Everything I am learning and changing within myself is moving me further forwards to being a more high performing person (and I don’t mean physically, I mean mentally) and this is making me a more high performing coach.

I have been through a lot of pain, arthritis is very painful, lots of sleepless nights, more sleepless than slept, lots of private tears and lots of frustrations but I am still biking, swimming, I took up mountain biking and climbing a few years back, I cycled Lands End to John O’Groats and climbed the 3 peaks on the way totally unsupported and I was in agony every time I got off that bike but I was on it again the next day with a smile on my face. If one thing I have learnt from looking back over all this is how resilient I am, how determined to not let anything stop me doing the things I love doing and if this story can help you think more positively when things are not going well, to learn something from it, making it more positive then I am happy it has helped you because this is my intention!