**Slight disclaimer*** This post is raw, unedited, and was completed a few hours post my race at the world championships that did not go according to plan.
How to put into words the tumult of emotions, the disappointment, frustration, anguish, and knowledge that you completely screwed up an important four minutes of your life, but also knowing that you left it all out there on the track, and had to be caught by support staff because your legs could not hold you up at the end of your race. In a sentence – I went out too fast, cooked myself, and literally died in the butt – the glutes and legs were made of lead after about 7 out of 12 laps. Not the best position to be in. And so ends the bid to compete at the Rio Paralympics. My teammates Alex and Sue road brilliant finals – both PB’ing at sea level, and taking out silver and bronze respectively. While my heart aches that I will not be in the green and gold in Rio, I am sending them the biggest of speedy/kick butt vibes when they step up in September. So where to now – jolly good question. TBA. Maybe a few adventures that you don’t do get to do when you are in elite athlete mode – some mountainbiking, rock climbing, cycling without numbers/specific sets, and naturally, finish off the PhD. And then begin focusing on the 2017 World Championships where I will not make the same mistake twice, and walk away with my head held high and proud with what I achieve.
The past few hours I have been bouncing between being happy for teammates who perform well, to trying to hold back the tears by staring at the roof of the velodrome. Having a voice in your head saying, ‘this is completely normal to feel this way – it would be weird not too. You have put your heart and soul into your training, into the journey up until this point, and into the race. Your emotion shows that you care. Caring bloody hurts though. And unfortunately gelato, even Italian gelato, does not help ease that hurt. Admittedly, it does taste damn amazing. I think the main thing that helps, apart from a few deep breaths, is a big/massive hug from those who love you. Count down is on till the return to Aus then!
Within this current rollercoaster of emotions, you feel like have let all the people who supported you down. There is the desire to say sorry – I did not deliver the goods on the day. Yep, I realise I got to compete in the Green and Gold at the World Championships – second biggest competition in the world behind the Paralympics. Came 8th in the world. Pretty massive achievement. However, typical athlete and never satisfied, especially when you know you can go faster if you had of raced your pursuit differently. Switching from negative to positive again, it has been a massive, massive learning experience. And I know that I will never cook myself at the start the same way again in an Individual Pursuit! Will get back to you all when I have some more hindsight and more learnings from today.
Until next time,
Ride with a smile, ride with a purpose, ride in the moment,