So my decision has been made, after going backwards and forwards with the same questions, have I seen it through? Am I enjoying this journey still? Is there more in me? I finally came to the decision that my career as a professional triathlete has come to an end.
A tough choice to make, but now it’s been made I know it’s the right one.
I have been at a cross roads with triathlon over the past few years and have often wondered if I was on the right path. It’s no secret that I have always struggled with the swim, both mentally and physically but I have never wanted to have any regrets and wanted to see how far I could push myself and how far I could go as a professional athlete in the Olympic ITU distance of triathlon.
And that question has been answered, I have achieved far more than I ever thought possible from when I transferred to the sport as just a naïve amateur fell runner back in 2009! A top 20 in the World Series rankings, 7th in Kitzbuhl World Series, a World Cup win, multiple European Cup podiums and a British Super Series title within triathlon. Not to mention my hidden strength I found in duathlon, winning the Worlds, Europeans and National titles along the way.
Maybe there was more in me and I have even toyed with the idea of stepping up to the longer half distance ironman, but ultimately my desire, fight and hunger for triathlon has gone. I now want to try other things, encounter new experiences where my days are not dictated by just swim, bike, run.
And so I find myself on a new path. A path that I am so excited about and where the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. About a month after making my decision an incredible job came up working for Barrie Wells, an entrepreneur and sports philanthropist who set up his own children’s charity - The Wells Sports Foundation. Barrie has also been my amazing sponsor from day 1, fully funding me on the 2009 ‘Trigold’ programme and has been a great friend and support ever since, even driving me to my wedding!
So ironically, 5 years ago I sat in Dalton Square, Lancaster with Barrie and his business partner Philippa Rothwell discussing my PBs and what I could bring to triathlon, then 5 years later I’m sat in the exact same room, this time dressed in a suit, discussing what I could bring to the role of development co-ordinator for the Foundation and in particular the initiative Box4Kids -which I highly recommend you look at www.wellssportsfoundation.org/Box-4-Kids !
Then there is the other part of me … my competitive drive has not completely gone … I feel completely satisfied in that I don’t want to do triathlon, but my passion for running, competing and pushing myself is still lurking around. So to keep myself a little bit sane from I thought I would just keep some run training going, I have set no goals other than to be healthy and happy, no pressure on myself. I therefore did not for one second expect to earn my first ever GB vest on the cross country!! And so will be of to Edinburgh in January as part of a strong GB team to compete in the Great Edinburgh Cross.
All that is left for me to say is a thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey, you know who you are and I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart for your belief, faith and patience with me. Triathlon is an incredible sport, full of so many wonderful people and I am so grateful for the experiences I have had, the people I have met, the places I have seen but mostly for the person I have become.
I hope you will continue to follow me as I plan to share more experiences about my new life as a working lady, the incredible charity I am developing, and a little bit of competition thrown in here and there!