DERRY TRIATHLON CONQUERED
Yesterday morning my alarm went at 5.50am, I was tired and decided to lye on for another 10 minutes. My eyes opened and I looked at the clock, it was 7.10am "SHIT" - I need to get out of here. Thankfully I had the car packed from the night before, so quick change and on the road. I arrived in Derry at 8.30am and straight into registration which was very straight forward. At 9am i met up with Stephen Spielberg - well not the real one, but he is pretty talented in the film department. Lets call him Des. Des and I are working on a new documentary at present, and its very exciting. I cannot reveal too much but if we get the go ahead, which should be soon, then we will be making a really interesting thought provoking, informative film over the next nine months.
Back to the Tri preparation. I was all ready so we headed down to the transition to clock in and sort the final preparations. At 10.20am we were called to the foot of the River Foyle, where the race starter was preparing to blow the horn to start the event. Yesterdays TRI was a Sprint. That's a 750metre swim, 20km bike race and a 5 km run. There were almost 500 competitors there and with the weather staring to improve, I was really looking forward to the event.
The horn blasted and we were off. For any triathletes out there, the swim is usually the part of the event that most people are uncomfortable with. I was no different although I have developed a really strong mind-set in the past 12 months that has allowed me to face this fear. The swim can be chaotic also as the competitors try and find a way in the water to move forward. Arms, legs, elbows are flying so its important you always have your wits about you.
I made it through the swim and into transition for a quick change and onto the bike. I have a new bike this year and it certainly enjoyed itself on this track. I pushed as hard as I could on the bike over the 20km and was feeling strong. Following the bike, I arrived in transition for another quick change and then I was off on the beautiful 5km run. Running is one of my stronger skills but my problem was I was nursing a foot problem from the London marathon so was hoping it wouldn't raise its head. Finally I got home and got my medal and it felt great. Another triathlon on the board and the feeling was very satisfactory.
One of the best things about doing triathlons is the fellow competitors. All ages, shapes and sizes take part and it really spurs me on and I find it truly inspirational. Yesterday there was a lady at 65 years of age and she looked great and finished in a good time. I hope I am doing tri's at 65.
Next month i will be celebrating my 8th year of living with Multiple Sclerosis. The short version of the eight year report will read something like this. Years 1-4, complete disaster, lost all hope, threw in the towel. Years 5-8, started to take control, got my plan in place, and got stronger and stronger. These types of events absolutely cement my ideas in life now that if you believe and work hard at something, absolutely everything is possible.
Last night I played my first GAA game in over 13 years as part of an invitational celebratory game for my local clubs 125th year celebrations. I was feeling good, strong and still sharp. Bagged two goals and a point which felt tremendous. A few of my pals reckon you never lose it.. I suppose they are correct..!
My hopes are that if I continue with my new diet and approach to life I will be able to continue to solve and face the many challenges in front of me today. I think its the only way to approach life now. I certainly don't have any choice. Maybe you agree. . .