Not many of us get the chance to say that we have completed our bucket lists. But today I can say that in my sporting life I have done just that. Seven years ago when I started riding my trike competitively I just wanted to see where it would take me. I wrote down some things that I wanted to accomplish, the first being to go to a Paralympic Games. As I ticked off my goals that bucket list became larger and the challenges harder.
This week I ticked off my final goal in my cycling career and that was to win the World Cup Series. As an Australian it is really hard to get to all the World Cups each year due to the distance. But over the past two years I have had the support to be able to go to each one of them to attain this goal. I was hoping to do it last year but it didn’t happen and to be honest I started to think that it might not be possible.
But I have proven that you should never say never! As I was presented with my winners jersey and trophy I realised that all the hard work and time away from home had payed off. I can now say that I’ve don it all; 2 Paralympic teams, 3 Paralympic Gold medals, 7 World Champion titles (and 5 silvers), numerous World Cup wins and now the Series win!
This doesn’t however mean that it is time to stop, far from it! But what it does mean is that I have no expectations of myself and I can just go out to ride and race. Do I want to win again…of course! But that pressure I put on myself is gone.
The last two years have been tough and not just on me. I’ve had tremendous support from my husband Russ to be away for so long each of those years, chasing this goal. He is not a traveller, but keeps the home fires burning and is always on the end of the phone if I need him. Thank you Russ for believing in me, loving me and supporting me.
A big thank you to Peter Day our head coach who after Rio told me he would support me chasing this goal. Without him agreeing to letting me go to the World Cups on my own this wouldn’t have been possible. I’m so happy that I was able to attain this goal on his watch, even if I did leave it until his last campaign and the last race! Peter your support has made me grateful for your mentoring, coaching tips and more importantly our friendship.
Now for the first time in 7 years I am taking a month off the trike. I’m not sure how I will cope, but it will give me the break I need to come back even more motivated for next year!