As I sit here with a glass of wine to celebrate the last day of 2014, I’m reflecting on the year that was. For me it was a fantastic year with many highs throughout the year. For others it was a year of sadness, heartache and the unknown.
Our world has been a place of turmoil in a number of areas with war, terrorism and illness, but there has also been happiness, celebration and love. We are a resilient species and tend to get through the bad things that happen. Our world close to home has been rocked this year by the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, the Malaysian Airline Flight MH17 shot down over the Ukraine and more recently the Lindt Cafe siege. We will bounce back, but we will never forget them, my thoughts and prayers go to all those families who have been touched by these tragedies.
My year has been filled with a number of successes and I have worked hard for them but they certainly wouldn’t be possible without the support and help of a number of people.
In January of this year I started with a new coach Rebecca DiCell0 and she has certainly pushed me past what I believed were my limits. It has made me realise that no matter what we think our limits are we can certainly find that little extra in the tank. The Victorian Institute of Sport has been my second home since 2007 when I first got a scholarship there for rowing and has continued to support me over the last 4 years with my cycling. At the VIS I also started with a new gym coach Ben Wylie and he too has pushed me further than I ever thought I would be able to go in the gym. I have also had the help of Nick Owen in the Sports Science department with work not only in the heat tent working on ways to combat the heat I was going to face but also in the testing lab looking at ways to increase my fitness.
A year and a half ago I switched cycling clubs and moved to St Kilda Cycling Club where I have been welcomed with open arms. It is one of the most inclusive clubs I have ever been involved with and riding with the different women’s group has really helped my ability to ride well. They have helped me push myself up numerous mountains and helped me celebrate after conquering them!
My sponsor Liv Australia have been fantastic and supported me with equipment and kits, so that I want for nothing! When I have had cracks in a frame they have replaced it with a newer and better frame without question. I could never thank them enough for their unwavering belief in me.
My family and friends have been there from the start and have cheered me on and been my biggest supporters through everything. Last but certainly not least is my husband Russ. In March we will have been married 20 years. He has been with me through the bad health times and been there for the exciting and fantastic wins I have had.
As athletes we are selfish and not in a bad way, but in a way that we need to be to do as well as we do on the world stage. Without all those people around us we wouldn’t be shining on the big stage. So a huge THANK YOU to all of you, my wins this year were just as much yours because without all of you they would have never happened.
The end of my year was incredible with notification that I was one of 4 finalists for the Victorian Australian of the Year and then this week advised that I was listed as one of the Top 5 Para cycling moments of 2014. I was stunned by both of them and very honoured to be included with some absolutely amazing people and athletes.
2015 is only about one hour away now and what it will bring with it is anyone’s guess. But I look forward to pushing my limits again and see what happens. To everyone I hope you believe in yourself and your abilities for that will help your 2015 be the best one ever. I wish everyone the best year possible with great health, happiness and prosperity.
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