As this new year seems to fly by (I can’t believe we are into February already!) I realised that life got so busy and I hadn’t done a blog in a very long time.  So thought I had better put my fingers to the keyboard and talk about not only my last year but to put a question to everyone…How do you define yourself?

My 2017 was another amazing year which started out with having my mom here in Australia until mid February and then my training picked up and I was off on another incredible year of training and racing overseas.  I had some ok results and some great results culminating in winning back my World Championship in the Road Race and also keeping my World Championship in the Time Trial (although my competitors are certainly getting closer!)  I was then honoured to win the Victorian and Australian Female Paracyclist of the Year.  Then to top it off came away with the top award at the Victorian Institute of Sport – The Award of Excellence.  This blew me away because I remember almost 11 years ago walking through the doors of the VIS to see pictures of the other winners of this award, my idols, on the wall!  I couldn’t believe that I was now going to be up there amongst them.  Still a couple of months later I shake my head in disbelief.

Photo courtesy of Mark Dadswell

When I accepted the award I don’t really remember exactly what I said…for the first time ever I was completely unprepared because I didn’t think I had a hope in hell of winning it!  But I do remember I told the young athletes present that they shouldn’t define themselves by their sport.  Yes we are athletes but we are much more than that.

When I was diagnosed with MS I wasn’t going to let MS define who I was, it was something that was a part of me and I would live with it.  So when I meet people and get asked what I do I realised I have to stop using one word to define myself.  Yes I am a cyclist, yes I am an author, yes I am a speaker, but they aren’t the only things that define who I am.  I have decided that when I meet someone I am going to stop asking them what they do and instead ask “Who are you?”

We are so much more than our jobs, our illnesses, our sport.  We are; our core values, our positions in our families, our religion, our sexual orientation, our relationship status, our beliefs…and the list could go on.  I honestly still can’t put into words yet how I define myself, but it’s something that I am going to work on this year.  It will be my own personal vision and mission statement as to how I define myself.  See if you can come up with your own definition of Who You Are, not just the superficial things but the things that really matter deep down inside.  I would love to hear what you come up with.

As for 2018 other than defining who I am, I will once again be travelling the world, training and racing in World Cups and the World Championships.  I’ll then head to Toronto towards the end of August to visit family and friends.

Until my next blog I wish you all a safe and happy season, whether that be summer or winter in your part of the world!

About the author : CarolC

4 Comments

  1. Lyn Stacker 03/02/2018 at 7:02 am - Reply

    Hey Carol
    Great article & definitely food for thought.
    Congratulations for all that you have achieved in the past 12 months. You are such a worthy champion
    Cheers Lyn

    • CarolC 03/02/2018 at 7:24 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Lyn, and I will look forward to seeing you at the end of this month!!

  2. Jennifer Bacon 04/02/2018 at 12:21 am - Reply

    Hi Carol,
    Thank you for you thoughts on life and your great stories.
    As someone who had a spinal injury a few years back and now resultant left side neuropathy etc..you have inspired me greatly over the past few years to keep pushing forward,to keep learning how to get the most out of my body and to continue to lead a great life. Yep, it’s bloody hard and often a step forward and two steps back as you know do well. Even though we have never met your wonderful blogs arrive often just when I need someone in my corner when I’m fatigued after activities,have a flare or just wishing it would all go away and the old me could return. Thank you for sharing your stories Carol. I admire your tenacity, your honesty and your will to just get on with it. I really do hope we get to meet one day and I can thank you personally and I wish you many more adventures,and great times ahead.
    Cheers

    Jen Bacon

    • CarolC 04/02/2018 at 4:56 am - Reply

      Hi Jen, what a wonderful comment. I love the fact that I can inspire people or just give them the boost that they need at the right time. I would love to meet you and sit and chat over a coffee. I will send you an email and maybe we can work something out.
      Thanks again for your comments.
      Cheers
      Carol

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