Wednesday, 26 October 2016

September/ October Blog update- Just the Adventures ....


Hola,

This year is flying by, can you believe it’s almost November, longer days & warmer weather for us down under, you beauty!

I’m sorry for the gap in monthly updates. I usually love writing my Blog as a chance to reflect, record & share my adventures as the life of a pro Triathlete, but this past month was a tough one & not something I was ready to reflect on until this week.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told by people that “oh you’re living the dream” or “tough job” and 90% of the time they’re spot on, I LOVE what I do! But what people don’t see is the constant hurdles we jump & rollercoaster we ride that is elite sport. A few examples I often laugh about with other athletes; a massage isn’t a relaxing experience, it hurts, a sleep in is when you’re up at 6am not 4.30am, when we travel we see more of the hotel room than we do of a city & a “big” night might be a glass of wine & some chocolate.



Now I’m certainly a glass half full person & that’s not changing any time soon, but I’ve also been very lucky that my “high’s” have been amazing this season; Great races, many exciting ‘first’s’, training environments, oppourtunities, goals achieved, plenty of international travel & exposure, growth & results!

 And up until last month my “low’s” haven’t been more than a small bump in the road which I’ve managed with the help of the support team around me. An ‘almost’ Smooth sailing first international season.

 I was just a few days out from my first Elite U/23 ITU World Triathlon Championship in the tropical paradise (super hot) island of Cozumel Mexico when my rollercoaster started heading downhill fast. Through the help of the Triathlon Australia Elite support staff in our World’s camp I had some scans done on the Island to see what was the cause of this niggling pain in my left quad, which wasn’t going away. I had been passing it off as nothing, & was sure it would be gone in a day or two like a “normal” minor sore spot we as athletes may get from time to time after a hard day or week of solid work. After all our job is about pushing our bodies to the limit in the sport we love.


The scans didn’t come back the way I expected & I faced the harsh reality that I had a nasty stress reaction in my left femur, keep pushing on it & it’s only going to get a whole lot worse
.
It’s clear to say I was gutted. As well as all of the above; disappointed, upset, frustrating, angry, embarrassed & pretty lost for words. It felt like my first massive low couldn’t have come at a worse time in the season.

 I was so excited to wear the green & gold & do myself, my coach, family, support staff & team proud. But it wasn’t to be this time around. Instead of being at Race briefing, doing my prep work & getting psyched to race at my first Elite World Champs, I found myself on a plane from Cozumel to Dallas & onto Sydney - home.

But like I said I’m a glass half full person & I hate dwelling on the past. What’s done is done, from there you have a choice on how you process, respond, & act on this information, event or decision. It’s not about circumstances, it’s just our disposition. I gave myself a few days to wallow & just be sad, because that’s normal. But I’m driven by process & after a day or two of being home (after almost 4 months on the road) and with the help of my loving family, friends & informed support staff around me we had a game plan. 


I was motivated, challenged & as my mum would say “had the fire in my belly” to recover, rebuild & come back healthier, stronger, resilient, smarter & refreshed to be the best athlete I can be for 2017 & onwards. It’s amazing how quick the body responds & repairs with some quality physical, mental & emotional rest!

After the World championships in Cozumel I had planned to travel on through South America for about 4 weeks and take my break a touch early following an awesome quality domestic & international season of racing! So when I was boarding my 17hour flight home to Sydney from Dallas this wasn’t looking possible.

 But after my first appointment with my sports medical physician she felt I would be ready and up to travel in about a week, providing certain scans & tests came back the way we wanted & that I was able to rework through a minimalised version of the trip I had planned. For all of you that know me, well I don’t do things in halves & this trip was certainly going to need modifications, from walking, hiking & riding to coaches, buses, trains & the odd horse.


The physician along with other sports therapy specialists all agreed on the new “itinerary” & also felt that getting away & still enjoying my break was exactly what I needed mentally to refresh. Like they say Elite sport can be 80% mental, 20% physical! I couldn’t have agreed more, I love home & everything/everyone in it, but a month of minimal exercise, no training & just “rest” would have turned me into a green eyed monster & would not have been an all-round refreshing & rewarding break to end what was overall a quality & dream year of hard work!

So as I sit here in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro, on my last few days away, I have a great headspace & am able to clearly reflect & put pen to paper for this Blog update! Pain free smooth sailing with a massive thanks to “my Adventure Store” & my Dad for helping me rearrange a #seatededition tour through South America! My travels here have been amazing & funnily enough- just what I needed – I’m happy, refreshed & so ready & eager to get back home & rip in to the tough build back process which I know lies ahead!!

I love travel, the excitement of a totally new place, culture, food, exploring, the adventures along the way, people you meet & the stories! After all travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer! And for this month only this blog is more about the Adventures so let me put down a list of the places I’ve been & some pictures to share!

South America is truly spectacular; you’ve just got to add it to your Bucket List!

Argentina:
  • Buenos Aires


Patagonian:

  • Torres del Paine national park


  • Puerto Moreno Glacier National Park

Ecuador:
  • Mindo

  • Quito
  • Cotopaxi Volcano & Quilotoa Volcanic Crater
  • The Amazon Jungle


Peru:
  • Lima
  • Cuzco

  • Machu Picchu – Inca Trail

  • Puno- Lake Titicaca

  • Copacabana Island


Bolivia:
  • La Paz


  •  Uyuni Salt Flats

  • Bolivian Deserts & Lakes



Brazil:
  • Rio de Janerio




A massive Thankyou to my family, friends, coach, Triathlon Australia Support staff, my Amazing sponsors & fellow athletes. For all your kind messages of support! It helped make a tough time much easier to push through!

I will be up at the Hamilton Island Triathlon Festival in November as an ambassador for the weekend of festivities! With the Hamilton Island Sprint Triathlon, and the 2km Whitehaven Ocean swim the following day. You couldn’t get a better location! I can’t wait to get back out there doing what I love!!

Stay tuned for the next update as I build back, put my head down & get ready to rip into the 2017 season the best all round triathlete I can be.

“RESILIENCE, IT’S TOUGH TO LEARN BUT INVALUABLE TO HAVE”



Adios,

Em.
 X


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