This weekend my mother is racing in the European Middle Distance Triathalon Championships. Try saying that 10 times fast! And I couldn’t be more impressed. For the first time in her life she has listened to a coach and actually done what they say, with only a couple of minor blips. It seems to have paid off, she’s got to 3 days before race day uninjured and without being completely exhausted. Some people would might even suggest she’s peaking in fitness just at the right time… MADNESS I KNOW!
For those of you who don’t know a middle distance triathlon consists of a 1.9km swim, a 90km cycle topped off with a half marathon. Sounds like a bundle of laughs, right? Not my cup of tea! But my mother loves it. Training for these things doesn’t come without it’s hurdles though. 4 years ago my mum couldn’t swim 25m front crawl never mind 1.9km. But due to a virus which affected her hips she was unable to run or cycle and for a time, unable to put her own socks on. So she had to find another way to exercise, because otherwise she would go crazy. You see exercise is her way to download, file and organise her thoughts. So she learnt to swim. This is just one example of my mum’s determination and resilience. Eventually they discovered the cause of her hip problems and got her back on the road. But with this new found ability to swim she decided to join my father and take up triathlon – a bonding exercise I’m sure.
That wasn’t her only illness or injury related hurdle, far from it. From sprained ankles so bad they’ve taken 3 months to heal properly, lungs that decided they didn’t want to work and a multitude of other minor training injuries – whether they be physical or mental, sometimes your brain forgets how to run apparently! Mum still got up before the sun rose to train and then trained again after exhausting days working with toddlers.
This woman, I have the privilege of calling my mother, not only trained for a middle distance triathlon, she manages a nursery which isn’t always that easy. Juggles being a parent ensuring her 3 children are fed watered and emotionally supported. Being a wife to an equally triathlon obsessed husband. And a daughter to her own mother who in the past year has undergone 2 massive operations to her hip which rendered her mother dependent on those looking after her. Those are just her family and work commitments. She is also on the committee for the local triathlon club debating issues with safety for training sessions, promoting women in the sport and supporting those in the club. Oh and she is an ambassador for Giant (Liv) cycles and upon occasion leads their women’s only rides. Somewhere in there she qualified as a cycle coach with British Cycling.
So in summary, my mother is the best woman I know. She’s someone I admire and the best role model I can imagine having. Did I mention she’s completely bonkers? Making her the inspiration in my life and someone I one day aspire to be. Maybe not exactly the same, but with the same values. I don’t know that many people who would say that about their own mother’s so I’d say you’ve done a pretty good job. Thanks for teaching me it’s okay not to be okay, to follow your dreams and being “normal” is boring.
They say “Friend’s are the family you choose” but I’d choose you every time. Love you mum. Come home happy.