On the surface, this would seem like a story about a one woman mission to achieve. That is not the case at all. I would like to acknowledge the people along the way that helped in the TEAM EFFORT to get me to the start line and round that world championship race, enabling me to achieve my original top 20 goal. Without them all, I would not have made it to Beijing.
It would have to start with the lovely lady called Amanda, who was the one who found me in the road unconscious on the 16 July, and called 999. Without her quick thinking, it may have been a very different story. Then the ambulance staff, and the hospital staff, who looked after me and nursed me in those first few days. Also thanks to Jane from Headway, who organised a Neurosurgeon and Psychologist follow up, which helped me realise I was NOT going insane, it was all just head injury symptoms!
I cannot thank my coaching team enough, all of them with their own key role to play. David Sutton was instrumental in managing my return to training in the early days through regular concussion tests and ‘return to training’ advice, my triathlon coach Steve Casson backing this up with a fabulous return to race fitness training plan to lead me up to Beijing, turning up the training when most others had had time to build up, then race taper. I was able to get on that plane knowing that in the time allowed we had worked as hard as we could, and I was as fit as I could be, given the circumstances. Martin MacDonald rounded it all off by making sure I was eating what i was meant to be eating, in order to make me as lean and mean as possible. A huge thanks too to Kim Ingleby, my NLP ‘head coach’ who helped me to reach a place in my mind where I was able to decide that attending the world championships was worthwhile, and helped me to reach the positive mindset required to race well and achieve my original goal.
I huge huge thanks to all the friends, family and people of the social networks across the world who know me, all of you guys sent fabulous positive vibes and it was nice to know that so many people were behind me in my journey to get well and reach the start line of that world championship race.
The biggest thanks though, gushing as it may seem, must go to my wonderful husband Mark. He went through hell and back several times to get me to that start line. He gave up the opportunity to travel to China because he knew funding was tight, pledging it much more important that I went and enjoyed the experience. He then went through the pain and suffering of the head injury and the difficult times that presented. There were many arguments as we both struggled to understand all the symptoms, but he was always there for me, and still is, as the head injury recovery journey still continues.
Crossing that finish line in Beijing was much much more than just finishing a race. Without this wonderful team of people behind me, none of it would be possible, and I mean that sincerely.
With a strong team, and a little determination, anything is possible.