Somewhere between 2000 when I left home, and 2013 (when I had a bit of a life changing moment watching a triathlon for the first time) I managed to pile on the weight and was around 104kg at my heaviest. I was also a heavy smoker and had not exercised over that period (beside the odd 3-4 day attempt to lose weight here and there!)
In January 2014 I rode a bike for the first time since primary school and swam laps of a pool for the first time since high school. I ran more kilometres in 2014 than I had run in the prior 14 years. I am 42kg lighter now than I was before I discovered triathlon.
Who would have thought at the age of 34 that I would be calling myself a Professional Triathlete. I am passionate about helping and inspiring others to show that they too can change if they want it badly enough. It is not too late and it is not too hard.
Here is an interactive timeline of my journey. I hope that it proves to you, or someone you know, that anything is possible.
These stats although taken in 2011 sometime were my starting point (my starting point may have actually been worse than this as at my heaviest I was 104kg). You can see there is nothing positive here. My blood pressure is high, I am by definition obese. I remember having to ride a stationary bike for a few mins in these tests and I started puffing straight away. I was smoking close to a packet of cigarettes a day.
This photo was taken on the day I watched my first triathlon. I spent the day in Noosa with some friends who were there to cheer on a friend of theirs racing. I don’t even know what I took this picture, but it was the moment I decided I wanted to complete the Noosa Tri the following year. What a life changing moment in time captured on camera!
Although I had set a goal to do the Noosa Tri last month nothing in my life had changed so far at this point. This photo was at Xmas time and I hadn’t lost any weight. Maybe a few kg but I wasn’t yet fully committed
Finally got my act together and started working towards my goal of completing the Noosa Tri later that year. Early in the New Year I walked into a bike shop and bought my first bike. I just picked the one that looked the nicest, I think it was $600 . I hadn’t ridden a bike since riding to and from primary school. Check out the pedals!
Had to throw this one in! I volunteered at Melbourne Ironman and hadn’t even done a triathlon yet. I remember being in awe and saying to my friends that day that I would never do an Ironman that it was just crazy. I went on to repeat that statement at least 10 times in public over the coming 12 months.
A couple of grainy pics from my very first triathlon, a sprint distance tri in Melbourne. My time was 1hr 35mins and was the 252nd female to finish that day and 27th in my AG. I walked almost the entire run and thought it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life but I was hooked!
My second ever triathlon. A sprint distance in Mordialloc. I think I came 8th out of about 14 in my AG and I remember being so pumped because I had run the entire 5km without stopping to walk once!
I had to throw this photo in as an example of how much you can improve if you just keep at it. This photo was taken at the top of the 1 in 20 hill climb in the Dandenongs, Victoria. I thought I was a rock star getting to the top of this climb. Now I would ride that climb 6-7 times in the one session. II was so new to the sport it makes me smile just thinking back to those days where you really just constantly celebrated every little achievement. Sometimes I think this gets lost as you get more serious. It’s a good reminder to take a moment every now and then to remember how far you have come!
We had a team building day for our staff and we focused on health. We had a bunch of professionals come in and complete health tests on everyone. As you can see my blood pressure was still high. Weight was 72.5kg so I had lost about 30kg at this point.
Here is a picture of my first podium finish since starting triathlon. The only thing missing is…. Me. I looked at my time as soon as I finished the race and was so upset (I think I may have even cried – talk about dramatic!) I thought my time was terrible and I was devastated. I packed up my stuff and went home straight away. I checked the results a few hours later and saw that I came 3rd. I learnt that day that times in isolation mean nothing!
Got sucked in and bought my first time trial bike! I had been riding my giant roadie up until this point. It took me 4-5 rides to get my confidence up riding this thing. I hated it at first!
I won my first Ironman! The Ironman Japan course was stunning but it was lucky I had never done an Ironman before so didn’t know any different! 2,500m elevation on the bike course with around 500m elevation on the run. I was off to race at Kona in just 6 weeks.
My second fully prepped Ironman race Port Mac IM. I finished 3rd in my AG in a very strong field that day (4th overall AG female). I was lucky enough to get a roll down Kona spot. It was after this race that I decided I wanted to try and work towards getting my pro licence over the coming 12 months.
A local sprint distance, My first race back since Kona 2016 and a long injury lay off. I had only been back running for 1 month so wasn’t expecting much. I just went out to enjoy racing again and was stoked to win my AG.
One of the most important races since I started triathlon. Cairns 70.3 was my third half Ironman and was special for so many reasons. My goal was to win my AG so that I could apply for my pro licence afterwards..it was a race to measure where I was at compared to some other very strong girls in the female field. And a real test of how far I had come in my preparation after having 5 months off running and 4 months of the bike at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017 with injury. I won my AG in a time of 4hrs 37mins and it was a massive 15 PB for me over this distance.
I submitted my licence application a few days after cairns while I was still in a high before I changed my mind! It came back approved within a couple of days. The end of one chapter and the beginning of another!