“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all” Helen Keller
Well, 2017 is well and truly behind us now and this is how my “triathlon” year panned out:
March – Sole Motive Active Tri – Sprint Distance – 1st in AG
March – Gatorade Tri Series – Sprint Distance – 1st in AG
April – Challenge Melbourne – Sprint Distance – 1st Female
June – Cairns 70.3 – Half Ironman – 1st in AG (PB)
July – Obtained Professional Licence
July – Challenge Iceland – Half Ironman – 7th Professional Female
August – Gdynia 70.3 – Half Ironman – 8th Professional Female
October – Yarrawonga Triathlon – Olympic Distance – 1st Female (PB)
November – Challenge Shepparton – Half Ironman – 2nd Professional Female (PB)
November – 2xu Triathlon Series – Sprint Distance – 2nd Open Female (PB)
December – Taupo 70.3 – Half Ironman – DNF
I am so happy with our results given they were off the back of some substantial time off biking and running early in the year due to a lingering injury. But I am hungry for more. I have been with my new coach for exactly 12 months now and have learned an incredible amount this year. Mostly from him. Not just about racing and training, but about mindset, recovery, nutrition and what it takes to be at the pointy end of a professional field. I am under no illusion about that work that needs to be done and after 3 weeks of recovery am loving being back into the thick of training. I know that it is going to be another 12 months or so before I am consistently competitive in pro fields but like every elite athlete before me I’m more than prepared to do the time and put in the hard yards.
2017 was about building back up and as Jarrod would say, undergoing a complete triathlon “overhaul”. It was about racing more and forgetting about Ironman for the year whilst we prepared my body for the next phase. I’ve definitely got the bug for Ironman again and it will be my focus for 2018.
I have also, after much consideration and many discussions with those closest to me (and numerous sleepless nights!) decided to cease full time work for the next few years. Geez that still frightens the sh*t out of me when I see it written down!
I am an “all or nothing” person. This decision was as much about being able to give my all at triathlon as it was about being upset that I could not give my all to our business 100% of the time. We have worked incredibly hard to build a successful business over the last 10 years and to continue in its trajectory it needs the best people who are passionate and committed every day. Every week. And if I’m to achieve what I think I am capable of in triathlon I need to be a full-time athlete.
I am very fortunate that after 3,4,5 years (however long this lasts), I will still be able to step back into our business as a majority shareholder. Its funny how the world works, being a late starter to triathlon is to my advantage in this scenario as all those early years of hard work and career focus are paying dividends now and I have this opportunity whilst I am still so young.
I feel very blessed to be in this position and am so excited about my new life. Its only really sinking in today as I sit here and most of the corporate world have returned to work. Its quite a surreal feeling getting home from swim squad and not having to rush off to work. I think it may take a little while to get used to!
When I first considered this idea of being a full-time athlete I lost so much sleep worrying about what would happen if I wasn’t good enough. If I failed. If I didn’t enjoy it. If it ended up being too financially draining. But if that happens, then so be it. At least I will be able to say I tried. And that I have no regrets. And that I took a risk and threw everything I could at being the best triathlete I could be. If the worst outcome is going back to work full time in my 30’s I think that’s a pretty bloody good result. I’m yet to fail at anything I set my mind to though, so let’s hope this is no different!
I was having a bit of a spring clean up last weekend and came across these event tags in my draw. Some of my favourite experiences of many many corporate events and outings over the years. Don’t think there will be any invites to Italy for conferences or The Paddock Club for the F1 any time soon! I have so many great memories of helping build Inovayt to the success it is today. The fun times and the hard times. I do get a bit emotional at times thinking about it and every now and then get a pang of sadness about my work family and what I am going to miss out on in the next few years. As much as I love this sport I am going to miss the thrill of building a business. I genuinely love every minute of it.
But to me, this is just like starting a new business, the business of….. me. I can’t imagine it will be much different. No doubt there will be opportunities that will arise off the track that I will embrace. Opportunities where I can utilise my non-athletic skill sets and keep my head in business to some degree. There will be highs and lows, fun times and hard times, challenges and frustrations. And I hope that my experience of being self-employed over the last 10-15 years will have me well equipped to face whatever is thrown at me in this next chapter.
Thank you to my family and friends for always having my back. To acquaintances and social media “friends” and “followers”. Social media is incredibly powerful when used in a positive manner and the support I receive from strangers all over the world never ceases to amaze me. To Jarrod for being so patient and believing in me. To Nick for being the best friend and supportive business partner anyone could ever ask for, truly not sure what I’ve done to deserve you sometimes. And to my sponsors for everything you have done for me so far. Let’s see what we can all achieve in 2018 and beyond. Buckle up!