Ignorance is Bliss.

My Triathlon Life Story – cont. 

From 1st January 2019, I was taken under Sam’s wing. I have gone into triathlon wanting to see what I can achieve in 12 months and with the intention of giving that 12 months 110% commitment.  If at the end of 12 months I had achieved nothing, I would call it a day. On the other hand, if I achieved what I set out to achieve, I would re-assess. 

Sam and I mapped out my 2019 sporting calendar: 

  • *19th May 2019: Southport National Triathlon Championships and European Triathlon (ETU)Championship Qualifier
  • 1st June 2019: Blenheim Palace Sprint Triathlon
  • *30th June 2019: Leeds Castle Triathlon and World Triathlon (ITU) Championship Qualifier 
  • 4th August 2019: Prudential Ride London 100 
  • 1st September 2019: Shrewsbury Sprint Triathlon
  • *15th September 2019: Brighton and Hove Triathlon and European Triathlon Championship Qualifier

*are what we refer to as my ‘A Races’. These are key events which my training is structured around and which require tapering. Essentially, tapering is reducing exercise (quantity/intensity) leading up to an event in order to reduce muscle fatigue and optimise performance. The others I just put myself through for lols and Sam just rolls his eyes. 

As a general rule of thumb, since January, my weeks contain 8-12 hours of training and include 1 rest day. 

I can hear y’all yawning from here! Chill, I love it. I’ll train and you guys can just come along for the ride.

19th May came around pretty quickly.  January – May ’19 mainly comprised eating, sleeping and training.  I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol for the 6 weeks leading up to the event (not that I can remember and if you can’t remember, it doesn’t count). I told you, the whole thing is a test of endurance and self preservation! 

At this point, I had slightly more gear and slightly more idea.  I had invested in a wetsuit AND elastic laces (both essential items).  I thought that I was almost starting to look the part. Until I arrived.

I rocked up to registration with my treasured second-hand road bike (Roubaix). He was soooo unimpressed being racked next to a very fancy Specialized Shiv (just a c.£11k time-trial (TT) bike).  I imagine he feels like I do when I stand next to my tall, tanned, gorgeous friend; short, stumpy and pale. Poor Roubaix is perfect in my eyes (although he is slightly heavy and slow but I don’t like to tell him that, it might hurt his feelings).  

Southport was my second ever triathlon and my first ever standard (olympic) distance event. I was competing against athletes who had already proven themselves at European and World level for a number of seasons.  I had just scraped together four full months training and this was the start of my first season. I genuinely had no idea what to expect and when I arrived, it was far more daunting that what I had imagined. Not only was it larger than I expected but other athletes had equipment I didn’t event know existed. I was pretty basic. 

Before arriving at Southport, I had hopes of a top four placing which would ultimately enable me to automatically qualify for the European Championships.  After seeing the obviously very experienced athletes prepare with all their equipment, I had doubts. I really was a complete beginner and felt like a complete imposter. 

However, after an optimistic three hours sleep, a strong swim (including a mass open water start with 240 people in one pack), excellent performance from Roubaix (despite a head wind) and a pretty decent run, I qualified for the European Championships being held in Tartu, Estonia 2020. 

I achieved third place but missed my spot on the podium – I didn’t realise I had achieved a podium position until they posted my bronze medal the following week! 

Safe to say, it put a good amount of fire in my belly for the season ahead and set my own expectations pretty high! 

Pressure for the rest of the season was on. 


A special thanks at this event to my very loyal supporters: Mum, Dad, Nanny Lesley and Rebecca Oddy.  Mum was more stressed than me the morning of the event and Roddy helped keep me slightly sane and focussed. The scale of this event was new to all of us and emotions were running high.  Thank you all for putting up with a hot head. 

A Christmas Cracker.

Believe it or not, I did take on board that, to an extent, my socialising had to be reduced.  Not only due to time restrictions but going out is expensive, as is triathlon. I couldn’t do both. Although I still have the occasional relapse. 

I maxed out on being a wild child ahead of January and decided that as soon as I left Shropshire and headed back home to Essex for the Christmas break, I would give myself some headspace and a bit of a detox – bad time of year; I know! After a manic few months, I made no plans over the Christmas break, bar spending time with family. All good intentions.

I honestly had not spent a single weekend in my own company since June. Over five months of back to back weekends socialising and rinsing my bank balance (or lack of).

Safe to say, I suffered serious with-drawl symptoms. It was ridiculous. As the festive period is, I was surrounded by family the majority of the time but I was used to packing my days and weeks with activities, visiting friends and running around like a headless chicken. I had no idea how to cope with ‘down time’, relaxing or even simply being content in my own company. Even sitting down for 2 hours to watch a film stressed me out. In fact, it gave me anxiety.

I was dependant on having structure, having a plan and always being productive.  To an extent I still am, I struggle on my rest days but December 2018 forced me to sit back a re-assess my priorities. For the previous four years, my decisions in life had revolved around making someone else happy; without a second thought for myself.  The recent months had been spent trying to make up for this and catching up with all the friends I had neglected during these years but still, not thinking about what made me happy.  

New Years Eve I sat there, ready to go to a New Years Party with some old university friends. I couldn’t go because they are used to seeing someone who is full of life and I simply didn’t have the energy to be that person. I wasn’t ready to deal with the whole “back in the day, when you were fun … before you got a boyfriend…” and “the old Charlotte…”  So I didn’t go. 

Thats what confirmed my New Years Resolution: To be content in my own company and to be happy in my own skin. 

January 2019 saw the kick start of my training programme and I have not looked back. I am not sure if it is because it gives me structure and something to focus on outside of work or because I like the challenge and sense of achievement but either way, I love training. Weird. I know. 

I am now very content in my own company and more confident in my own skin.  Perhaps too much so as I am very reluctant to now sacrifice it but I am SO much happier and independent for it. 

It is so easy to get caught up in life’s whirl-wind and what social media portrays as the norm (Instagram stories of cocktails on a Friday/Saturday night, getting glammed up etc. – it is all fake (unless taking a boomerang of you sipping your drink is fun?!)). Honestly, everyone has their own lives to lead. My social media now spams everyone with training sessions and Celia (my bike) – it’s not staged, sometimes a bit minging but often heavily filtered (just for a perceived tan). Different people enjoy different things. We are all different, otherwise the world would be so boring. 

I like what I do. I (most of the time) like my job. I have amazing and much loved friends and family. I enjoy training. I LOVE Triathlon. 2019 has been pretty sweet (*touch wood*). I am very lucky to be where I am today, doing what I am doing and being given the opportunities I have been. I am so grateful for that. 

You need to have the tough times to appreciate the good times. You can’t always be flying high. 


Back to the Party Starter.

This week I have been battling that absolutely rank cold/flu that has been doing the rounds.  Whoever contaminated me, you are off my Christmas card list.

I have been on enforced rest (courtesy of Sam (coach)) for the past four days and IT IS SO BORING. What does everyone do in their spare time?! Please enlighten me for future reference. 

I even had to cancel my Friday evening (social) plans. Brought a tear to my eye (genuine, it was a low point). 

Saturday I had to put my race case together and after some persuasion, and as I had stuck to instructions, Sam allowed me to have my own way and race on Sunday.  Unfortunately, there were strict conditions attached; under NO circumstances was I to max out (my next ‘A Race’ is in 2 weeks and a chest infection would be bad news); I was to ONLY treat is as a brick (training) session; and I was to ENJOY it. 

I am very proud of myself.  I did as I was told. I am actually becoming very well behaved. See how long it lasts; hopefully until the end of the season (two weeks). Now that is a real test of endurance. 

As I explained in my previous post. My first triathlon was the Shrewsbury Sprint Triathlon 2018 where I managed a 3rd. This year I brought a GOLD home as first female over the line AND first in age group (AG). 

I am pretty chuffed because:

(a) This week has been so snotty (BOGIES) and achy (Friday I was told to prepare for no race);
(b) Massive improvement from last year despite point (a);
(c) So much pressure on home turf so pleased to have pulled it off; and
(d) It was Sams last year as event organised and he wanted to go out on a high. He organised an impressive and popular event and I am proud to have him as my coach (not that I am brown nosing at all!). 

Unfortunately, not everything was smooth runnings. My T1 was pretty shocking. When you can’t feel your feet after exiting the water, putting shoes on whilst simultaneously jumping onto your bike can be challenging. Particularly when you mix it with a strong amount of Dyspraxia. Still better that last year. My run pace was OK (as instructed, not max) but ASTHMA WILL YOU BUGGER OFF. This is one thing massively annoying me. I mean, oxygen. Who needs that anyway?!?! 

On a serious note, any fellow sufferers – send hints and tips my way. 

This cold thing probably doesn’t help my case but lungs, pretty please can you cooperate with my future ambitions. Thanks in advance. 

Medal Monday, hopefully I will be seeing you again soon!   


You’ve Been Framed.

After my beginners luck at the Shrewsbury Sprint Triathlon, I carried on with my usual routine; occasionally venturing to the gym before work, working, eating, drinking, socialising, going away for weekends and sleeping. 

Shortly after my apparent success at the event, Sam Mountain (coach for Amphibian Triathlon Coaching and SYTri) approached me at Rowton Castle Country Club (my gym) during one of my morning workouts.  He asked me whether I was a member of the Shrewsbury Triathlon Club (SYTri) and who I was coached by. 

He was met with a vacant expression.

Obviously, I coached myself like a normal wanna-be triathlete, duuuuhhhhh!

He asked me a few more questions about my previous triathlon experience etc etc. Again, he was met with a vacant gaze. I had no idea what he was on about and I had to explain that the previous weekends success was purely down to beginners luck and a bit of mental determination. For some reason, he thought there was more to it than just luck – still, a vacant expression.

As he suggested, I joined SYTri and was therefore able to attend the club swimming sessions and track evenings. This alone provided more structure to my training and I continued to attend the gym in the mornings where he monitored  (judged) my training from afar (in the shadows of the gym). I just carried on doing my own thing, coaching myself and living my best life. During this time, I sustained a minor injury to my Achilles and had a niggle in my knee. 

Shortly before Christmas, Sam sat me down to discuss my future plans/ambitions regarding triathlon.  By this point I had been working on my running pace (whilst slightly injured and making it worse), naturally aiming for a PB every session, lifting heavier weights, doing more burpees and getting out on my bike as much as possible. I was driven by going faster on Strava and burning calories/losing weight.  Neither of which were going to get me successfully through a triathlon and all of which were making me tired (obvs. nothing to do with my social life). 

I like to set my goals pretty high. Before sitting down with Sam and after my Shrewsbury Triathlon, my social media following became largely geared around triathletes and sportsmen/women rather than fashion and ‘lifestyle’ influencers which I had before. I had looked into the European Championships and decided that’s where I’d like to aim.

Decision made my answer to Sam was that, in 2019 I wanted to qualify for the 2020 European Triathlon Championships. 

He asked me how I intended to get there. I had no idea. 

After that discussion, we agreed that I would be taken under his wing from January 2019 and I would become a ‘coached triathlete’, just four months after my first event. He ran through the likely training hours and how the coach/athlete relationship would work. He also explained that I had been over-training; hence the injury.

He warned me that I would need to make sacrifices e.g. not as much socialising. Phaaaaaa, when he said this I wanted to wish him luck.  I had every intention of continuing my current lifestyle and drinking habits whilst qualifying for the Europeans. #YOLO.

Miracles do happen afterall. 

On my own accord, I decided to use the Christmas break as a bit of a detox – terrible timing I know but a lot had happened between June and December 2018: 

  • I regained my single status; 
  • I gained a promotion at work;
  • I moved from Wales to Shrewsbury;
  • I moved again within Shrewsbury; 
  • I more than regained my social life; 
  • I put an offer in on a house and sorted a Mortgage;
  • I put 20,000 miles on my car due to various weekend adventures; and 
  • I completed a triathlon. 

The six months had been a bit of a whirlwind and I needed some downtime.  I also needed to rest ahead of the imminent structured training regime I had committed myself to!

Things can only get better… 


Shrewsbury Triathlon 2018.

As I have explained previously, the idea of failure gives me the heebegebies.  Failing at something is different for everyone and I appreciate that. We all have different hopes, dreams and aspirations.  Some people see success as making it over the finish line, seeing how many tequilas you can sink in a night (often me), making it to the end of the week without having a breakdown (sometimes me), losing weight, going for a run, starting a family, finishing a book etc. etc.

For me, it’s about being competitive and being the best I can possibly be at whatever it is I am doing. Ultimately, that is what makes me happy (albeit sometimes very stressed). Equally, not achieving something can make me pretty unhappy because I put so much of myself into something, I therefore have a lot to lose.

One of the reasons I did not pick up riding after university is because I could not afford to be the best and as competitive as I would want to be and I found that demotivating. I could not just be a ‘happy hacker’.  I suppose this could be seen as a failure or just an acceptance of external limitations and being realistic.

Relating this back to the Shrewsbury Triathlon; I had set my mind on a top ten placing and whilst physically I was no where near as prepared as I should have been, mentally I was pretty set on this outcome. 

I arrived at the West-Midlands Showground with borrowed gear and completely clueless. Put my bike and other essentials into the transition area (commonly referred to as ‘racking up’ as shown in the picture). 

I then set about getting myself ready to start.  Put on my tri-suit, covered myself in body lube (chaffing is an issue – preventative application pictured) and squeezed into my borrowed wet suit; a surfing wetsuit meaning it generated more drag/resistance so put me at an immediate disadvantage (Obvs getting my excuses in early). 

I took myself down to the start line where everyone was rocking their streamlined numbers and Garmin watches – all looking the part. Then there was me, looking like the child who forget their PE kit and was forced to dress out of the lost property box. 

The Swim.
This was my second ever experience of open water swimming. During the race briefing it was highlighted that it is not uncommon for beginners to hyperventilate in open water. Excellent. Those of you who are familiar with the River Severn know that water clarity it probably not something it is known for. Visibility and therefore swimming on the right direction is challenging.  Swim went OK, no biggie.

Hilarious. Watch the highlighted instagram video. Words can’t explain how terrible it was. 

The Bike.
Roubaix (my bike) performed pretty well despite being ridden by a complete apprentice. ‘P’ plates would have been advisable. It was VERY steady. At this point I had ventured out on my bike some 10 times and riding without stabilisers was still touch and go. You’ll be pleased to know that we pulled through. Team effort.

Better than T1 but questionable. 

The Run.
Somehow pulled out a personal best (20min 19sec) for a 5km. Quite enjoyed it.

It was difficult to judge my placing as due to my inexperience, I was not registered in a competitive wave.  I came out the swim first in my wave and from there on, I was just racing myself. There were four waves which started ahead of me. There were also a lot of fit and coached athletes taking part. My physical fitness was questionable.

Priorities – So on my way to get a post race pizza (SHOCK, thinking about the next meal), I looked up the race results online to find I had pulled a third place out the bag. Annoyingly, this meant we had to pull a u-turn and delay pizza for the podium.   

If you are ever having a bad day and fancy laughing at some unflattering Instagram content at my expense – check out my Shrewsbury Triathlon 2018 highlighted story, as choreographed by my much loved brother, Owen (pictured). 

Obviously I ran straight off the podium back to the local pizza joint where I replenished any depleted carb stores. Obviously I didn’t take my medal off all day. Nothing wring with a bit of bling.  

So, thankfully my triathlon career hit off to a successful start and I caught the bug. It also meant I set myself some pretty high targets for the future.

Onwards and upwards. 


P.S. Big thanks to my support team – mum, brother, nan, grandad, Beth and Karen (Beths mum/my surrogate Welsh mother).

Preparing to Lose my Triathlon Virginity

Pre finding my teenage self (whoever that was) I was a county swimmer and went on the occasional run.  In my head, I had these two elements nailed and  surely learning to ride a bike was just basic. I had looked at the pacing of previous years competitors and despite my busy night life, I couldn’t see why a top ten placing was unrealistic. 

I am a nightmare, I can’t see the point in doing something unless you are in with a chance of doing well and willing to give it 110%. I apply this to my work, going out, studying, this blog and competing. I hate the thought of failing at anything and the fear of doing so honestly gives me bouts of anxiety.  

So, preparing for this triathlon I had entered… 

I did minimal training other than a bit of general running, cycling and even ventured to the public swimming session to check I was still operational.  The public swimming session is worth a mention; OH MY DAIZZZZ, the lane politics are something else – I sustained a black eye and bruised shoulder. They are SO territorial. Obviously I stood my ground in the firmest but fairest way possible by refusing to move. 

The weekend leading up to the event was the August Bank Holiday.  Naturally I went out Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. Why not?! I spent the remainder of the following week sobering up and catching up on sleep.

The weekend soon arrived together with my mum, brother, nan, grandad who travelled from Essex to support/laugh/encourage me over the finish line.

I think I should point out here that I genuinely had no gear and absolutely no idea.  I was told that wetsuits were compulsory so I borrowed a friends surfing suit.  I was none the wiser until I was standing in my start wave and noticed that I was very much the odd one out.  

I had managed to invest in a tri-suit which, until it arrived I had thought was some sort of all-in-one wetsuit. Didn’t realise you wore this under the wetsuit – I assumed you either wore one or the other and then got changed after your swim. Good job I was put right the day before, otherwise everyone in transition would have witnessed a sneaky strip show. 

The day before I spent on YouTube, watching how to get your kit off and on ASAP.  I was also watching how best to get my leg over without causing any damage and as smoothly as possible. 

Obviously both skill sets are essential for a quick Transition 1 (T1) and Transition 2 (T2). In both departments I lacked considerable experience – Somethings in life you just can’t prepare for.

Therefore, the day before, I spent practicing: dressing and undressing; jumping on, riding a short distance; jumping off and quickly running away.  Honestly, I don’t know how people do this so quickly and just jog off like nothing has happened. 

What became a problem, together with my inexperience was my clumsiness. I am dyspraxic, walking in a straight line is challenging enough. Let alone completing an efficient transition when so many components require precision. 

As the saying goes, fail to prepare… 


Riding Solo (ft. Jason Derulo.)

So, in June 2018, I bucked my ideas up and launched myself into becoming a #strongindependantwoman. With the help of some very valued friends, I escaped the (beautiful) depths of Wales and moved to Shrewsbury as a lone free ranger. 

Please refer to the above picture of me embracing my new independence. Getting naked and running around is liberating. Liberating until some tourists (the type that take pictures of pigeons in London and carry cameras around their necks whilst wearing socks and sandals) pulled over and thought they were the paparazzi. So yes, (somewhere in the world) there is a picture of me running around the south coast of Iceland, naked.  I hope they enjoy it.  Was not the first time and probably won’t be the last time I have been caught ‘skinny dipping’.  Who dares wins. 

As part of this miraculous transformation and adamant independence, I rediscovered an appetite for BIG  nights out and everything that went with it. From the end of June until December 2018, I didn’t spend a single weekend in my own company. I was either ‘out out’ or visiting friends at either end of the country. Spending a fortune, getting terrible hangovers around working stupid hours and occasionally frequenting the gym. Safe to say, this was not sustainable but enough of this reminiscing over nights I can barely remember. I am sure I had fun. 

As a recently single female, together with embracing some classy nights out, you are meant to do something drastic like chop off your hair, get a tattoo blah blah.   I entered the Shrewsbury Triathlon and bought a second-hand road bike (Specialized Roubaix) – also due to a (tiny) bit of sibling rivalry. I know, wild child right here. 

Honestly, a road bike is a completely different creature to your normal two wheeler.  First outing resulted in me crashing into a hedge and flying over the handle bars. Women drivers are a nightmare. As are stinging nettles.  

I had from June to September to learn how to drive the bike and to get somewhere near ‘triathlon fit’. 

Anyway, I set about continuing my personal development of nights out, putting miles on my car at weekends and living life at 110 mph not knowing whether I was coming or going – obviously living my best life. 

September was ages away and what’s a triathlon anyway!?!?


Mind Over Matter.

So, to continue with my life ramblings and to provide more recent background as to how I have ended up 220 miles from home with a professional career and being a triathlete, I have delved into my mental archives and drawn upon events which have shaped who and where I am today.  It tired me out just writing about it – there should probably be a health warning attached. 

N.B. Don’t get the violins out on my account. I promise the below has had a hugely positive impact on my life and has given me a greater awareness and appreciation of other peoples circumstances. I can empathise. 

In 2015 I graduated from the mothership, Harper Adams University with a much worked (and played for) 2:1 degree in Rural Enterprise and Estate Management. Many a night was spent in the 24H room together with Sexual Scare (the local club) and the Student Union Bar. I would suggest all in equal measure. I had a lot of fun during my first and second year and gave my social life 110% effort. As a result, I made a lot of very valued friends who I am still in touch with and wish I could see more of. 

During my placement year (in Mid-Wales) I met my (ex) boyfriend and once graduated decided it was an excellent idea to move my entire life to the West Midlands because, well what could possibly go wrong!? At my current firm in Shrewsbury, I worked my butt off to get my Chartered Status together with further exams to become a Fellow of the CAAV. Detail is boring but these exams loomed over me for almost 24 months and put life on hold. 

These years (2015 – 2018), together with my final year, have by far been my toughest.  I lived on my own in the middle of a tiny Welsh village. I went from going out twice a week to barely ever and felt completely isolated. I worked from 0800-1900, 5 days a week coming home to an empty house with no signal. I sacrificed a huge amount; my family, my friends, a social life, a lot of my confidence and just buried my head in the sand. 

I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to: have a successful career; be a supportive girlfriend; comply with societies ‘norms’ (get married in your 20’s, have children); be financially independent; be a good friend; have a social life; make time for my family; be fun; live up to this apparent great life so many people seem to portray on social media. I created a very good front to everyone in the big wide world. 

I appreciate that this post is very heavy but it is hugely relevant to what I am doing and where I am now. Often in races and during training it really is mind over matter. Physically you can reach a limit but it is often your mentality that can take you that bit further. I will refer to this again in a future post but I have turned this mentality around into something positive. During these years I was pretty low and felt mentally weak. It wasn’t until I forced myself to think about it and what was making me feel like this that I found I was stronger than I realised. I look back now and realise I was not being weak, I was purely being stubborn and not wanting to admit that:

  • I was potentially wrong to relocate away from home;
  • that I was unhappy;
  • that I missed my friends and family back in Essex; and
  • that the whole relationship was a situation that couldn’t be fixed (through no fault of either party).

I am now exactly the same with my training sessions and in races. I just can’t give up, for better or worse I am more stubborn and determined than I ever have been before. 

Another reason for me posting this is because time and time again, I speak to friends who are in a similar situation to what I was then. It makes me realise that it is not uncommon and I want to shake them and tell them that they are better than that and that if you set you mind on something (no matter haw small), you can achieve it and you can achieve it on your own. 

Mental health is a huge thing.  I would not say I have ever suffered with depression but I certainly believe that sometimes in life we all find ourselves in less than comfortable situations and often it is external influences that trigger this which are out of our control.  All of the factors affecting my happiness were within my control and realising that made me undertake some serious life admin which admittedly took some balls. 

You have to be selfish sometimes, make decisions for the sake or your own happiness and that isn’t a bad thing.  

I promise to be more upbeat going forwards but I want this blog to be real life. Not just what is ‘photogenic’. We are all human and we can’t always be flying high, that is just a fact of life. 

Oh and, I don’t think I was wrong to move away from home. I am very content in Shrewsbury.

I also refuse to apologise – very un British on me. 



I had prepared an ‘official’ third entry but I decided to be spontaneous and delight you with some sole triathlon training content. Given this is what my life revolves around. 

Sam and I use Training Peaks which connects to my Garmin and allows him to spy on me and make sure I am doing as I am told. I try my best. 

So as well as my continuous whitterings to him over text, I also express any displeasure over Training Peaks. I try to give him Sundays off. 

So here is an extract of one of these entries on Training Peaks and what I subject my poor coach to. 

The session under attack was a 48min interval run set consisting of 8min max efforts and 2min easy with a warm up/cool down either side.  Running intervals are not a favourite but a necessity (apparently *eye roll*). 


Session Overview: 

  1. Got to the end of the road and had to turn around because my leggings were on back to front, not only that but inside out. FML. 
  2. It is womans week. FML.
  3. I am 1kg fatter and I feel like an elephant (probably due to point 2 above and pizza consumption). FML.
  4. I got stitch after the first max effort. THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME. 
  5. A combination of 2, 3 and 4 above meant I was slower. A lot slower than I thought I would be. 
  6. This made me (slightly) late for work. HATE being late.  
  7. I boiled some eggs for lunch. 
  8. Forgot to take them out my car. 
  9. Am now about to take one of the senior partners out in my car. 

As you can see, I am a delight and full of positivity on a Monday morning. I am not sure whether Sam (coach) laughs or cries but 7 months in, he is still putting up with me. 

Today (Friday) is a rest day. PRAISE THE LORD. Since last Friday I have done some 11 hours of training.  This past week has been full of double sessions (morning and evening).  This weekend I have a 2 hour brick (Bike-Run) session, a 3,000m swim AND a 15km run to look forward to! 

Honestly, I actually enjoy this in an almost sadistic way and hopeful for some reward. *touch wood*. So far, there has actually been no single session which I have dreaded and despite my above ramblings, I am hooked.   

Life story to continue shorty but the the mean time, I am going to enjoy my REST DAY – to include pizza, my bed and aeroplane mode – some self-love which is WELLLL over-due. 

DND (Do Not Disturb). Have a killer of a weekend. Xoxo.  

Before | Now | No Idea.

So, I think a alot about the future.

I think that is a good thing because no one likes to live in the past.

However, on one of my longer bike rides the other week, I reverted back to my 16 year old self and what I was doing this time, ten years ago and where I thought I would be now…

I was loving life. Member of Young Farmers… no further comment needed.

I was eventing my 6 year old mare who I bought myself (not the bank of mum and dad) as a 4 year old and took her from being barely backed to sailing around British Eventing 100 course and collecting rosettes. She broke my heart, going lame after her first season. She also broke my jaw and gave me concussion, putting me in hospital more than once. Persistence beats resistance… until you run out of money and the bank of mum and dad are not an option.

I worked as a lifeguard every weekend and evening to fund this hobby. I was slightly delusional. Genuinely thought I was funding my future and that I would be riding around Badminton/Burghley by now (international level). Failing this, I would be a successful business woman, strutting around the streets of London in my Chanel suit and Christian Louis Vuitton stilettos. I mean, a girls got to have ambition, right?!

I had my FIRST EVER boyfriend. Literally head-over-heels. He was the year above me, typically handsome (if you read this, don’t let it get your your head because it is already big enough) and aspired to the world of banking (and w*anking). I honestly thought he was it. The one. We would both go to university, remain faithful and completely in love, graduate and have successful careers.

I honestly thought that we were soul mates and that we would both embark on successful careers, earning our millions. During this phase of life, I would be rocking a massive diamond of great clarity and we would be planning our MASSIVE wedding and our no-expense spared honeymoon where we would make love every night and would return glowing with a little sproglett on the way. In my head, this was all perfectly possible before the big 3 – 0.

Obviously before this point, he would have wined and dined me, showered me in Mulberry/Chanel handbags, Tiffany jewellery etc. etc. Y’know – the usual student/graduate wage gifts.

Safe to say, I am a bit of a dreamer. Not that there is anything wrong with a dreamer. I still am but perhaps (hopefully) less naive.

OMG. I know right. All fairy tales have a shitter of an ending. GUESS WHAT. The f*cker was a cheating toad (I can tell how shocked you all are). Oh and by cheating, I don’t just mean a cheeky snog. He was a slut. Fair enough, we are all only young and foolish once.

Anyway. Karma is a thing. Bye Boy.

So, (eventually) I big girl pants on and had a reality check. Que, Destiny’s Child, Survivor.

I mean, I have encountered a few more toads since this one but I have not made the same mistake twice. Just a variation of it.

It’s weird because this relationship ended by the time I was 18 but it has massively shaped who I am today, how I conduct myself and how I am able (not able) to deal with and portray my emotions. Life is too precious and too short to waste time. Naturally, I hit freshers week pretty hard. It was fun and I forgot about him.

Things that motivated me when I was 16:

  • Designer bags
  • A flashy lifestyle
  • Nice presents
  • Making a good impression
  • Money

Anyway. 10 years on:

I am happy;

I have a first class degree;

I have gained Chartered status;

I am standing on my own two feet, I have a (so far so good) career as a Rural Chartered Surveyor (Associate Land Agent) with my own house;

I have some amazing (and very patient) friends;

In January I started triathlon training, coach (Sam) in tow and sitting here today, August 2019, I have qualified for the 2020 European and World Triathlon Championships (25-29 AG);

Around this I have a (occasionally hectic) social life; and

Am attempting to set a good example of a #strongindependantwoman to my god daughter, Madeline Smith.

To summarise, life is actually going AMAZING albeit a different path to the 16 year old me had planned. I am very lucky and very grateful.

Currently I am motivated by:

  • Going faster
  • Meeting new people
  • Gaining a sense of achievement
  • Wanting to make a difference (in all ways possible)
  • Doing things that make me happy
  • New opportunities and making the most of them
  • Obviously my coach, Sam Mountain, my Family and Friends are massive motivators. All of whom are a great great support network and who I will be forever grateful for.

Obviously a lot has happened in 10 years. Some of which I will fill you in on but as two points in time, it is amazing how much life can change and how as a person, you evolve. In my instance, I think for the better.

I don’t think much of the person I was 10 years ago, or even the person I was 12/18 months ago but that’s what makes who you are today and in the future.

Life is a journey, for better or for worse. The world owes you absolutely nothing. Who know’s what the next 10 years will bring or even the next 10 months but here’s to working hard, being kind, having a great time and at some point making a difference in this messy world!

LATERSSSS. Love you all. xoxo.