Monday, December 26, 2011

Next Step - London 2012

As I am getting closer to the end of the year I have been reflecting on what has been probably one of the most exciting years for me yet!  12 months ago I would have never thought that I would be fighting for a spot at the London Paralympics in Cycling!   Rowing maybe, but not cycling, my, how things change in just one year.
I have a lot to be grateful for this year and a lot of people who have been helping me to attain my goals.  My husband Russ, my coaches Helen and Bob Kelly, the staff at the Victorian Institute of Sport (especially Crooksy in the gym, Arnaud on the massage table and Wendy in physio), the coaches, staff and other cyclists from the Para-cycling arm of Cycling Australia, my sponsors Morey Wickham Chartered Accountants, the kids that I race each Sunday (I learn heaps from them!) and all my friends and family – they have all been great support!  They all helped me win my two silver medals at the World Championships in September.
I have been working really hard since the Worlds in September, but it is about to get even harder!  We are heading to the pointy end of making the team and there is still a lot of work to be done.  I am very pleased with how things have been going.  I get my new trike at the end of January (fingers crossed!), I’ve dropped 7.5 kilos (with 2.5 to go), my leg strength has increased and my average cycling speed has also gone up.  Every small detail is being taken into account and I am learning more and more about how to train smart and race fast.
Even the really hard training sessions I try to enjoy, because little by little, day by day, I can constantly see the improvements.  Even when I am tired and I think that times are tough, I try to use my frustration as a catalyst for making improvements because everything is important.  I make myself persist and I know that the small actions will lead to big results.
I’ve also learned to acknowledge my strengths…this has given me an inner confidence, instead of constantly thinking about my weaknesses and I honestly believe that this has helped me during my hard weeks of training.  Harry Truman once said “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  So I will continue to improve my habits and look forward towards improving every aspect of my cycling.
So as I say goodbye to 2011, I look forward to 2012 and the rewards that it may bring.  Thank you to all those people who have been a part of my life this year.  I hope you all realize that beautiful moments and possibilities are calling.  Now is the moment to focus your life on and to allow what really matters to happen.
See you in 2012!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's All About the Details

Well my rowing season has come to an end and the focus is strictly on riding now.  Unfortunately I was unable to finish the rowing the way I wanted.  We did have a win in the 4 at the Melbourne Head Regatta but the one we have been training for since June, The Head of the Yarra, unfortunately didn’t happen for our crew.  The weather was really bad with major rain which causes the drains in the Yarra River to become treacherous.  So the organisers decided to scratch 118 boats and that included ours.  It was extremely disappointing and everyone has their own thoughts on the decision, so I won’t go into that!

So the riding has taken over and I have had some really great rides lately.  Today I got a taste of racing again when I headed to the Criterium run at Glenvale.  Now normally 3 wheels don’t ride with 2 wheels but they make an allowance for me.  I get to ride with the E grade riders who are learning to ride a Criterium.  The interesting thing is that I am probably almost old enough to be their grandparent!!!  And they usually kick my ass!  But today I got the chance to “blow out the cobwebs” by racing!  For the first time I was able to hang on to the main pack right until the end where they took off, cranking up the speed for the last couple of laps.

Now today was a day about details and for me right now details are a really good learning tool.  I am so new to riding that I need those details.  Some people think those details are tedious at times, but those details are what give substance to the dream you are chasing.  Today’s details helped me do the best I have ever done at the Criterium.  Even when I got dropped off the pack, I had a young guy (probably about 11 years old) riding with me and I told him to jump on my back wheels.  (I am a bigger wind break then he will ever experience!) I was able to impart some details to him during our ride together and at the end he was able to give it his all and sprint to the finish line (yes he did pass me and take off!).  Upon cooling down he waited for me and thanked me!  He was a lovely kid and even asked me lots of questions about my trike.

No detail is beneath you or unimportant, because all those details combined together, bring your dream to life.  I have a lot more details to work on but I am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Consequences

The other day I had the privilege of heading up to Castlemaine, to H.M. Prison Loddon.  Now you might ask why it was a privilege and hopefully through this posting you will understand why.

I headed up there to do a talk to some of the inmates, through the Street Soccer Program run by “The Big Issue”.  For those of you who don’t know “The Big Issue”, it is a magazine which is sold on the streets by those who aren’t as fortunate as the rest of us.  Some of them are homeless, some are struggling with addiction and some have physical or intellectual disabilities, but it gives them a job and a purpose. (see www.bigissue.org.au)

So I went to the prison on the day that the Street Soccer program is run to talk to them about setting goals and believing in themselves.  The soccer program is amazing and I guess the best way to describe it is in the words of Craig Foster “Street Soccer is one of the most inspirational examples of social transformation in Australia”.  It gives the players the support and motivation they need to change their lives.

At Loddon Prison they have about 20 intellectual disabled inmates and each is paired with a mentor.  Loddon is a medium security prison so houses men who have committed white collar crimes, serious driving offences or men finishing their sentence for a more serious crime and are coming to the time when they will be released.  The mentors assist the others with things such as learning to budget money for food, how to prepare a menu for the week and also how to cook.  There are numerous classes at the prison to make sure they are ready to live in the real world.

So here I was to talk about my life, facing my diagnosis and my fears about that, then how I set goals for myself.  I talked about the knock backs from different areas but how I refused to let that stop me.  As I said to them “when one door closes, another one will open, you just have to look for it.”  I certainly didn’t refuse to acknowledge that they had done something wrong so were doing the time for that, but that they had to have dreams and goals for when they left the confines of the prison.

I was extremely surprised at the end of speaking how many questions came my way.  It was the most inquisitive group I have ever spoken to.  Some of the questions were about my MS diagnosis, some about MS itself and a lot about my sporting careers.  We had a lot of laughs during the afternoon!  We then went outside so that some of them could show off their soccer skills and I must say there are a couple of the guys I can see being on the national Street Soccer Team!  I was even treated to the best coffee I have ever had and a piece of amazing cake, just taken out of the oven!

But this visit made me realize that we all have choices in life and because of those choices and actions we create consequences in our lives.  There are some actions that empower and enrich your life. But then there are other choices and actions that lead only to regret and disappointment.  These men I met on this afternoon had made choices that seriously compromised their future and are now paying the consequences.

As I said at the beginning that it was a privilege to speak to them that day and I think that it was because of the old saying “But for the grace of God go I”.  We have all done things in our past that could have led to serious consequences, we have just been lucky that nothing ever bad happened.

So if there is anything that you take out of this post I want everyone to remember that in every moment, with each thought and action you take, you are choosing your consequences.  Take advantage of each opportunity to choose the very best!





Sunday, November 13, 2011

Star Struck

When I headed to the Sunshine Coast in April this year for the Australian Para-cycling Championships never in my wildest dreams did I think that a short 7 months later I would receive an invitation to the Jayco Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards.  So when I received an invite back in October I was a bit taken back!  I decided not to go because I had been cycling for such a short time and to be honest probably thought I didn’t deserve to be there.

Then one week before the awards, the list of nominations for all the awards came out and bugger me…I had been nominated in the Female Para-cyclist of the Year category.  However I was up against Sue Powell, 3 time World Champion this year and a Tandem pair who were also World Champions on the track.  I knew that Sue would win the award with 3 World Titles and a world record, she really was unbeatable!  But all of a sudden I wanted to be there!  A quick email to Cycling Australia told me that there was not a seat to be had, but that they would put me on a wait list.

Well Monday night I got the email that there was a seat available and they had to know right away. First thing I needed to do was book a flight…that done I let them know I would be there.

I am so glad that I went, what a fantastic night!  I felt very privileged to be in the company of some of the world’s best cyclists and all of them Australians.  I had mentioned to the people I was sitting with that I had to get a photo with Cadel Evans.  Well one of the para-cycling coaches Sian Mulholland, without telling me, approached Cadel and asked him to come over to the table.  She introduced me as a dual silver medallist from the World Championships at which time Cadel put his hands on my shoulders and said “I know what it is like to win silver.”  I told him it was the wrong colour and that next year would be different.  He then posed with me for photos! WOW I wanted a photo but this was amazing!

I was lucky in that I also had pictures taken with Anna Meares, Australia’s and the world’s best track cyclist!

In the end Sue Powell did win Female Para-cyclist of the Year and very well deserved!  And I am happy that I did attend, it was an amazing night. 

Australia has amazing athletes who don’t forget their origins.  They may live all over the world and be world class names but they appreciate the accolades of their home nation and proved to me that they are willing to chat and have photos taken with newcomers to the sport like me!


Me with Anna Meares




Cadel mentioning knowing about winning Silver


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

302 Days and Counting

With my trip to Canada over and done I am right back into hard training.  It is only 302 days until the first day of the London Paralympics and it is something that is foremost in my mind.  I still don’t know if I will be on the team but I am going to give myself every chance at being there.

I went to a, well let’s call it, a seminar the other night with 3 time Gold Medal Olympian Drew Ginn.  It was about Goal Setting and boy did it give me more than I ever expected!  Drew is an amazing athlete, but he is more than that, he is a deep thinker, great teacher and the most generous person with his time that I have ever met.  The night was supposed to be 2 hours, but I must say that 2 hours and 55 minutes later I had to drag myself away.

Drew taught me some very important things that night.  Yes it is good to have a goal but why do you have that goal?  He talked about taking the time to reflect not only when things may not go to plan but when things are good.  Reflection helps because what you are trying to achieve is irrelevant…it’s the process of what you are trying to achieve.  He had us look at what our “Focus” is, what challenges we had ahead of us, what we wanted to achieve, what we needed to do that and what we needed to change.  Then it was a look at the “Insight”, in other words what insights from the past we needed to be aware of to support our pathway moving forward.  Next was “Significance, so why does the focus hold significance to you and others and whats your purpose.  Lastly it was “Help”, who will each of us engage with moving forward, who will we need to influence, challenge, support and who will influence, challenge and support us.  It was brilliant!

It reminded me that from each and every circumstance, from each and every experience, there is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to be gained, you just have to reflect!  The goal that I choose has to really matter to me because if it doesn’t then it’s not a priority.  If it isn’t a priority than any distraction or excuse can hold me back.

It really all comes down to communication with all of those “team members” involved in helping you reach that goal.  And after this evening with Drew I have already had a very good conversation with my cycling coach!  He has helped shift my way of thinking and by using his “personal vision map” that he introduced us to I believe it will give me a much better way forward.

With 302 days to go I feel I am more focused than ever and the last 2 weeks of training have been hard but rewarding!  I look forward to the next 5 months before Nationals and thank you to Drew for inspiring me to look in towards myself and really dig deep, to Reflect!

A last quote from Drew Ginn:
“To have a vision is important, to be able to enjoy life, working out ways to make that vision a reality is cool, fun and amazingly rewarding.  I figure if you can visualise it, you can make it happen.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Canadian Style

I think I forgot what Thanksgiving was having lived in Australia for the last 17 years.  But I have been quickly reminded while I have been here.  My senses have been awakened in the last couple of weeks with the smells and sounds of Thanksgiving.  

Walking not far from my sister’s home I was reminded of why autumn is one of my favourite times of the year!  The leaves on the trees were starting to change and the smell was fantastic.  I can’t really describe the smell, other than to say it was earthy and crisp.  It was wonderful walking through the forest; it was so quiet you could actually hear the leaves falling from the trees.  You could just stand and watch the squirrels foraging for food and hear the ducks on the lake.  It was absolutely calming.

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for the life we have been given.  We never chose the life we have been dealt but we do have a choice as how to live it.  I have been very lucky to be born into the life I have and this was brought home to me when my whole family got together for Thanksgiving dinner (minus a couple of people).  It was so wonderful to sit back and listen to the laughter and the chatting of  parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles, this I am so thankful for.  But more so I am thankful to the most amazing friends I have, that made this trip possible because without their generosity and kindness I would never have been able to remember what Thanksgiving means.  I am blessed and humbled by having my friends in my life.

This has been such a world wind of a visit home, not expected by me or family and friends, but one that has been truly magical!  This was further reinforced last night when I met up with old friends, some I had not seen in 37 years!  Yes the age of 13!!  And funny enough it seemed that we just got together and carried on like there had never been the years between us.

This has been such a joyous and positive visit that it has reminded me how blessed I really am.  My batteries have been recharged and rejuvenated and I head home today looking forward to the next year.  I feel energized about what I believe I can now accomplish and look forward to pushing myself.

As for family and friends in Canada, adios, stay safe, healthy and happy.  I will miss all of you terribly but will see you again in the near future.  

Australia…here I come!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Coming of Age

As most of my friends will know, I am not one for feeling old.  Age to me is just a number and should never limit you no matter what the number is.  Well the other night for the first time in a long time I felt old!  Not because I was doing something that made me feel that way but it was during my nephew Chris’ graduation from high school!

You see I left Canada when Chris was 10 months old.  It certainly wasn’t easy leaving my family behind to start a new life.  But I was not only Chris’ aunt but also his godmother and I lived with my sister and her family, so not getting to see him grow up was really hard.  Sure there were visits home, visits by them to Australia and phone calls.  But they are never the same as being there.

Well thanks to my birthday present I was able to go to his graduation!  It was amazing to see him all dressed in his gown and cap with 154 other students and I must say I was a bit teary as he received his certificate on the stage.  I don’t think I have ever felt such immense pride as he walked back to his seat.

These young men and women have their whole lives ahead of them and that night was filled with so much promise and possibilities.   They are standing right in the middle of life’s great and valuable opportunities.  Sitting there listening to the awards that were handed out was utterly amazing.  We hear so much bad stuff about the young people of today but looking at those 155 graduates and hearing what they had accomplished I have no doubt that our future is in the hands of some remarkable  young people.

So yes on this night I felt every one of my 50 years!  Not in a bad way, but in quite a few ways really:
  • Sad, that I hadn’t been able to see all his accomplishments with my own eyes,
  • Happy, that he had made it to such an amazing milestone,
        and
  • Proud, of the man that he has become
Congratulations Chris, thank you for being an important part of my life, I love you!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Love Surprises

A lot of people don’t like surprises, but I love them!  At my 50th birthday this past August my friends got together and gave the present of a lifetime…a trip home to Canada.  Boy I am lucky to have very nice friends!  It was the best surprise I have had in a very long time.  But with everything going on in my life I wondered how I was ever going to get there.  This was just before my trip to Denmark and then with London calling next year training was foremost in my mind.  So once I was back from Denmark I realized that the only time I could really take to visit family was right now.  I figured that this would give me a good few weeks to get my head together, have a break and be ready to put everything I had into my training for next year.

But as I said, I love surprises so thought “why not surprise my family”?  I am known to show up out of the blue but I seem to recall the last time I did that I was strictly told not to do it again.  It got the hearts racing a bit too much.  But this was too good to waste! (No I never did listen to what I was told!)

So I am now able to write about “The Surprises”.  And no doubt this blog will surprise the rest of my family and friends in Canada I have yet to tell!

I arrived in Canada last Wednesday and was greeted by a friend, Carolyn, whose home I stayed in for the night.  The next morning she called my mom and invited herself for a cup of tea.  About 10 minutes from my parents place I called and mom realizing that it would be the middle of night asked why I was calling and not sleeping.  Explaining that I couldn’t sleep and thought I would call she told me about Carolyn coming for a cup of tea, but she wasn’t sure why.  I then told her I was thinking of coming for a visit.  As it is close to Thanksgiving, she asked me if I was coming for that and my reply was “No I was thinking in about 10 minutes with Carolyn!”  Bugger me if she didn’t believe me!  I actually had to put Carolyn’s mobile on speaker phone so she could prove that I was really in her car.  Needless to say there was a lot of “Oh my god’s” and “I can’t believe it”.  When I arrived at the condo we both, mother and daughter had the same thought….take a picture.  As I walked towards the side door with my phone out ready to take a picture, she was holding her camera taking a picture.  Great minds think alike!

Since then I have spent a few days surprising other family, my sister – at a dinner she was having with friends, me just walking in.  My niece at her father’s, her mouth open and staring at me saying “Wha, wha, what are you doing here” and today my aunt at lunch.  I have even had a visit from my Australian niece Jamie, who married a Canadian, so is living in Montreal.  There have been tears, laughs, smiles and hugs and it has been so worthwhile!  It is hard living 16,000 km’s from my family and even though it is easy to call, Skype and email it is certainly not the same thing as a hug.
So as I said earlier, I have very nice friends, in fact the best friends that anyone could have and I have realized that sometimes life is too short.  If you get the chance to spend time with family, especially if they are so far away, you make the time.  You have to fill your life with richness and focus on what truly matters!  So thank you all my wonderful friends who have made this the BEST surprise that has been not only for me but has extended to the rest of my Canadian family and friends!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Hard Work Begins

We left Denmark on Tuesday morning and I was lucky enough to have 3 seats to myself, so I was able to curl up and get a few hours sleep during the 12 hours to Singapore.  At Singapore Changi airport we were all going to our respective cities so it was time to say goodbye!  It has been a wonderful two weeks getting to know everyone and I feel that I have made some wonderful friends on this journey.  It has been an amazing team to be part of, with staff second to none and team mates who are amazing athletes!  I have learnt so much on this journey and I look forward to learning so much more.

I have had the last couple of days off to get over the jetlag and it has certainly given me the time to reflect on what is ahead of me.  The hard work now begins!!  I have learned that next year at the Paralympics they have combined the Trike racing so that the men and women are all racing for one set of medals.  It will be factored meaning a sort of handicap so that the men and women are come out equal.  But it still means that I am competing against not only the woman who beat me at this year’s World Championships but all the men who came out on top as well.  So as I said, the hard work now begins!


Next time I'll be in the middle!
I am still bound and determined to be standing on the top of the podium next year and to do this I have to prove it with persistence!  These of course are only words and no matter how much I say it with conviction and passion I have to prove it with persistence.  With persistence I believe the biggest obstacles will fall and even the most ambitious achievements are within my reach.  I know that I can achieve whatever I choose to achieve and the process begins with the decision and commitment to do it!

No achievement is ever easy, I owe it to not only myself, but the people who believe in me to transform that possibility of a gold medal into reality.  The dream I have is in my hands and mine for the taking, all it will take is a little persistence!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tour of Copenhagen


Irene and I

Today was the only day that we had free and the only reason we weren’t leaving was because there were no flights out!  That was good for us.  It was decided that we would head into Copenhagen to have a look around and the best thing was that I have a friend, Irene Koch Pedersen, who lives in Copenhagen and she had agreed to meet us to show us around.

Irene works for MS Denmark and 2 ½ years ago she had been in Melbourne with her boyfriend for a year working with MS Australia, so that is how I met her.  Thank god for mobile phones!!  We were taking the train in to the central station from Ringsted, so via text messages I was able to let her know roughly when we would be at the station.  We arrived after about a 40 minute train ride and as we exited the platform via the escalator there she was!  She hasn’t changed a bit in the last 2 ½ years!  It was great to see her and introductions were made all round.

We decided to walk down to the canal past the National Museum, past the Christiansborg Palace which houses the Danish Parliament and to the Canal Cruises.  This is a one hour cruise through the canals around Copenhagen, touching most of the tourist sites.  We figured since we only really had the afternoon it was probably the best way to see everything.  Once we were on board we headed through the canals passing some amazing buildings, Holmen’s Church, The Old Stock Exchange and out in to a wider body of water, past the Playhouse, the Opera and through an area that is made up of manmade islands.  But these islands were made 300 years ago!  This used to be the naval yards and now house luxury living quarters.  The interesting thing is that they are all flats, no houses.  On one side of the canal is Christianshavn, this area is populated with a mix of business people, artists, eccentrics and families, but are considered to be an entity of their own!

We went through this area then out to see the Little Mermaid statue (thanks to Hans Christian Andersen).  Across from the Little Mermaid is a large gun ship which we were told once had an accidental firing which hit the captains summer house!  Rumour had it that his mother-in-law was staying there!!  I guess that is one way to get rid of a mother-in-law!


Flag on right is Mary's residence
 The cruise then continued past the Amalienborg palace, the royalresidence and in the distance you can see the Marble Church with an amazing huge dome.  The flag was up on Mary and Fred’s part of the palace but we didn’t see them give us a wave when we went by.  It was then back into the narrow canal and we went through the narrowest bridge in Copenhagen and it was narrow, the boat just fit through!\

 Once the canal cruise was finished we did a bit of souvenir shopping then headed to lunch.  Irene had organised a table for us at the Post & Tele Museum.  It was right up top of the building and we were able to overlook all the roof tops of Copenhagen!  It was an amazing view and the food was excellent!  Great choice by Irene!  It was then time for shopping!  So many places to go into and look around but very expensive in most stores!  It was then time to head back to the train station, walking through the many sides streets and past the Tivoli gardens.  If we had more time it would have been great to explore a bit more but we had to be back for our last team dinner!

Team Staff
 The dinner was great and the chef at our hotel made a special cake (banana) with homemade rhubarb ice cream for us!  But all good things must come to an end.  It has been a very successful campaign for the Aussie’s.  I have been amazed at the support provided by all the staff and the friendships built with the other athletes.  It has been a fantastic 2 weeks and I look forward to being part of this team in the future.

I am looking forward to getting home but now the hard work starts!  The next step is in all of our own hands and if we want it bad enough each one of us will make it happen.  We have to learn from where we have been, adapt and adjust our efforts to be even more effective.

Every day, every encounter, and every outcome is a new opportunity to move forward.  We have to keep focused on our goals and continue to strive.  Some of us had disappointments while here but they are just as much a part of the process as successes.

Thank you to all those who have supported me from here and home (both Canada and Australia).  You will never know how much it has meant to know that you were all behind me!  But as I said earlier, the hard stuff is about to begin!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 4 - World Para-cycling Championships - Denmark

Wow what a day!  When I woke up this morning the first thing I did was look out the wind to see what the weather was like.  There are 3 flags flying outside my window and every day the past week them have been flying at full flight.  This morning they were hanging still!  I couldn’t believe my luck, but would it hold out until 10:45 am?

I had breakfast and then made sure that I had everything packed that I needed and we left at 8:30 am to head to the course.  I was nervous as I was worried about some of the very narrow roads and “S” bends that awaited us.  As far as I was concerned they were alright on the time trial but with a number of trikes trying to get through I figured there would be some that would go off the road.

The morning was good I had my race plan all set and followed it, that is until I took the trike out for a quick ride and ended up cutting up the rear right tyre on god knows what.  So our mechanic Peter changed the tyre, not a problem, I had just over 15 minutes until start time.  Once the tyre was changed I headed towards the start line.  Before you can enter the start area you have to stop at the officials and sign against your name that you are there.  As I was sitting on my trike signing the tyre blew!  It is amazing how loud that is when you are sitting on top of it.  It was now 8 minutes to start time.  I think that every person on either side of the road who was there to watch all said at the same time “Oh!”  I must say that is not what I said, I think mine was more like “shit!” I turned around to head back to our tent and saw that Peter was running towards me.  I yelled that I had blown the tyre and he said he had heard it.  Needless to say my heart rate was rising! But Peter is amazing and within about a minute he had the tyre changed and I was off to the start.  It is a great way to get the adrenaline going!

The start was good, I was right beside my Canadian competitor and to the left of me the reigning World Champion from Germany.  In front of me was the men’s reigning World Champion, so I couldn’t be in a better position.  The start sounded and I went with them, with the first corner only a couple of hundred meters ahead you wanted to make sure you were out front.  We got around the corner safely but behind us there was a huge crash and pile up!  Glad I was out front.  My Canadian competitor was bound and determined to stay with the men and I was able to hold on for a couple of kilometres, but then realized that if I tried to stay with them I would blow up.  The one thing that Peter Day (the head coach of the Para-cycling team) had talked about was that if she was too strong, to not try and keep up but stay ahead of the other women.  I ended up working with a couple of the guys for almost the first lap until they too were too fast for me.  The rest of the race I was on my own and unfortunately the wind decided to make an appearance!

I ended up 2nd, but unlike the other day I was VERY happy with my result.  I had done the best that I could do and believe me tonight I know that I did everything I could.  My body is really sore tonight, but I look at the silver medal and know that I have earned it.  The experience was certainly worth it and I now know what I have to work on for next year.  Marie-Eve, my Canadian competitor is now the hunted and I have the luxury of being the hunter!

It is now time to “do the hard stuff”, because it will bring out the best in me.  I can’t merely embrace the challenges, I have to go out and look for the most meaningful and valuable ones.  I believe that if you choose to the hard stuff and find delight in the efforts you are able to make, you’ll enjoy the richest, longest-lasting and most fulfilling rewards!

Results from the rest of the Australian Team today:

Ryan Huges – C4 – Did Not Finish due to equipment failure
Michael Gallagher – C5 – 8th, only 5 secs down on 1st place!
Jayme Paris – C1 – 1st (medal not awarded due to lack of competitors)
Matthew Formston}
Phil Thuaux            } Men’s Tandem – 22nd
Brandie O’Connor }
Kerry Knowles       }Women’s Tandem – 16th
Michael Taylor}
Craig Parsons  }Team Relay Hand cycles – 6th
Nigel Barley    }

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 3 - World Para-cycling Championships - Denmark

I must have crashed last night!  I was so tired after my time trial that I didn’t wake up until 6:50 a.m.  Now most would think that was early but for me who only sleeps about 5 hours a night it was huge!  I slept a whole 8+ hours!  When I woke up my body was extremely tired and my legs felt like they weighed double what they do, time to definitely recover.

First was to head to breakfast but after that it was time to get on the trainer and spin my legs out.  It felt good to get them moving, but I didn’t do it for too long.  I then spent time stretching and then after heading over to the coffee shop with Kerry, Sue and Sean it was time for a rest.  The best thing I did for my legs was to have Anouska our physio massage them this afternoon, just to get the muscle tightness out!  God it hurts sometimes but boy it feels good afterwards!  The rest of the day was spent resting and looking for results from the Aussie’s that were racing today.  Tonight will be hot and cold showers to help even more!

And what a day Australia had in the Road Race.  Sue Powell rode her way to her second Gold medal in the C4 category, becoming a “Dual World Champion”, absolutely amazing!  David Nicholas won a Silver medal in the C3 category to add to his Gold medal from the Time Trial.  Claire McLean was 9th in the C5 category with a number of riders crossing the line in the same time, Melissa Leckie was 7th in the H2 category, Craig Parsons was 11th in the H1 category, Michael Taylor was 17th in the H2 category, Nigel Barley was 6th in the H3 category, Stuart Tripp was 8th in the H4 category.  So overall, not a bad day at the office.

I am just about to hit the sack to get ready for tomorrow’s race and this time I am racing in the morning.  I am looking forward to that because I am always better physically in the morning, so my Canadian competitor had better watch out!  It will be a hard race due to the technical turns and narrow roads and hopefully there will be no crashes as there were this morning in the hand cycle races!

I am looking forward to the race and the adrenaline will be flowing.  As Charles Lindbergh once said “It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly.  You almost feel like you could fly without the plane.”  Well I may not have a plane tomorrow but this is what I have wanted to do so badly for the last couple of months, so hopefully I will be flying!!