This is the face. The face of someone who just realised they had to cycle up a short sharp hill not once but nine times. And the face of someone who then realised that the same hill needed to be tackled twice again while running.
On Sunday I did the Crystal Palace Triathlon. This year I decided to leave ITU paratriathlon racing opportunities to one side in order to focus on races closer to home. This would get rid of the travel stress (I travel a lot for my job). But it would also help me to be kinder to my troublesome left knee. I was not sure my knee could withstand the intensity of training to race at the ITU level. And the added bonus was that by racing local I would also be able to lend my support to my local paratriathlon movement.
Thanks to changes in the London League this year, paratriathlon is now a category in all league races. The league operates an open paratriathlon system, so that anyone with an impairment can race as a paratriathlete, with the aim being to name a season paratriathlete winner (male and female). And in addition all clubs that field paratriathletes will also get a point for each event raced toward the club of the year points total.
Loading my knee up a hill eleven times was not exactly what I had in mind when it came to giving my knees a break this season. But I was incredibly motivated by the fact that – perhaps for the first time ever – I could participate in a race AND win points for my team. Like so many people with CMT, I was a slow kid and usually the last picked for a team. So to feel that my participation could actually BENEFIT my team was a whole new experience.
I can’t tell you how proud I was to represent London Fields Tri Club on Sunday. Thanks to everyone for the opportunity to race for LFTC. And thanks to all of my coaches and supporters for keeping me whole so that I continue to have the ability to race.
Eleven up *that* hill? Totally worth it.