Christmas 2013 - Mind tricks
It’s just passed 12:15am on Christmas Eve, I fill my car with friends and begin to drop them home after a night catching up in Moran's pub. A tradition with friends over the last 10 years. This year however is different, I am the designated driver for the night. In 2013 I lost the Road Race and the Time Trial World Championships in Quebec, crushing defeats at the time.
I sat in Moran’s pub that night and wondered if I had made the right choices over the last year. My three sisters had just travelled back to Ireland to join family and friends for two weeks, one from England with twin girls and my younger two sisters from Melbourne. Life has moved at a fast pace for the majority of people my age over the last 6 years, Melbourne, Singapore, Kuala Lumpar, Vietnam, Seoul, Qatar, Dubai, people are working and living all over the world and seem to love it. I feel as if I am missing out.
Chris Rea comes on the radio as I take the Clonmacnoise exit off the N6, the car is now empty. I constantly ask myself if I made the right decision to commit the next three years of my life to qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Why didn’t I retire after London and go out on top, move to the US and throw myself into a career in Sports Management. I presume it is normal for a full time athlete to have self-doubt, to question what path they are taking.
The truth is, I find these mini self psych sessions excellent. They help me review my goals and beliefs and keep me on the straight and narrow. After wrestling with these thoughts I realize that I am extremely motivated to train harder than ever before, I will make commitments that I haven’t made before, make sacrifices that are essential if I am going to claw back 69 seconds, the losing margin in the TT world champs. I will make these because I love the sport of Handcycling, the freedom I get from it, and the power that sport has to change peoples lives and preconceptions.
Over the next three years I am going to use this blog to keep you up to date with travel tips, training tips and stories I experience along the Journey to Rio.