This time last year I embarked on my journey to fulfil my “little big dream” of competing at the World Masters Athletics Championships.
It was a personal challenge, one I was confident of achieving. But I was wrong… or was I?
The winter months passed, and I was consistent in my training, my motivation high. Depending on my work schedule some of my runs were first thing in the morning, others late at night. I ran through rainy nights, blustery wind and hail storms. But I kept focused and not once did I deviate from my fitness programme. I would compete with the best in the world in my age-group; I had to give the best of me.
My body started adapting and responding to the training. Body fat fell away and muscles became more defined. With each passing day I felt stronger.
The start of my race season reflected this. I was on course to a great performance at the worlds. At least it’s what I believed. I always knew I was light-years from winning a medal, but there was a chance I would pass the qualifying rounds and get to the finals. That was my goal.
Over self-confidence is destructive. I kept pushing my body, on and off the track. I was offered several work projects which I accepted. I was capable of anything, or so I believed. My training would take up 1-2 hours a day, 6 days a week. Work another 10 – 11 hours Monday to Sunday, add in family life, keeping a house in ship-shape….plus eat and sleep… It was a cocktail for disaster. My body started giving out little signals…which I, of course, ignored.
Exactly a month before the World Champs I came down with a throat infection and high fever. And still I trained through it. At least I tried, but by the third day I could hardly get out of bed.
My right knee started giving trouble and tendinitis in my left foot just complicated matters more.
But I was still optimistic, until I started training again, every run was slower than the previous. I had reached my limit. Was it too late to rectify? I cut down on my training to let my body recover. There was still a chance I might make it to the finals.
Then three days before I was due to compete I go a phone call. Someone very close to me had had an accident and was in hospital… The next few days passed in a blur and I found myself on the start line of the 800m at the Malaga World Masters Athletics Championships and all I could think of was:
I don’t want to be here….
And I had the worst race I’ve had in a long time…
Sometimes dreams don’t come true…Or perhaps they do, just not in the ways you imagine. The final result wasn’t what I had expected. But isn’t it the journey that counts? I had a great year; it was immensely satisfying to see I could still get my body to run, twenty years on and as a mother of two, almost as fast as when I had been in my late teens. And that’s what I’ll take, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and the people you meet on the way…
And now to continue dreaming… I have several I hope to make a reality soon…