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It’s the time of the year when we all start to reflect on the year just passed. Not only our achievements in the world of triathlon, but everything. I wanted to take some time to write about this – not just harping on about how great my year has been, blah blah blah, but the rest of it. The real stuff. Why we are here, what do we want out of life...

Each and every year, my aim is to look back and feel like I have really lived my life. To have challenged myself, achieved things, overcome things, and most of all, to have taken away amazing, memorable experiences that I will never forget.

Take triathlon completely out of the equation (because it wasn’t IN the equation!) and 2011 was easily the best year of my life up until that point. I experienced things I had never come close to and many people never will. If I can get to the end of a year and feel like “yes, I have really made the most of my life”, then I will feel happy that when I get to the end of my life, I will have no or very few regrets. That I have lived life to the fullest, taken every opportunity I can, discovered things about myself and others, and had enriching experiences that will last forever.

On New Year’s Eve last year I was in a tent in a storm at the top of Beachy Head cliffs. (I’m not a fan of NYE, I like escaping it). It was actually an incredible experience and I know I’ll never forget it. I went on a run today and I thought afterwards, “I will never forget that”. Every time I have a moment like that, I savour it. Because for me, this is what life is about.



So at the end of last year I was extremely happy with what I had achieved in 2012. Probably beyond my wildest dreams if I went back a few years. I travelled to Thailand on my own to rock climb, went on a climbing trip to Siurana, ran my first ultramarathon, ran three major marathons, completed my first Olympic triathlon, my first half Ironman, I learnt to swim properly, got a triathlon coach, received a promotion at work, met a guy I quite liked… ;-) – it was hard to top.

There is no way in a million years that I would expect to be in this position now, having progressed in triathlon a bit and sat here with 15 sponsors. I know I’m incredibly lucky, and luck plays a part among other factors. But I strongly believe in the ability to make whatever you want from yourself. I remember my best friend saying to me when we were still young, “you always land on your feet”. It annoyed me at the time because I just make stuff happen. I’m one of the most determined people you can get, and I’m truly relentless.

This year has been so fantastic in so many ways, and I think creating experiences that you’ll never forget is something to be treasured. Ironman is obviously my major event of the year, and like anyone, the training takes over your life for the better part of a year, but that feeling when you cross the finish line is something you will cherish forever.



But my most memorable things about this year apart from travelling to Paris and Berlin to do the marathons, Mallorca 70.3, training camps, and topped off with an amazing New Year’s Eve in Lanzarote  (all the physical stuff that has happened) is the emotional side of my journey. Wow, it’s been intense, it has to be said!

Training at such intensity, that step into dedicating your life entirely to something – is a big thing. For you and for those around you. I know the people closest to me have had to endure endless triathlon chat from me which I know must get hideously boring! And more importantly, they’ve demonstrated wonderful patience as I have put my energy into this one goal, and what’s more, have supported me along the way. That’s something incredible, and means more to me than any Ironman finish line.



I’m not great at showing appreciation sometimes and although this blog post is verging on dull sentimental thank yous, I have to reveal this huge bit of gratitude I have because it’s this kind of stuff that really keeps us going.  Through all the hard times and through all the elation too.

My life has changed radically this year. In fact, this year, my life has probably changed more than it ever has.  Sounds a bit extreme, but it’s actually true. I have gone from being a pretty rubbish triathlete who wanted nothing more than to do Ironman “just for the challenge”, to slowly but surely carving a path into the triathlon world. I think I have said before, I have no idea where this path will go but I am willing to put everything into it, because it feels special to me.

I am still unbelievably overwhelmed with all the support people have given me. I frequently think, WTF, seriously, why is this happening to me!? But it’s genuinely amazing, and I am eternally grateful. I know this sounds unbelievably clichéd but there is NO way I would be where I am without the invaluable support and help I have had from other people.



This has truly been a lesson learnt. Despite all the cool places I have been, cool things I have done, cool things I have acquired (new kit anyone!?) – it is actually the cool people that are in my life, and I think everyone’s life, that really benchmark where we’re at in the world.

I couldn’t be any more excited for 2014. I love new years, because they bring new opportunities for me to tick things off, have life-changing new experiences, achieve new things, meet new people, and write more new blog posts J.
So I’m not going to prolong this gushing diatribe any longer, but thank you, for everything. You know who you are…

A monumental thank you to my wonderful sponsors: Fitnaturally, Lovelo Cycle Works, Trojan Training, Emma James Physio, Sportspace, Frogspark Studio, VO2 Sportswear, Triathlon Training Spain, Palm Paddle, Rick Kiddle Coaching, Get Buzzing, Sigvaris Sport, Zone3, NOWCA, Catlike.