If you don’t already know Issy, let us introduce you…
Here, we have a few words from the brave, hard working triathlete with a real passion for the sport. The 19 year old athlete from Wales is representing Great Britain in Triathlon and promises some great things.
This past year has seen the biggest rollercoaster of my life. The highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Pulling out of the Junior Europeans having trained so hard for months certainly wasn’t easy, but apparently glandular fever and racing don’t tie well together. In fact glandular fever and pretty much anything seem to resent each other!
It was all going so well …
I won the European qualification race in arguably the form of my life. Lifelong dedication and commitment finally starting to pay off. A few more months of training and I knew I’d be ready to finally try and prove myself at a Championship race; the aim of qualifying for Junior Worlds in Gold Coast by finishing in the top 8 firmly set. However my body, or more specifically my face, had other ideas … My face began to swell quite significantly three weeks after the qualification race, causing members of the squad to miss-identify me probably paints the picture … Three doctors appointments later we finally had answers. I received a phone call from my mum, ironically whilst out on a bike ride, telling me my blood results had just come back positive for glandular fever. Safe to say that ride ended pretty swiftly!
The first thing I felt was relief; relief it wasn’t anything worse and relief I felt so exhausted for a reason! The next was nothing. Ok sadness for split periods, but nothing like you’d expect someone would react to such a set back. News that could potentially mean my season that had just begun was over. I called my coach who even questioned how “remarkably ok”, I seemed. My reasoning to this is perspective. As I said this year has been a rollercoaster, including the lowest of lows. A low that hopefully will never be repeated was the loss of a close friend in January. As next door neighbours we grew up training together and she was genuinely the happiest person I knew. I’ve never known hour long swims to go so quickly or effortless runs to the trig point as we giggled our way to the top. She was the most special friend I ever had and ever will have. Since then life has been different, but strangely (despite the odd cry) in a positive way. The things that seemed urgently important are now not that. That girl lived every second this world gave and I too, and I’m sure everyone else who was lucky enough to come across her, will and is doing the same. Why mope around because you can’t train for a bit… I know who certainly wouldn’t have.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get the odd down time where I feel frustrated and upset. I miss the routine of training and the buzz off a good session and I’ll most certainly struggle to watch the Junior European race, but for now I am making the most of the novelty of relaxing over the summer months; erasing cycling tan lines, catching up with friends and appreciating everything and everyone, just living for today.
Watch this space!
Keep in touch with Issy, wish her well for next season or let her know how she’s inspired you on Social Media. Links to her profile are below: