Happy Australia Day! I have been a little absent of late but that is literally because I have been buried in a whole so deep of training I have almost forgotten who I am. But look, it is a new year, 2017 in fact! 2017 is a big year for me. It is the year that I am going to finish the incredible journey of Law School and have to work out what is next... Now in the spirit of honesty, I feel it is important to say that while this is an exciting thing, it is causing me a lot of anxiety. Not because I am worried about my results or anything. But instead, I am worried about the big change to my life. Change is scary!
It may surprise you to know that one of the most common comments people make to me is that "Once you get a proper job you wont be able to keep training the way you do." Every single time I hear this it bothers me. As if the person thinks that the only reason I have been able to lose the weight I have and keep it off is because I have more free time than them. To me it says more about the person who is saying it rather than me. But I cannot deny that entering the workforce is going to mean some changes to my life. The thought of going back to what I used to be like still terrifies me. I literally have nightmares about it and those sort of comments do not exactly make it easier.
That being said, I am a huge believer that there are some people who make the time. Other people make excuses. I am currently in the middle of a HUGE training block. I am talking full on professional athlete hours. Yes, this is because I have free time because I am on uni break. But, I do manage to put in decent training hours when I am studying as well (and if you think a full time law degree isn't demanding you are a bigger dickhead than I am!) Despite that, there are times when I would rather do other things. I would like to go meet my friends at the Pub, or sit in front of the TV and get stuck into one of the PS4 games that are whispering sweet words into my ear. No, instead I prioritise my training and if I have time I then do those things that I want to.
As I approach the end of my degree I have realised that my motivations are very different now. I am not afraid to admit that one of the big reasons I wanted to get into law was the potential to earn a good income. What I have come to realise though is that it does not motivate me anymore. I am instead motivated by ensuring I have a suitable work life balance. When I was young I obtained a surprisingly senior position very early and earned more money than any 24 year old should. I literally had more money than I knew what to do with. The funny thing was that I wasn't happy. Now, my income is much lower but man I am so much more happier and surprise surprise, I want to stay happy.
I see so many great examples of people who work hard but also train hard and I know this is exactly who I want to be. I am extremely lucky because despite everything else in my life, I have the support of an amazing women who knows exactly how important my sport and fitness is to me. I mean, let's be honest, I am not playing for sheep stations and yes I am getting faster. But my performance as an athlete is incredibly important to me as a person because it is so intimately linked to my journey.
After my race in Thailand where I double punctured, my Mum told me that my results do not define who I am as a person. It was reassuring to hear this because sometimes when you are in something so deep it is hard to see it. But the truth of the matter was that for me, as a person, it is a huge part of who I am and it really does affect how I see myself. I am not so sure that is a good or a bad thing but it is a thing.
What does bother me though is those people who suggest that I am not going to be as fast, fit, healthy as I am now because I wont have as much free time. A great friend of mine who I have mentioned a fair bit, Mike Robinson, is a seriously fast athlete with big dreams. He trains like a mad dog, is in a serious relationship with an amazing woman and manages to work a full time job and do it well. But why I bring it up is because he has prioritised his health in a way that few others do. I see it all the time. People who are too lazy or weak to do the same. They are the ones who are so quick to judge and belittle others who live a different lifestyle to them. The ones who see excuses for why others succeed when they are unable to. But it doesn't have to be that way either. One of the first things I say to people is that losing weight really isn't that difficult. There isn't a great secret and you don't need to be a master of self control or have mental strength in spades. Instead, you need to have the ability to be honest with yourself. I think this is something that many people are unable to do. They lie to themselves and to others and then they get so used to the lie it becomes their normal.
But back to me and my issues with change. Yes, I am anxious about what is going to happen this year but I am not going to let that get in the way of me making the most out of this year either. My result in New Zealand has shown me that my goal of a 4:05 70.3 is closer than ever and it has filled me with the motivation to train harder than ever before. Ultimately I have no idea what I will be doing with myself this time next year. I may be a practicing solicitor, I may have really gotten stuck into the triathlon coaching or I may have been elected President of the World. What I do know though, is that I will give my training priority and make sure I am still able to triathlon fast, stay healthy and ultimately be happier. I implore you all to do the same.
Happy Australia Day and remember to TRI!