Training hard can hurt, but dreaming big never does.
That’s what my great friend Nic and I told each other in London in 2013 when, by coincidence, we met while participating in our second-ever Paratriathlon races.
Right back at the beginning, that was – of course – also our first World Championships, and we both did well, with myself in the PT2 class and Nick in PT1.
But while we did well that September, my enduring memory is the conversation we had afterwards, and how that shared dream has made us the very best of mates. “Our dream,” we said almost in unison, “is to make it to the first ever Paralympic triathlon in Rio 2016.”
There are now just 50 days until that history-making day in Rio, and the crazy thing is that just last week, both Nic and I discovered that we will indeed live our dream by taking to the start-line.
Dreaming big is the fuel to achieving whatever it is you want to achieve, even in a sport as tough as triathlon. I took that attitude to my sport and became the first Aussie above-knee amputee to set a world-record in the most gruelling of all the triathlon formats – Ironman.
Nic Beveridge, my very best of mates, also knows how to embrace the challenges life throws at you, seek out even bigger ones, and overcome them as well.
His story is truly inspiring. At the age of 17, he lost consciousness one night while studying for an exam, and when he woke up, he was a complete paraplegic from the chest down.
But Nic being Nic, he had simply woken up to his new life. At one point, while confined to months of bed rest, he was inspired to hear on TV the story of an amputee who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa.
“Inspired” is a word that triggers mixed emotions, because it can be overused. But watching the 2012 Paralympic Games on TV truly inspired Nic for the first time in his life. With a flick of a switch, he was inspired to Google ‘extreme endurance Para-sport’. He was inspired by an article about a Paratriathlete called Bill Chaffey, who is now one of his teammates.
He was inspired to get in touch with Bill, who inspired him to start training.
That is what “inspirational” really means. Today, Nic inspires me. I am quite sure he inspires others. Together, we will live our dream in 50 days. We would love to have you along for the ride too.
Follow Nic’s story: nicbeveridge.com@nicbeveridge @nicbeveridgeparatriathlete @nicbeveridge