With the Rio Paralympics fast approaching, I know that I’m not yet where I want to be, in terms of readiness for my event. I guess there are a couple of ways to approach one of the seminal occasions of your career, each at a completely different end of the spectrum. One is as a clear favourite, expected and pressured to succeed. The other is as an underdog, working like hell to succeed. A quote that one of my best mates Nic passed to me, is reflected in the title of this blog: ‘The truth is, the odds are probably not in your favour. But that just makes it a great story.’
Some would consider the space between where I am and where I want and need to be as an unbridgeable chasm. I prefer to think that I need to build a bridge across it. At this moment, I know I haven’t yet beaten any of the top three athletes in my discipline.
To give you an idea of the size of the bridge I’m building, I reckon that, in Rio, I’ll need to deliver a 10 minute swim, no more than 33 minutes on the bike, and just 19 minutes for the run. My current personal bests are 11, 34:30 and 23 minutes respectively.
I’ve based this assessment on the current performances of top medal hopefuls Andrew Lewis from GBR, Mark Barr from the USA, and France’s Stephane Bahier. Having never beaten any of the top three, this bridge will certainly take some constructing. The best of my competitors recently competed the 2016 Rotterdam ITU Paratriathlon PT2 classification race, and set vital new benchmarks, fast times that I know I simply must respond to!
Now based on the Gold Coast at the training camp, every single session – to be honest every waking moment – is about making myself as ready as I ever can be for Rio on 7th September. From here to there is around 14,000 kilometres, but it’s the gap in performances I’m more focused on.
To end by returning to the thought Nic passed on to me, achieving this, beating the odds, would surely make for a great story! I’ll be back soon with the next chapter…