My daughter was entered into her first triathlon race and the excitement was contagious. She was filled with nerves, fears, doubt and excitement. This made for a cocktail of emotions that saw some tears the night before and minutes before entering transition.
But to her credit, she was brave. Courage is one of those qualities few talk about when things are going well in life. But when you do something for the first time, you enter the unknown, courage is the one thing you need in buckets.
To add to the drama, we enter transition to rack her bike. My best mate Brett is there (not racing due to illness) which was a blessing in disguise. Annabel’s back tyre has gone completely flat with 2 minutes before transition closes and they kick everyone out. Her race is due to start in 15 minutes and the clock is ticking. USM organisers agree to let us back into transition after it closes… if we can get the tyre fixed!
So whilst I escort Annabel towards the starting area for her to enter the water for her swim (she’s nervous about sharks), GodFather Brett has taken over the bike mechanic’s tent with a “We’re fixing this now, no matter what happens” attitude.
Annabel and I head to the starting area and without the use of microphones, we miss the swim start and the field has taken off without my girl (my bad!). Two other girls also miss the start, so I hush them all into the water and give my girl a quick kiss for luck. Perfect in a way so she had little time to think about it.
Brett has the bike fixed and we run around to see Annabel exit the water. The swim was her biggest fear for this race. But seeing her face when she exited the water, we saw a girl who was now relieved and excited – she was doing it!
Onto the bike, whilst we all cross our fingers and hope the gaffer taped tube holds up for the 2km bike ride. It does.
Annabel exits the run and experiences the first timers learning curve of pacing. With bouts of speed and “oh no, I need to walk”, she still manages to be the 9th fastest in the first timers run leg, crossing the line with an impressive burst of speed even her Dad was inspired by.
Some days we search for inspiration. Sometimes we need to look no further than our beautiful children trying their hardest.
Thank you Annabel for giving your Mum and Dad memories that will enrich us for a lifetime. And no doubt an experience that you will carry with you forever.
Today was a good day!