Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Feeling Great at 28

At the moment I’m fairly satisfied with life. I had a great birthday. The day before I went to see an audio described performance of Mamma Mia at the Birmingham Hippodrome with some friends. Then the day of my birthday, I had lunch with my family and raced in the evening where I finally broke my 100m PB after three long years. I knew the PB would definitely be broken this year as I’m running better than ever, but it was good to get that monkey off my back. MyPB from 2013 was 13.93 and twice this year I got agonisingly close to it clocking 13.96 both times. Then on my birthday I managed to drop it down to 13.61, which was a time I knew I had in me and was so pleased to actually produce it. To prove it wasn’t a one off, last Saturday I ran 13.52 but the time is illegal, as the wind was just over the allowed limit. Nevertheless, with a few races left of the season, I hope to continue running mid 13s if not even better.

A few days after my birthday I was given the opportunity to represent Great Britain for the first time at the London Anniversary Games over 200m. It would only be my second 200m in four years and it is an event that I do zero training for. However, I couldn’t give up the chance to race in the Olympic Stadium in front of a crowd around fifty thousand people. With it not being my primary event, I was able to really enjoy the experience as I didn’t have any pressure. I have to admit the second 100m of the race felt like hell. The lactic really kicked in and I was seriously hurting. My previous 200m PB was 30.54 which I ran a couple of weeks before. I knew I would run faster than that and was happy with 28.91. In my head I really wanted to run twenty-eight something. To put my 13.61 and 28.91 into perspective, they would have got me 4th at the Europeans in June. Things are heading in the right direction, but I know they are just the beginning. I need to keep progressing and not wait another three years to break my PBs again.

I also have a new job, which I hope will be more successful than the one I had last year. It is a zero hour contract, but that works for me. I only want to work a couple of days per month so it doesn’t disrupt the athletics training yet gives me a boost to my income. I will be working as an Expert by Experience. Basically the job entails helping inspectors with their inspections of health and social care provisions. I have enjoyed the training and look forward to starting properly later this month.

On my last birthday I remember feeling a bit lost with life. This year I’m feeling more positive. I’m lucky to have a small number of close friends both sighted and visually impaired. I’m grateful to have found a job that will compliment my athletics career. I’m confident that my hard work is paying off and I’m going to reach my athletics goals. I’m privileged to have a supportive network around me. Ok so I’m not getting married or having babies anytime soon, but I’m living life and loving it.

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