“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great!”

I hate cheesy inspirational quotes but when the going gets tough and the motivation is low I think about this quote. As many of you know, in September 2021 I began training for the biggest sporting challenging of my life – a half Ironman. I have always wanted to take part in an Ironman, I don’t really know why, but it was always something on my bucket list. Holkham Half isn’t until July 2022 – loads of time right?? I am the type of person who needs a goal when it comes to exercise; I would always have to sign up for something to make sure I did the training. I am very good at making excuses why I can’t train so it’s important that I have a deadline, a finish line to cross. I am so fortunate that I am an ambassador for TriHarder and along with the other ambassadors and my coach, Perry Agass, I am part of team of amazing women who all share the same passion and goal.

A lot of people ask me why I am taking on a half Ironman distance. I am not a very good runner or swimmer, I am ok on the bike but haven’t really ridden much on the roads, I have never swum in open water in a wetsuit. I have taken part in numerous triathlons but these have been sprint or super sprint distances – so why a half Ironman?! And my answer – because I love a challenge. In my head I can do it, in my head I know the distances are tough but I can imagine myself completing it. As an ambassador I want to show other women that anyone can take part in triathlon. I really hope that by completing this challenge I will inspire at least one other person to take part in triathlon. Seriously, if I can do it anyone can!

Back in September I thought I had loads of time, but time really does fly when you are having fun. It’s now December 2021 and I am really starting to feel the pressure of time running out. These first 3 months haven’t been easy, life has really got in the way of my training. The line – “…but you have to start to be great!” – has never resonated with me more. I feel like I have “started” this journey and the training so many times. I finally get into a rhythm with my training and then something goes wrong; I was poorly, had issues with work, had a family emergency…  At my lowest I turn to my fellow ambassadors and my coach for support and advice, I know they understand how I am feeling. The clocks going back and the dark mornings and evenings hit me hard, I find waking up for morning training really difficult and training in the dark after a long day of work is just as hard. Saying no to friends who invite you out after work for dinner because you have to go swimming is tough. However, the feeling you get after an early morning swim and arriving at work knowing you’ve already trained is amazing. Hearing your friends say how proud they are of you when you complete a 40 minute turbo session after a long day at work is an incredible feeling. The smug feeling you get when you have to buy new work clothes because your current clothes are now way too big make it all worth it.

So – it’s a week until Christmas day and I only have two more days at work. I’m very lucky to have a long break off work between Christmas and New Year. It may sound very sad but I’m really looking forward to having time to dedicate to my training. I am also looking forward to the next seven months, I can’t wait to see how much I can push not only my body but my mind. I am also excited to take you all with me on this journey. Buckle up – I think it’s going to be a bumpy ride!!

Jo x