My gym membership has begun to pay off. The swimming training - with thanks to my gorgeous new coach Eva - has me actually trying to front crawl. I'm not very good yet, but apparently I have a lovely stroke (no pun intended) and I am enjoying the swimming lots. The running is more difficult for me. I am not long or lean. I do not like running much, indeed I usually try to antagonise runners by asking (or shouting at them from a distance) what exactly they are running away from. But that is rather difficult when I myself am out of breath on the treadmill. Going outside is still beyond me. It is freezing. I am not insane.
Sounds good right? Well, I have had a few disasters too, never fear. The first was when I forgot my socks, but still went running. I have myself a ghastly blister along the side of my foot. I am beginning to think that looking good while I do this triathlon is simply not going to be possible.
The other thing I did was to go to circuit training with my uber-fit buddy Edwina. This meant an hour of running, jumping, skipping, lifting, scrunching, pressing up ... and down. In general, lots of things that fit people to do get themselves fitter. By the end I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I also had several bruises from falling off one of those giant inflatable balls. These are ridiculous contraptions designed to torture and to maim unsuspecting would-be triathletes.
Another major shock to my confidence has been the discovery of various people who are also doing the Super Sprint Triathlon in Blenheim. All of whom ARE lean, ARE fit and ARE being competitive. Will I have to re-consider my position? Am I still happy to do this just for fun and to get as much money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research as possible, or am I now going to get serious and think about timing and competition? Am I ready to lose to them and to never hear the end of it?
The answer is easy, but it is long:
A year ago my friend Rebecca lost her Mum after a long battle with Breast Cancer. It was heartbreaking for so many reasons – because we thought she was winning her fight, because she was formidable and funny and ferocious all at once, because our best friend was lost without her, because of the caring family she left behind. Mainly though, it was heartbreaking because we all know deep down that there is a cure out there, somewhere, for Breast Cancer. One day, girls will be able to have an injection and never have to go through what Sue went through, or what her family now goes through every day.
But this was not the first time that my friends and I had suffered a loss. When I was in the 6th form, another of my friends, Claire, lost her sister Laura to Leukaemia. It was such a shock. We had all been at school together months before, and then she had a bad back and a cold, it was suddenly Leukaemia, and then she was gone. Claire still lives with the loss of her sister, and we have all tried to get her through this as best we can. Nothing can fill the gap that a lost sibling leaves behind, and yet those who know Claire would think that she wanted for nothing. For a long time, Claire lost her sparkle and shine; for a long time we didn't know if she would ever be the same again. But she got through it because of her friends and because her family, and because Claire is Claire.
How is this an answer to my quandary? Well, let's put it this way. I can put up with losing a few minutes to those who want to compete. I can cope with this because I am not losing anything like my friends have lost. I am trying to get some money together so that, in the future, wonderful people like Rebecca and Claire will not have to suffer unbearable loss of their own. If that means I get my butt kicked - then so be it. The end certainly justifies the means in this case!
Please sponsor me.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer www.justgiving/Catherine-Yates
Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research www.justgiving/Catherine-Yates0