Setting goals for myself is something I started to do when I left a life of carpentry and began gaining qualifications in the outdoor industry. I’d search out what I’d need to do to get my M.I.A or winter Mountain Leader, always more to do, always trying to learn and better myself. Nowadays it’s no different, the direction has changed to chasing gold medals, but the ethos is still very much the same, be the best you can be, and learn about yourself in the process.
This year has been a remarkable year for me, I didn’t think it could get any better after 2016 at the Rio Paralympics. However, after achieving the impossible dream in Rio, I set myself another goal. To hold both Paralympic titles, on the track (velodrome) and the road (time trial), then add the same World Championship titles to match those Paralympic ones. Something no British tandem pairing have ever done! A big ask, but I’ve always enjoyed putting myself out there.
Probably like most of you, I kept this dream/goal to myself. Unsure weather to tell people, worried about being laughed at. But I held onto this dream and believed it was possible. I changed the way I trained this year, choosing to spend far more time in the gym, focusing on strength and conditioning and hard interval training on the turbo. I binned off the standard long, one hundred mile rides most weeks, hours upon hours in the saddle. Instead geared with my Sonder Colibri set up with time trial bars, I spent hours in that tucked up time trial position, focusing on generating the power I’d need to win those World Championship titles. Sometimes thinking outside the box is what you need, changing the way you do things brings success.
As I write this, I have just returned from Italy a double World Champion, dream complete. Another goal ticked off and achieved. I now hold all those titles, history made. Impossible made possible, through nothing more than hard work and belief. I guess most people would sit back and enjoy the feeling of achieving such success, take the praise they feel they’ve earned and enjoy the kudos of their pears. I however, am looking at the Colibri and planning the next impossible goal, the next learning experience. My Colibri and I, have big plans for this September. Watch this space.