Sunday, 26 February 2012

The benefit of hindsight...

So I’m sitting here, on my sofa, knee deep in snotty tissues, massively regretting going out on my bike this Wednesday. Why didn’t  I just stay in and use my watt bike? It’s definitely warmer, a damn sight dryer, and the chances of snapping a chain and arriving home hypothermic are slim to none. Unless you’re very unlucky. 

I guess hindsight is a marvellous thing. 

Rewind a week ago and I’m sitting on a beach, in 30’C glorious sunshine, Table Mountain to one side and Robben Island to another. Albeit nursing concussion and a dented sense of pride; but I feel this detracts from the image I’m painting for you here.

Although I am afraid this is an image that’s becoming synonymous with me. I seem to attract disaster these days. So much so no one was overly surprised when I told them I’d been tripped by the Czech mid race, on that lovely Sunday morning in South Africa. According to all reports I did quite a spectacular somersault on to my head (cue appropriate gasp from crowd), before jumping up and running 10 metres in the wrong direction. Comedy gold I will hindsight. 

And there it is again, the little devil. Always a bit late. Always cocky and confident with its delayed wisdom and intuitiveness. Damn you hindsight. I guess I’ll never know better than you; you’re like my bloody mother. 

But the intention of this blog was not to wallow in my own self pity. No I’m definitely not a ‘should’a, would’a, could’a’ kind of girl. After all, the wise Beverley Knight once sung;

“should’a, would’a, could’a means I’m out of time...
should’a, would’a, could’a are the last words of a fool”

Inspired I’m sure you’ll agree. 

So onwards... 

I was asked to provide something that people would like to read. Something informative that provides insight into the glamorous life of an athlete. I’ve probably failed thus far, but have until now been restrained in any attempts at shameless ambush marketing. 

I’m going to have to succumb however. But only because it bears some, distant, relevance to the story. Oh and there’s also a completely ridiculous picture of me in a woolly hat to accompany it. 

Hello...Watt bike! Subtle product placement eh?! 

But the watt bike really is pretty cool. It’s been a lifesaver this winter at least (when I’ve been wise enough to use it!). In the weeks leading up to South Africa it all turned a little Baltic here in sunny Blighty; far from ideal preparation for an hour race in 30’C heat. When the roads were icy and temperatures didn’t just dip below 0, they bloody well dived head first, I was able to keep training, and with a little initiative and stone-age sport science, try and acclimatise for what lay ahead. 

See me having a fantastic time to the right. I actually look pretty cheery. Must be the warm-up. 

(Please note: discarded turbo in the background; Watt bikes are the future. Clearly).

But thankfully February is nearly at an end; which means March will soon be upon us (the Gregorian calendar was always my strong point), and with that warmer climates and the 2012 season loom ever closer. The back of winter training has well and truly been broken now, which is both satisfying and scary. Satisfying in that you can look back at all the hard work you’ve put in, but also scary in that the time will soon come to consolidate all the blood sweat and tears (none of which is an exaggeration. See earlier reference to my disaster-esque qualities), and hope like hell that it will all pay off. 

Although, I’m sure come the end of October when all’s said and done I’ll once again marvel at the benefit of my old friend hindsight. 

I think if there was a way of bottling hindsight it would be an athlete’s best friend. Although such a powerful tool, it wouldn’t be long before it found its way on to the prohibited list. 

So I guess I’ll just have to battle on like everyone else and embrace the excitement of the unknown; the mystery of what lies ahead. Hopefully what lies ahead isn’t a plastic bottle, but that’s another story for another time. Plus you’ll probably just roll your eyes in exasperation like everybody else did.

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