Five weeks have passed since I touched down on Australian soil, greeted by the familiar face of my mum who felt the need to photograph me following a 12 hour flight and a battle in the congested customs area of Sydney airport with way too many bags for me to handle. Thanks Mum, much appreciated, it’s definitely a keeper!
So what do you do exactly on a break? It’s pretty easy, anything you want unless on the odd occasion the athlete in you is forced to hang around. The latter was the case for me as within four days of being home I was sporting a brand spankin’ new ‘Ortholife’ boot. I had been having a little bit of trouble with the arch of my foot so decided to have a scan which showed a little tear in my plantar fascia. No running or riding for the next 3 weeks, this may come as a surprise to a few people but I was fine with this, a break was planned anyway so if there was ever a suitable time to have an injury, out of competition is favourable.
Since joining a ‘Flash dance’ group in my month off was now ruled out, I had a long hard think as to what else I could do resulting in trying to improve my cooking skills. I have added a few dishes to my small repertoire; homemade granola, bircher muesli, ratatouille and various salads. I can already feel people judging the simplicity of these dishes but trust me, they were of the highest quality! I quickly got over slaving away in the kitchen and saw that I could be of better use helping my parents by marking their school student’s exams. Definitely not going to be a school teacher anytime soon either.
I am very happy to say my support from Graham Marcolin and McDonalds Sutton Forest will be continuing in 2014 and I am exceptionally grateful for his ongoing support and interest in my passion. It is always nice to be able to give back to the people who look after you and when Graham invited me to help out on the 23rd annual McHappy Day (Saturday 9th November), I was more than happy to put on my apron and raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities although working behind the counter was way to overwhelming for me so I stuck to working the floor, another job to cross off my list!
Here are a few interesting facts about RMHC:
– Over 3 million dollars was raised in 2013 on McHappy Day alone
– In the last 30 years over 100 000 families have been helped
– 85 000 families have been provided with a ‘home-away-from-home’ while their child/brother/sister undergoes treatment
Amongst my personal development activities I still managed to find the time to meet up with school and Uni friends for lunches and coffee dates. Three of my friends I started Uni with in 2011 have finished their degree and are now moving on to bigger and better things; a medical degree, a physiotherapy degree and paramedic training. I have never thought twice about choosing triathlon over my Bachelor of Medical and Health Science but if I hadn’t made the move, I would have had some phenomenal company and useful intellectual support in my group of friends!
Speaking of keeping the brain functioning, there were times during the 2013 season I found myself brain dead and wanting to focus on something other than triathlon, Tetris (which I think I have nearly mastered) or Spider Solitaire.
With the help of Krystle Stylianou, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Communications via Open Universities Australia. This allows me to choose how many subjects I compete each study period depending on training and racing as well as being able to continue studying anywhere in the world. When asked why do I want to do this degree, my answer is simple. “I want to be on Getaway”. For those of you who do not know ‘Getaway’, it is an Australian TV show that explores resorts and holiday destinations all over the world. Sounds pretty good to me!
For the past 2 weeks I have been easing back in to training with a carefully monitored program thanks to my physiotherapist Alex Price. I was very excited to try out my new 2XU training gear, multiplying myself on the ‘Jungle Gym’ at home (gymnastics, another profession tested and failed).
With a refreshed body and mind, I am very excited to be heading to Falls Creek, Victoria in just over a week to kick off the season with a 3 week altitude training camp. Although before then I have a few more things to do, including Christmas shopping which shouldn’t be too difficult as Christmas Carols have been playing in the shopping centres for the past 2 weeks!