Saturday, 20 March 2010

Those who hold us up

Training together
Racing together
Finishing Athens Mountain Cup together

Once again I have been counting my blessings. I feel I have to when I have mornings like this, sun shining, pancakes and fruit salad on our stoep with Duncan...

But credit goes to those who hold us up. To those that in our darkest hours are there, not loud and asserting their presence, but discreet and ready to catch us if we fall. I have been blessed with friends who are "there", even when they are not physically there. With family who don't need to speak to communicate. With a husband who instinctively knows what I need - when to back off and when to stand strong next to me.

Triathlon, especially long distance, is like that too. Not just the training, but all the other stuff, essential to success. Duncan and I committed to doing Challenge Copenhagen together and doing it well. Only one of us will race on race day, but in the months before the race, we will both commit to achieving the result. It's been a tough year, with forest fires, accidents, financial worries, illness and death and I might not have been able to help him to the best of my ability.

Yet I look back and I can see that we have both achieved a lot. We have helped each other, held each other up in difficult times. And so committing to a "Challenge" is by far not the hardest thing we will have to do!

On a practical level I have been trying to help Duncan get all his sessions in (especially the swim - anyone who knows D knows swimming is not his favourite, to say the least). I have been trying to create a balanced diet for us - force-feeding him fruit salad to get his five-a-day in and making sure we get 5 good dinners a week. I have made sure to give him lie-ins after hard workouts and have even managed to give him the occasional sports massage (and D, if you are reading this, I promise I will commit to more of those).

And so I am bursting with pride that he did so well last weekend, clocking 1h22' for his first race of the season, a 20km run. I am proud of what he has achieved. Both in spite and because of me, as oxymoronic as that might sound.


  1. Hi Alex, first well done on having a quick husband. 1.22 for 20k's is zippy for the 1st race of the year. Second, you'll need to teach Duncan to love the water. He always fought it when we were swimming at 6am at the Putney pool.;o)

    My condolences to you and the family for the loss of your dad. He sounded like an excellent man. I can see happiness entering your words again, which probably means he's keeping an eye on you.

    Good luck in the Challenge. Sounds like an excellent adventure. Happy days, Rob

  2. I know - I am a very proud wife :)
    Duncan has actually slowly taught himself to love the water - credit to him (and Total Immersion!). However, I still need to "remind" him to get into the pool on a daily basis!

    Thanks again for your comments - much valued!