I was lucky enough to be supported by the foundation to chase my dream of sprinting at the Olympics games and although I did not succeed in getting to the Olympics I had an amazing journey where I experienced a whole new world and gained knowledge unobtainable on New Zealand shores.
A last minute opportunity arose to head to the UK and train with some of the fastest athletes in the world. After convincing the Foundation I was worth a shot, I had just 10 days to prepare before my 28hr flight to London. I was so excited I got a total of 1.5hrs sleep on the flights over.
In London, I trained daily with guys much faster that I had ever experienced in my life. Not only was it mind blowing, but I physically struggled with accessing my speed. Each time I hit the go button nothing would happen, but it gave me the chance to examine what these faster guys were doing from arguably the best seat in the house.
By my 4th week by speed had finally returned and I was feeling amazing. My body was in the best shape it had even been in and I was ready to throw down something quick. Unfortunately my luck was about to run dry.
I set out to catch my flight to Switzerland the day before the race on top of ‘Magic Mountain’ (named due to the amazing performances achievable there). As I arrived at the airport I learned that my flight there had been cancelled. The airline wasn’t offering a plan B option until the day after my race so I searched for alternative options and rushed to another airport in an effort to make another flight in time, but failed there also. There was one other flight that day so I booked that, headed to the airport and waited as that flight became more delayed as time went on. I could only keep laughing at my situation as I knew at some stage my luck would have to turn around in a big way to balance everything out.
By the time I had arrived in Switzerland the last train to Magic Mountain had just left the station. My next best option, and to avoid any more ‘bad luck’ I pulled up a trolley and spent the night in the airport, determined to catch the very first train in the morning.
Convinced that my luck was turning around, I caught the train and got the Magic Mountain with just over an hour to spare before my first race which I jogged through very comfortably to make the final. After a quick power nap, I lined up for the final, feeling positive and fast. I exploded from the blocks well and flew down the track increasing my pace with every step until I hit half way, and felt a grab in my left hamstring. Grinning and shaking my head, I stopped running, realizing that my bid for the Olympics was over.
I always knew going over that one of two things was going to happen. A. I was going to qualify for the Olympics or B. I was going to return a new athlete. And with all that I learned from this experience there was no real chance of failure. We either win or we learn and I am now better equipped with the knowledge of my body, what is possible and how I am going to get there.
Thank you for the opportunity and ability to return with the new tools and experience to go faster.