There’s no shame in starting from the beginning again.
No matter your greatest sporting achievement, we can be humbled once more back to our grassroots.
It’s easy to forget how hard it was when we first got active, especially if we have gotten used to daily training sessions, faster race times and better fitting clothes.
But when you find yourself looking back on those days as if they happened to another person, wishing you were still that athlete, it can be too easy to hold your hands up and say “this is my life now”.
Well I want to tell you that you can change, but you need to change your attitude and your vision.
This is me.
In March 2011 I was a four-time Ironman finisher. I achieved my fastest time out of my four races. I was a keen swimmer, I cycled a lot and I ran often, especially into the neighbouring forest.
My training sessions doubled as my social activities. It was a great time.
In June 2011 I became pregnant with our son. I still kept on swimming with my squad. I stopped cycling and I ran when my body let me. I gained 30kg.
In February 2012 my son was born. In the following 12 months I shed those 30kg, plus an extra 10kg that had crept on after Ironman was over. I started running again.
I ran marathons in 2013 (1), 2014 (3), 2015 (3), 2016 (3) and 2017 (2).
But after running both Boston and London within six days of each other I felt fatigued, mentally and physically.
From May 2016 to when I write this, I barely ran over 6km in one run.
In December I only ran parkrun with my mum due to an underlying illness.
So running now, back in full health, is hard.
I want to run like I used to.
I want to run as far as I used to, at the speed I used to and it to feel as good as it used to.
That runner is still there. She is working her way back. But it is hard.
Does she wish it were easier? Of course.
But that return to fitness will be just as sweet as the first time .
You know you can do it.
You know you have what it takes to get there.
What will you do if you don’t give yourself another chance?
What will become of you?
Every day is a new beginning. Grab it and inch yourself closer to the athlete you want to become.