Monday, 24 June 2013

The Result of a Sofa Day...

I'd love to say that my motto in life is quality, not quantity. But being a triathlete I'd probably struggle to convince the majority that this is the case. 
I do however, seem to apply this principal to blog entires. 
They definitely lack quantity, and working on the premise that there is a relationship between the two, this should mean the quality is in abundance?

Maybe not then?! 

The writing of a blog is usually enforced by an extended period of sitting down; when my brain can no longer process all the details of Holly Willo-booby's latest diet, or Kim's shit choice of baby name. Kirsty and Phil are usually great at aiding further procrastination; but when I start enjoying the company of four self labelled 'Loose Women' I do have to check myself and reach for the trusty type writer. 

So yes, a long over due sofa day is upon me, and fortunately for you guys, yet another triathletes musings. 

A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a piece about what inspires me for a junior audience. I wrote it as promised, but never sent it in as I wasn't sure my sarcastic undertones were suitable for inspiring the next generation. It did however get me thinking about it. 

Inspiration. It's a bit of a buzz word in sport. 

‘Inspire a Generation’ was the legacy of the London Olympic Games.
And ‘Who inspires you?’ is probably the most frequently asked question any sportsman will ever be asked.
I personally dread it. I don’t know why but I always crumble under the pressure of that one liner. Against all best intentions, I always end up rattling off the names of some generic sport superstars, exactly like the last person subjected to the question did.
It’s not that I’m a cynic, doubting the powers of mighty inspiration. Of course I’ve been inspired by other people and other events over the years. I can’t think of anything less PC, and therefore less British, than pedalling around the idea that one is not inspired by the endeavours of others? It would not float well on the BBC that’s for sure.
I think the first problem in my predicament lies in the fact that there isn’t one single person, or one sole event that inspired me to a) start sport, b) keep at it, and c) eventually make a career out of it. No I’m not being controversial here; I mean there wasn’t just one, there were many!
The definition of inspiration, as offered by Wikipedia, is as follows; a supernatural, divine influence OR breathing in.                                                                                                                                      
Think I got the wrong inspiration.
However, I do agree, partially, with the first definition. Influence. To me that seems like a much easier question to answer; ‘Who’s influenced you? 
Answer: “Unless this is an Oscar acceptance speech, more people than you would care hear about." So back to square one in terms of answering the question in an interview. But a step closer to fulfilling my brief for that overdue article. 
If I'm honest though, the origin of my inspiration varies on a daily basis. My own internal drive is the only constant. There has however, been a reoccurring source of late. 
Madrid provided a number of first's for me. 
My first WTS win being the most desirable. 
My first run in with a Campo De Caso 'loose woman', being the least. 
It was also the first time I'd been overwhelmed by the number of people that made contact, to tell me how they'd been inspired by my performance.
It was quite surreal. 
One lady told me how her kids had been playing 'triathlon' in the garden after watching me race. Another said that I'd made her weekend. 

But ironically enough, the thought of inspiring others, has in turn inspired me to continue pushing out the miles over the last few weeks. 
If I've had a tough day, those messages of gratitude have kept me going. 
So thank you if you got in touch. You've inspired me when the rain has poured, and when bed was a far more inviting prospect than a swimming pool. 
Hopefully we can continue to inspire each other for some time yet. 

In the mean time celebrity gossip has concluded on the TV and apparently a far more intellectual programme is beginning. 
Something about 'The Big Bang Theory'?!