I’ve just got back from the World Champs in Kona. It was fantastic to watch the athletes battle it out, to achieve dreams, to celebrate success and to mentally re-live my own races on the island.
I also felt content with the fact that I wasn’t there to race. I truly mean that. I did not feel the urge to toe the line. I love the island, and I loved being there but I didn’t want to be pounding Alli Drive with one eye on my stopwatch, or heading up the Queen K for that last pre-race ride. Of course I did some “training” while I was there. I will never stop doing sport for the sheer love and joy of it, but I didn’t once regret the decision I made to retire.
The most common question I was asked by the (fantastic!) people I met in Kona was “when are you coming back to race again?” My simple reply of “I’m not” was closely followed by the next question: “So what’s your next challenge?”
The second question is so much harder to respond to.
When people kindly ask about my next challenge, I assume they mean something physical in nature. A race, an event, an epic adventure – running across a continent bare foot, climbing a 8000m peak or ten, rowing across shark infected waters, bungee jumping naked off tall buildings. I don’t blame them for making these assumptions; …