As I sit here this evening, resuming ‘Mummy’ duties of lego and feeding pasta to Willy, I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed.. with exhaustion and emotion in equal measures.
It feels like only yesterday that it was the 1st October and I signed up to do my first triathlon. A strange decision during a strange time, but which ended up being a fantastic focal point.
And it feels like only moments ago that I slid into the water and dunked my head for my first few breaths under water, let the cool water in through the neck of my borrowed wetsuit.
My goal as I set off from the house after just a mere 4 hours of sleep (2am finish after 2 fabulous parties, one 4am wake up as the Big Man got to bed and a 6am door slam as Tom got up!)…my goal, this morning was to just finish. To get round and finish.
But as I slid in to the water and as the horn went off for the start, I felt the presence overhead of my Kingfisher and the voice of my Mumbo, ‘What on earth do you just want to ‘just finish’ for? Go for it, Boo!’ And I was transported back to the lacrosse pitch of my teenage years, with my super competitive Mum racing up and down the side-lines, with her long coat billowing, her hands to her mouth shouting words of encouragement and fighting talk!
My Mumbo taught me to swim. And it brings tears to my eyes as she was right there … My swim had been the bit that I dreaded the most having avoided doing any training for it and yet I surprised myself by being the first to the first buoy by a good way.
She appeared again as I was on my bike… fluttering just out of my vision and again she put the thought in my head that I could actually get a good time and as I was spurred on by the supporters along the route, I thought I would go for the position 4. 4 hours sleep, group W40… 4 is my lucky number.
Running is my thing. I love it. I love it for its mental clarity giving nature, the freedom of my legs swinging and the wind in my face… And this was the section I was most looking forward to.
And this was the one that hurt the most. My calves were so tight and the course was weird! All bitty and short and turny so I couldn’t get any rhythm. And to top it, my kingfisher had gone.
But I had the thought of ‘4’ in my head. So I resorted to my usual run technique of sprints and jogs… and then suddenly, there were my 4 cheer leaders waiting for me at the end… the 4 Mortimer Men of 3 generations…. And all thoughts of good times and kingfishers left my mind! I had finished!!!
It was only as we sat down with the extended Mortimer family and the other Mortimer Triathlete looked up her time and she showed me mine, I realised my Mumbo Kingfisher hadn’t left me at all. I had come 3rd in my age category and distance.
3 was her lucky number… not mine.