Kelda writes “Down but not out!”
So this is the moment I’ve been waiting to come for the last 2 years…to tell you whether I gor selected for Rio Paralympics or not!
But first, I think it’s important to tell you a little of what happened…
As you’ll know if you’ve read some of my previous blogs, this hasn’t been the smoothest of journeys. I’ve always tried to be open & honest with what I’ve written, for me the whole point in this blog is to show that often the things that matter the most to us, are the hardest things to achieve…but the important thing is to keep trying, never give up, to never be afraid of failure and to always be the best person you can possibly be.
So the week before the final selections I struggled to stand by all those things that I’ve said! But hey, we’re all human…something that I think goes hand in hand with all the positivity, is to be kind to yourself. We’re all allowed a bad day! And boy I was having a bad day!! The day before the selections I just let it all get on top of me. And the thing that upset me the most was the fact that this was the day we’d been focusing on for the last 2 years, and here was me wishing I wasn’t even there! It just wasn’t meant to be like this!!
But sometimes I think we have to accept that when things really matter to us we’re going to get emotional. Actually it’s a good thing, because it shows just how much we care.
And I woke up in a different place the next morning. I was ready to get out there & give it everything! But the difference in my attitude was this… I recognised I had a big challenge ahead, I had to beat the current World Champion if I was going to get selected, so the only thing I could do was get out there, give it my absolute best, and as long as I did that, the outcome would take care of itself. I just wanted to deliver the best race I knew I was capable of, and yo stay true to the person I wanted to be, If I did that I would be happy, whether I got selected or not.
And I delivered… I didn’t manage to beat the World Champion, so I won’t be on that plane to Rio, but I hit a personal best in both races ^ managed to go sub 54 seconds for the very first time.
And I am happy. I know I paddled the best race I possibly could & I was beaten by a better paddler on the day. Anne Dickens is World Champion & beat me by over 2 seconds, she is without doubt the boat to go to Rio & I am excited to see what she will do at the Games. As I told her after we finished the race “You just better make sure you get out there and win Gold now” No pressure Anne!
It was the most incredible day, with so much emotion and passion from all the other athletes. I feel lucky and proud to have had the opportunity to experience being part of it, How special is it going to be able to watch my team mates competing out in Rio and I am genuinely excited to see what they will do. 6 incredible athletes have been selected who are going to do Team GB proud!
And before you all think that’s me done and dusted….no chance!!!! What last week showed me is that right now I’m just not ready to be a Paralympic paddler. It was 2 years to the days since I paddled in my first race…. and the it was all about trying to go in a straight line and not fall in!! So I see this as just a stepping stone in the journey. My focus now turns to the next 2 regattas we have left this season and then it’ll be next year with the aim of getting selected for the World & European Championships
And in 4 years time, who knows, I might be quite good…
Tokyo here we come!!!!