My first impressions of this decade are of a hellish decline from top of my game to rock bottom. But.. with the help of my blog to remind me, there’s actually a ton of things I achieved in the last ten years, making this decade waaaaaay better than my memory was!
2010 – First European Triathlon championship representing team GB. Graduated with Masters Degree in special education. My mascot Seamus came into existence!
2011 – Spoke at the NASUWT national Conference in Glasgow. Started what was to be my last UK teaching job in Grange Specialist School. Another European champs (Spain) and world champs in China, I got to stand on the Great Wall of China. My first top 20 world champs finish despite a head injury just 8 weeks before!
2012 – European champs in Israel, my first ever top 5 European finish and I earned a pre qualification for 2013, which sadly I was not able to take. Marshalled at the London 2012 Olympics and met Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. World champs in Auckland, (my first visit to NZ). This was to be my last ever triathlon, although I didn’t know at the time. And.. despite carrying an injury that would eventually result in a knee replacement, I wasn’t last!
2013 – Offered a teaching job in Invercargill, so we emigrated to NZ. It was all quite sudden, I didn’t expect a job offer on my first attempt! Very soon after, my mother died very suddenly and I returned to the UK to arrange her funeral. Decided to complete a personal trainer qualification.
2014 – Dad visited New Zealand. I quit my teaching job and started Ryding2Health operating as a mobile personal trainer. This was the first time I had taken the leap to be self employed full time. Later in the year I returned to the UK to help Dad celebrate finding happiness again. He married his new wife Judy. Won 5 silvers and a gold in the New Zealand Masters games – in rowing and track cycling! Became a qualified track cycling coach and triathlon coach. This year was when I fell at titans rocks, the injury that would mark the start of the end for the already injured right knee. BUT this was also the year we completed the whole of the hump ridge track.
2015 – Got my mums handwriting reconstructed by a tattoo artist and had my foot tattooed with ‘walking with angels’ in her handwriting. Said goodbye to a teaching friend (Kellie Forbes) who died of cancer at just 34 years old. Opened my first Ryding2Health business premises in Dee Street. Managed to win not one but two open water swimming awards – no clue how!
2016 – I added yet another qualification – massage therapist. Ryding2Health was incorporated as a company with New Zealand Companies office and I employed my very first staff member. Added a swim teacher qualification to my list too!
2017 – Moved Ryding2Health to its new Custom built premises in Arena Avenue. Battles with pain drugs and increasing knee troubles. Almost all sporting activity stopped. These were dark times. Had to reduce my working hours to part time. Got some walking poles so I could continue tramping as long as the pain and injury would allow.
2018 – I started to restructure Ryding2Health so it could run without me, because finally after years of waiting, I got my total knee replacement in October of this year. Said goodbye to another teaching colleague (Jo Vaughan) who lost her battle with cancer and grew angel wings.
2019 – A long hard year full of rehab battles. But, I returned to work full time, got back on a bike and back in a swimming pool again.