Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I is for Inspiration....

My inspirations don't come from outer space, they just come to me. I have no idea why they come when they do.- Joe Satriani

Inspiration seems to be the word of the moment .The teachers I work with have only 7 weeks left of the academic year. Many conversations revolve around how we, can inspire pupils to keep going, in the final push before their exams.

When grappling with the idea of how to inspire unmotivated pupils. I started thinking about what inspires me. Recently some days have been pretty hectic and often I get asked “How do you do it? What motivates you to wake up early, train, work and train some more?”
One Wednesday a few weeks ago went something like this; 5.45am alarm, cycle 30mins from home to pool, swim for 1hr, quick change back into cycle gear, cycle 20mins pool to train station, train Leeds to London involving changing into work clothes in train toilet (trickier task than I imagined!) spend the day in London with work, 5pm train London to Leeds, cycle home, 8pm me and Adam enjoy a 2hour cycle ride into the setting sun, 9.59pm grab food from Asda for dinner (always a nice feeling sneaking in before shop door closes), quick stretch, 10.30pm we cook dinner and wonder how it has got to 10.30? finally collapse into bed. Now I feel I have got my money’s worth from the day!

So how do I do it? Yes it looks crazy when I write it down! BUT I love it, I love getting out on the bike, especially at this time of year and especially with great company. I love feeling I am getting the most out of the day. OK so the above is not sustainable, day after day, after day and thankfully this is not the norm. However most days do start early with a pre breakfast swim and finish with more training with work sandwiched in between. So what’s the secret? I am constantly inspired by people and places around me.

I hope the following pictures of the last few weeks  highlight who and what has inspired me recently.

1) Reconnecting with old friends always leaves me on a high, inspired and motivated hearing all their latest adventures and antics and being surrounded by their positivity. I spent a weekend in the Peak District with the “Lufbra Slow twitch girls” my fantastic Loughborough university friends. We ran, swam (well sort of!) laughed, ate, drank (a lot) of tea, sang (some better than others) and inspired each other.

2) Seeing training partners achieve great results is hugely inspiring. Susan Partridge was 1st British athlete and qualified for the World Champs with 2.30 in the London Marathon and Jos Payne was 3rd lady in huge pb of 2.46 in the Manchester Marathon. I have had the honour of training with these tough lasses over the last year and have seen the hard work they have put in. They both optimise “hard graft” and “picking yourself up after a knock back”. Well done Jos and Susan. Leeds is a great place to train, with so many world class triathletes. The Leeds squad have started the season on fire with Alistair winning San Diego WTS , Non grabbing second spot and Jonny winning Yokohama WTS. It is great training alongside these guys, I don't feel so bad when I get chewed up and spat out on Thursday evening chain gang as these guys set the pace. However "run over by a bus" I feel, I know they will be at the pool the next morning pounding out the lengths so it motivates me to struggle out of bed and put the swim costume on (again). Click on the names to see highlights videos of their races. Well done guys, I think another triathlon season will be dominated by the Leeds squad.

3) For inspiration, you can’t beat summer cycling in gorgeous places. We spent a weekend in the Lake District cycling the Team Townend push bike challenge. Taking on Honister Pass was a challenge but views from the top were worth it! Evening riding heading north from Leeds has been a pleasure, flowers are out, trees are in full bloom and sun sets have been beautiful.

4) New places, new people and my mum; a combination that never fails to inspire! I spent a weekend in Shropshire with my mum at the YHA there. An amazing old manor house with spiral staircase, Hogwarts style dining room and characterful people.  I love Youth Hostels as they are full of character and attract many interesting people. Spending time with my mum is always a pleasure and she is my biggest inspiration.

5) 1st triathlon of the year has been completed and provided plenty of motivation for the season ahead. Kendal Sprint Triathlon was the day after Team Townend Ride, so fitted in well as I was already in the Lake District. The weather was grim, with a capital G! Lashing rain, windy with a Baltic chill, I used socks as gloves and rode in a rain jacket (past experiences have taught me well!) It was inspiring to see so many people competing and supports out on the course braving the elements. It was a lot of fun, a 2nd place was good way to kick start the season, though swimming a few extra lengths definitely wasn't in the plan and probably denied me of the win.

So from the Lake District, Shropshire, Peak District and local hills in Yorkshire, the people and places I have cycled, run and swum with in recent weeks have provided plenty of inspiration to keep me motivated and going even on the busiest of days. 

A few gems:
- Here is my favourite inspirational video a sure way to provide motivation!
- I love sports photos, these cycle photos by kristof Ramon are brilliant.
- Half the Road: The passion, pitfalls & power of Women's professional cycling is a documentary about the world of women's professional cycling. But it is more than the trailer here

I hope you all find your own inspiration and it keeps the fire burning inside you.

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