If this goes as I plan I will be sitting in Abu dhabi airport as this is first posted. Thanks to ethihad airways I had one of the best flights I ever had, business class. Awesome food, nice people and a bed! That's a first let me tell ya. I normally get to know my knees very well as they're up around around my ears, very much the opposite this time though. Thanks Mr Dermot Healy (salt&pepper,) I owe ya one or ten:)
Honestly, as I sit here I don't think it's hit me how far I've come and what I've done. Up until a year ago I struggled to call myself a cyclist. I took every race as a bonus. I'm used to focusing on one race at a time, being pretty short sighted if you like. 2 years ago if I thought of what I would have to do, what things would have to be put on hold, what it would take mentally and physically to get to this point I can nearly guarantee I wouldn't be here. I would have had a heart attack, stroked out or be bouncing around a padded room by now. Chipping away, positive attitude, perserverence are things I have learned and they are the secret. Nothing happens over night, no miracles, it's all about sticking at it. You'll achieve nothing in life if ya don't commit to something, the ups and downs, ride it out because when all is said and done there'll be an awesome story behind it and whatever happens, happens for a reason.
I'm heading home with one of the major goals achieved, to finish in the top 8 of the european rankings which qualifies Ireland an Olympic spot in the Omnium. As I'm typing this I just got a sense of relief, there was so much riding on that goal. If I didn't achieve that my life would be sent off in a direction that I wasn't planning for, god knows where. I'm not sitting here jumping for joy though and I think that's a good thing. As I said, I have achieved one of my goals this year. The next one is the one that can really change my life, put Ireland on the map, say we're a force to be reckoned with. That goal is to be standing on the podium with an Olympic medal hanging around my neck. I'm getting excited thinking about it, it's not some crazy dream , it's so close to being a reality.
There are 2 people that I can say hand on heart that I wouldn't be here without, Grace McNally and Andy sparks. If ya know me you'll know these two people have been there every step of the way. I honestly would have threw the towel in if Grace wasn't there ALL the time, always there for a chat, a hug, a metaphorical kick in the nuts:) For me it's a nasty habit of getting sucked into a miserable hole, start hating the world and just wanting to roll over and say that's it! We're a deadly double act and I hope I can make it all worth it, give something back. Then there's Andy, the man with the plan. He believed in my potential from day one, there's a list of people that are really good at sitting on the fence but Andy was ready to go all in from the start and so far he's winning. He's been there the whole way too, obviously not for the hugging part but definitely the kick in the nuts part! I tend to need a shake and a bump in the right direction every now and then. Andy specialises in positive vibes, hard work and making anything achievable, pretty awesome really. Before I say bye for now I just want to put things straight. There is a hell of a lot of people that have helped me so far. If I named everyone I would be sure to leave someone out but really you know who you are. I would like to think I let you know that I appreciate everything, from a good luck comment to the reason I have the means to be sitting here. It's a crazy chain of events and so many people make it happen.
When I'm not severely lacking sleep I come back and let ya know how my World championships went.