Heading into Hamburg World Triathlon Series
After getting so close to victory in Nur-Sultan ITU World Cup, I headed to Girona with the Origin Performance squad for a short training block.
As most of you know, it’s been a while since I’ve had a taste of victory, so finishing 2nd at a World Cup, while also training in Girona, which is one of my favourite locations really fired me up and I’ve been grafting as hard as ever leading into Montreal World Triathlon Series.
I was never going to be standing fresh on the start line, as the key race during this time would be Hamburg WTS this coming weekend. With an easy travel to Montreal we thought it good to roll the dice and see what happens. Well, unfortunately it didn’t fall in my favour. Although I didn’t feel great during the race, I’m happy to say I was still in the business front end of the race. The unfortunate part was that the road surface was rather rough that we raced on, and rightfully so with the amount of snow that falls on these roads during winter.
During the early part of the bike, I tried to keep my effort level as stable as possible instead of sprinting hard out of every corner. Soon after a sharp turn, I was riding in my aero bars keeping a strong but controlled effort while closing a small gap after a few turns.
What happened next caught me totally by surprise. In the blink of an eye my front wheel exploded. This was in a straight part of the course but also where we had a cross wind to deal with. Being in my aero bars I did not have the same control I would normally have and before I knew it I was pulled hard, right into the barriers with the bursting sound of my tire going.
There was nothing I could do but fall as elegantly as possible. I ended up falling out of my cycling shoes.
It has been a testing week after my crash with Hamburg WTS happening this weekend. My bike needed much TLC to be rideable again and my body even more so. I have been taking it very slowly and moving a bit more day by day. I am now in Hamburg with my bike ready to ride again and my mind and body ready for redemption this coming Saturday.
Never stop improving
Never stop improving. A partnership that might seem pretty unusual could not be more fitting. Since my return I knew I had to have a special meaning to compete besides the usual goals one might and should have. Having decided to race in the spirit of South African farmers it felt important to me to bring partners in that are involved in the industry. Already having Afgri animal feeds on board and my family being pig farmers the PIC partnership fits like a glove!
Never stop improving is the concrete on which PIC builds itself and the way the company approaches things in an ever changing and competitive environment, much the same as in professional sport.
We can never stop improving! I feel truly blessed having a company and people that share those values behind me and building me up along the journey.
The past few months have been very rocky in my career and it showed in my performances. This makes forming new partnerships quite hard or let’s say impossible! Therefore, I looked for people that would be willing to take a huge leap of faith in me, the people and companies you can get onboard to support you when you are at your lowest as an athlete does create something special. I have only started the climb ahead and look forward to enjoying the view with the special partnerships I have built when I was at the bottom.
I know they will appreciate it just as much as I am going to.
It’s been emotional, but I am ready for the climb.
It happens so quickly and effortlessly, whatever it is, it trips you. You fall, down the side of this huge mountain, that you’ve been climbing for years and years. And there you are, in the lowest point that you’ve ever been at. This best describes where I have been. The last 12 months is a time that I would rather erase completely out of my life and mind, but most days it’s a constant struggle.
I can’t change the past and I can’t control the future, but I can choose how I want to go about it.
This mentality took me roughly three months to understand whilst I was pounding beers on most days and drifting away from my true passion. Here I am facing a massive climb, but I’m ready. I know that the climb back up to the top, to the sunshine and the fresh air, is long and burdened with lessons,but I’m going to make it my bitch. It’s no secret that I have a difficult journey ahead me, starting with just getting back to the race horse shape I used to be in and here I am after a few weeks of training getting ready to line up for my first race in what seems like forever.
It’s not the biggest of races but a respectfully competitive ITU African Cup.
Most people would argue that I am miles away from being ready to be lining up for a race, and sure, I agree with them. I am far away from race shape ready, but I see this as part of the process, one that will hopefully help me remember why I started this in the first place and maybe if I am really lucky, it will give me a glimpse of confidence again. This was a difficult time for me and my loved ones, but they pulled me through. Each and everyone contributed in their own special way. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart for my girlfriend and my parents that never stopped believing in me, even when all the odds were against me.
Lastly a very big thank you to Afgri, during my time where I had nothing appealing to show, they saw potential and I am really proud to say that I have signed my biggest sponsor to date. I am extremely proud to represent such a phenomenal and special company. They are in the business that is very close to my heart, and I can honestly say I am very excited for the journey.
We all hit incredibly low points at some stage in our lives, but they are what make the mountains that much more enjoyable. There is hope on the horizon for you, and for me, and for anyone who believes in it. If you need your motivation to begin your climb back up, much as I did, use this as your motivation. Always know that there are others climbing with you and people waiting for you at the top.
Start your climb today, and I will meet you in the sunshine.