1.5lb gain. 39lb in total, 6.5lb in 2015.
When I was fifteen we were set an essay in our English language class that was to prove so traumatic it has stayed with me ever since.
We had been reading ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’, a set text for the year. One evening during our studies we had a trip out to Newbiggin-by-the-sea and enjoyed the RSC production of it. On the way back, we discussed the themes of the play with our teacher, Miss Kosina. The usual suspects came out…love, mistaken identity and Shakespeares favourite, ambiguous sexuality. We had thoroughly enjoyed our trip (the play was a hoot!) and an animated conversation flowed.
The following week we presented ourselves in our usual class. This day Miss Kosina had a glint in her eye as she handed out the new essay for the GCSE coursework.
‘The course of true love never did run smooth’. Discuss.
We were instructed that because this was an English language (rather than literature) essay, we were to refer to our experiences and although the quote above by the character Lysander was taken from the play, we were not to discuss A Midsummer Nights Dream text on that occasion.
On the surface of it, it looked fine. We had three weeks to submit the essay, so a week to mull it over, a week to write it and a week for corrections and amendment.
That evening, keen to get started, I sat down at my desk, pen in hand, blank paper in front of me and waited for inspiration to come along. I waited. And waited. And waited.
I did the same the next evening, with the same result.
By the Wednesday, the mutterings in the playground had kicked off. ‘Have you started it yet’? ‘what are you going to say’? ‘what angle are you taking’? Shaking of heads and shrugging of shoulders followed.
Before the week was out we couldn’t discuss the ‘love’ essay without a passionate, wild eyed look. It became the proverbial albatross, something to be discussed and feared in equal measure.
The mistake we all made of course, was to focus on romantic love. I never kept the essay. In some ways, I wish I had (It would probably be a hilarious account of teenage angst). But I have re-written that essay in my head many, many times over the years.
Recently, Ironman training has brought that essay back to the fore. If I had to write the essay again, I would focus on something I love, and Ironman has been such a part of my life in the last few years. In an earlier blog post this year, I said that the focus of 2015 would be weight loss. And that remains a true statement, but I can’t ignore that in just over 16 weeks I will once again be stood at the start line of an Ironman. And an emotive one at that, because in 16 weeks time, I will be back on the start line of Ironman Austria. To finish what I started last year.
Neither Alan nor myself finished the race last year and sadly he will not be there to avenge the race. After much soul searching he has made the heart breaking decision to withdraw from both Ironman Austria and Outlaw. That is his story to tell, suffice to say that my heart breaks for him as his is in essence an unrequited love, but I am immensly relieved at his decision.
In recent weeks the Ironman team at Austria announced this year in Austria there will be wave starts. I am scheduled to go in the second from last wave, Alan was to go in the last one. I forsaw a repeat of last years scenario and the worry of wondering if Alan was ok would once again hamper my race. So the fact he has withdrawn means I can race it with a clean head and hopefully do it justice.
In the next few weeks the posts in the blog return back to the training. Now that we are in the build phase, it’s starting to get much more interesting. In the meantime, the passion is returning and I’m so excited about the next few weeks.