6 months ago, I found myself on Lombok Island in Indonesia thinking about what I wanted to strive for over the next year. Without my bike, it was a chance to seek inspiration from the environment, the animals, and the local people. I found clarity through seeing and feeling different things. I felt the earth shake witnessing a volcano erupt while making camp on the side of a mountain, I remember looking at my sister both of us wondering is this how it ends?? (the ash cloud went straight above us drifting rapidly over to Bali, so we didn’t breathe in too many toxic fumes). I was grateful for being alive and my rapid heart rate refreshed my memory of how exhilarating life is. I was poisoned by a sea urchin (my sister paddled me to the hospital) which reminded me how little things can have a big impact…if you allow them to. For me, the most interesting and perhaps thought provoking moment was when I met a guy who lived by the motto “nothing is impossible, improbable but not impossible.” That motto really got me thinking and questioning some of the challenges I had faced in the past year. My hopes, dreams and possibilities of maybe making the Rio squad were taken away from me due to injury (a bulged disk in my back and to top it all off, I somehow managed to get salmonella poisoning of all things!). 7 months off the track bike and my thoughts then drifted back, not to the disappointment, but the process and the journey of trying to reach that goal of making the Olympics. Just thinking about how much I enjoyed the track racing and all the dreams I had yet to achieve, brought a smile to my face. That’s when I started writing, jotting down things I dreamed of. That was where my season started. I write down goals every year but when I made the team to go to my debut senior World Championships I looked back on the list I made in Lombok, I realized I had ticked off most of my goals up until this point.
A couple of days ago Cam Meyer gathered the Australian track team together. There were a lot of us. All our support staff stood together and I sat amongst a group of athletes between the ages of 18-32 all with the same vision… the rainbow stripes. We were a mix of past World champions, and potential, aspiring World champions. Cam and the coaches held us transfixed in the pits as they delivered a powerful and heartfelt message inspiring us all. It was so captivating I had goosebumps from the start to finish. Cam brought the team together and showed me how special it was to be part of an Australian team. How important we were to each other and gave us extra motivation to give everything we could for our country our supporters and ourselves.
On Wednesday I will be on a plane to Honk Kong to race my debut senior World Championships. To say I am excited would be an understatement. I burst into a big smile and get shivers thinking about the racing. I will be going into ‘battle’ with some of my best friends. People who I trust and empower me. I am so grateful for the support I have at home and from within my team and eager to see what we can do with this opportunity!