It’s been a while since I’ve sent one of these out, so hopefully you all remember me. A long time between drinks on the updates has been due the past two years which has essentially become a bit of a blip on our memories.
While there has been lots of lulls, lockdowns injuries and all the rest, there have also been some pretty great things progressing over the past few years.
A quick little update on things over the past 12 months before diving into where I’m at currently. Unfortunately last year I found myself with a pretty serious injury, with a stress fracture in my femoral neck on my good leg. For clarity my good one is the one that still has all its toes.
It was painful, frustrating, and ended my year very early in the piece, with a tedious rest and rehab process ahead of me, due to the nature of the injury. It was a bitter pill to swallow, having had a decent start to the year training wise, and not being able to walk for several weeks, let alone perform in a race like I would’ve wanted to.
Every cloud is supposed to have a silver lining, right? Someone also told me once if we decide to look at our obstacles as experiences, we are usually able to drag some positive out of it, if we’re willing to look long and hard for it. The silver lining here was that whilst it was disappointing to find myself so injured, it gave me an opportunity to rehab, address a few things in training and my body to try come back harder, better, faster, stronger like my man Kayne said.
On top of that, it gave me a chance to pause, which I’ll admit I find it hard to do, and look at my life outside of sport, triathlon and training, which takes most of my focus all year round. What I got from this downtime was that I had found myself fortunate to be working with the Black Dog Institute and Australian Institute of Sport, presenting the Mental Fitness challenge to high school students, but that I was looking to push myself in more areas, and continue to try grow and make myself uncomfortable.
I realized I had two vocations I loved - triathlon and public speaking. Yet I still wanted a little bit more on my plate. It can be both a blessing and a curse to always want more. On one hand it means I’m constantly striving to be in a better position as an athlete and presenter, whilst on the other hand meaning that when I do achieve goals, I’ve set for myself, I rarely get the chance to fully enjoy them properly. I achieve the goal and become too busy setting new ones already.
So, my big shift in more recent times is my transformation to your everyday Billy Madison (if you don’t get this reference, please head to Google for some education.) The long and short of it is, Billy goes back school! I’ve done the same thing, I’ve even managed to dress like Billy when I go into Uni most days, which is a total coincidence.
After a gap year turning into a gap decade, it’s been a very rude awakening going back to school, and officially being a mature aged student, almost as tough a pill to swallow as last years injury.
My life has been very full this year. It’s been a welcome shift to what was a very barren few years of little change and progression in a lot of areas, something most people could identify with through COVID.
My rehab went fairly smoothly thank god, having a very productive summer of training and racing in Australia, with an emphatic win at the Devonport Paratriathlon Oceania Cup and second at the Paratriathlon Oceania Championships in February and March respectively.
One of the better parts of this year has been the opportunity to get back doing what I love doing, which is racing internationally. Opened borders and an easing sense of normality has meant that racing overseas is back on the cards.
It was a great feeling to leave Australia just under a month ago, to head to Yokohama in Japan for the first Paratriathlon World Series race. There was a lot of hoops to jump through given the Japanese governments very strict COVID protocols.
After not having the opportunity to race in so long, I was just excited for the opportunity to get to race some of the best in the world and see where I was at. My last international race was the 2019 World Championships in Lausanne, and the world had changed a lot in that time. Luckily, I’d managed to change a lot as well as a person and athlete. Injury aside, I’d had a pretty consistent and productive few years training wise and was looking forward to seeing where I was at.
Torrential rain hammered Japan in the few days we were there, which meant for a slippery and at times, sketchy race. I was glad to have a good swim and ride, but unfortunately Meatloaf wasn’t right when he said 2 out of 3 ain’t bad and an average run to finish the race off left me finishing in 6th place. It was my best result at a World Series race, and a lot of positives for my first race back, but I left Japan wanting more, and hungry to get over to Europe to continue the season.
The next few months I’m lucky enough to be based back in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. For those that have been following along for a while, I was based back here in 2019 and had a great trip and my best season of racing. That trip was only possible thanks to a lot of the Team Twomey followers, friends, family and sponsors. That trip and season I qualified for my first World Championship team and had a few very special races and moments, so it’s an experience I’m really grateful for.
The first few weeks here have been very nice. Adjusting to a European schedule, meaning lots of sleep, food and coffee. That’s essentially my Australian schedule too, it’s just a little bit warmer over here at the moment. Have loved getting back into the Girona cycling, and running surrounds, making boring old Beach Rd in Melbourne seem like a distance memory.
It hasn’t come with its hiccups though, with a little niggle unfortunately meaning I’ve had to pull out of the upcoming Paratriathlon World Cup in Bescanson, France next weekend. With a long season ahead, I don’t want to risk ruining the rest of the year to chase a race if I’m not 100%.
Given I’ve got to sit my first set of Uni exams over the next fortnight, and these being the first exams of my life where I’m actually interested in the result, it is once again, a silver lining I have to take out of this experience.
If you’re still reading along, kudos, it’s been hard to compress 18 months into 1000 words, but we made it.
Thanks for reading and cheering along at home as I go about my business, always feel very privileged to have a fan base all over the world supporting me.
Until next time, hopefully sooner rather than later. Cheers, Liam