Back in February/March, Hannah reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in taking part in the Superhero Tri in aid of White Lodge Centre. Obviously, with superheroes being mentioned, I was all ears!… Bit ironic considering I have hearing difficulties!
Months passed and registration forms were signed, training began and sponsorship started to build up!
Admittedly, I didn’t do as much training as I probably should of due to not having completely accessible locations nearby. The only time I managed to practice was when we went shopping in the bigger supermarkets and it would take me almost an hour to propel myself around the store.
The week before the tri, nerves kicked in. This was my first time, not only attending but also taking part in the Superhero Tri. Was it big? Small? I feel more anxious when its somewhere I’ve never been to.
What the heck, let’s see what happens!
It’s Time to Assemble!
We left between 8am – 8:15am and set off for the 3-hour journey. No surprise that I fell asleep for however long I did. When I woke up, I was told that we were lost… because the SatNav had ran out of battery. My tablet only connects to WiFi so I couldn’t access anything. Ewan put some credit on his phone which then allowed him to access Google Maps, within 5 minutes, we knew where we were heading! Hallelujah!
It took us over 4 hours to get there when it should have taken just under 3…whoops! But we got there in the end!
Upon arriving at Dorney Lake, Windsor, it was like driving into a country field, the car park was filling up with cars by the minute. There were accessible minibuses to take small groups of us to where the Superhero Tri would be taking place.
I was not expecting how big and busy it would be, the only way I can describe it is that it was like seeing the world for the first time, I was in completely awe of how many disabled people there were.
I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about meeting Hannah, I’ve only spoken to her via Twitter and I do look up to her (not just because she is taller than me!) And I know it may sound silly but I was a little star-struck as to me, Hannah is well-known for being a disability advocate.
Hannah is just as sweet in person as she is online!
Team Hannah consisted of Nia and Jon who were taking on the 150m swim, Hannah, her dad and Matt taking on the 3km cycle, Hannah’s mum, Ewan and I taking on the 1km sprint/walk/push.
Teams were separated into waves and we were in Wave 9. Our time came to warm up, Ewan and I wandered amongst the crowd, so I couldn’t see who was leading the warm up. You all should know me by now, if it’s a personal post that I am writing then I will lower the tone at least at one point!
Everybody started doing squats, Ewan said to me “I better not do squats”, I then had a puzzled look on my face, he announced that he had needed the toilet. No accidents but obviously he would have if he’d done squats! It’s a good job I retrained my bladder otherwise I would have had an accident from laughing so much!
Ready. Get Set. Go!
Nia and Jon began with the 150m swim, the rest of the team sat at the riverside watching them complete the challenge and it wasn’t long before they returned to land!
Next up was Hannah, her dad and Matt taking on the 3km cycle. This was the first time I had seen an accessible tandem and I was impressed! I would love to try it out! Understandably, with Hannah having multiple chronic illnesses, they stopped a couple of times to regain energy. The trio returned with Hannah having a massive smile on her face! Immensely proud of her as I can imagine that was exhausting!
Now…it was our turn!
I had already planned to propel myself the entire 1km…that’s until I realised my front wheel kept going in it’s own direction which made it quite hard to keep straight. So, Ewan did end up pushing me 95% of the 1km. When I felt I had some energy then I would propel myself a few metres before it became difficult again.
When we were on the last stretch, while Ewan was pushing me, a dragonfly hovered in front of me. Again, if you know me well, I like to find out the meaning behind happenings and occurrences
What Does A Dragonfly Symbolise?
“Almost every part of the world, the Dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization.”
“The Dragonfly is iridescent both on its wings and body. Iridescence shows itself in different colors depending on the angle and how the light falls on it. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity.”
“The Dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life. This symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living in the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t, and to make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.”
“The eyes of the Dragonfly symbolize the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. Dragonfly’s can be a symbol of self that comes with maturity. They can symbolize going past self-created illusions that limit our growth and ability to change.”
“The Dragonfly has been a symbol of happiness, new beginnings and change for many centuries. The Dragonfly means hope, change, and love.” – Source – Dragonfly Transitions
I can’t put into words how Hannah and I were feeling when we stopped 5 metres before the finish line, the photos speak for themselves.
Those of you who are familiar with my recovery story will know how much walking across the finish line means to me and a standalone achievement!
Thank you Hannah for allowing me to share a very special moment with you, im so proud of you and you gave me hope!
Thank you to Ewan for being my sidekick as always, supporting me not only on the day but every day. I love you!
Thank you to Mum for driving us there and back and I’m sorry we got lost. Will be sure to get a better SatNav for next year!
Lala and K, thank you so much for coming to share those moments and was lovely to see you both as always.
Thank you to Team Hannah for being the most bubbly and motivating people and it was an honour to be part of that.
Thank YOU, the lovely people who have supported us and generously donated by sponsoring us. The target was £1000 and the amount currently stands at £1403.00! Thank you so very much everyone, we really appreciate it!
I’m still feeling incredibly overwhelmed from the day, it’s been the highlight of my year thus far! I felt like I truly belonged there, I felt accepted. The amount of disabled people that were there left me speechless. Coming from somewhere where there are rarely disabled people, then to be at the most accessible event I’ve ever witnessed… just WOW!
Am I going to do it again next year?