Out of the Darkness

12th December 2013

By Siobhan McCarthy

I wrote in an earlier issue of Jock Athletic about my struggle to train for triathlon and maintain a normal eating habit that would see me perform to the best of my ability. I wouldn’t eat properly and once that happened my success dwindled and so did my love of triathlon. I often sit at my computer and follow races and think “coulda, shoulda, woulda”. But these days I eat ice cream and also run without fear and that means more than crossing a finish line. What is funny is that all those months ago I said “being healthy did not include sport” But that has changed.

These days I don’t swim or ride or run my heart out – I have returned to my youth of playing touch football and netball. Each week I take the field and I am as competitive as ever and realised that being healthy actually includes sport again. Like all great ideas mine came to light over a glass of wine. I was coerced in to playing netball with one of the local competitions. We may not be incredible on the court and I think we lost more than we won. But with the help of these wonderful girls they helped me find my love again.

It reminded me that a love of sport is because you want to have fun and to surround yourself with good people. 

It reminded me that without enjoyment you cannot succeed and never underestimate the importance of team spirit. Even if it is a solo sport you are taking part in, there is always a team of people who are there to get you across the line. I have started running again and I am on the road to getting fit. But the reality is it couldn’t have happened without plenty of encouragement and a snap back to reality to remind myself why I turned to sport in the first place. It seems like a long time ago that I was putting myself through a day-in day-out training scheme for triathlon.

But a change in scenery, a new sport and the adrenalin rush of sharing victories with a team as perhaps inspired me to get back on the bike – but perhaps just not the bike I thought it would be.

Siobhan McCarthy is a sports journalist, beetroot lover, flower thief, coffee snob and knee-high to a grass hopper. Her words, not ours – Ha!

twitter: @Siobhanann