This years been a bit of a random one. The type that makes you think, how on earth did all of that happen?
The year didn’t start off great. I’d gone into it wanting to go full steam ahead with downhill racing, but if you’ve been following my blog that clearly didn’t happen.
Seriously…I went from this…
What on earth happened?!?
Jokes aside, I’d got to a point in my life where I realised I needed to sort everything out. I was 19 years old and working part-time. I was still learning to drive. In my head I should have been on the path to a high-flying career. Unrealistic I know…
Basically I wasn’t where I wanted to be.
Having so many shoestrings untied was starting to affect me and how happy I was. This came to light at my first downhill race of the season. I can’t even remember if I actually went up for my race run or not.
I was making my way down the hill during practice at Revolution Bike Park, which was one of my favourite places to ride. I have so many amazing memories there. Riding with great people. Conquering rather large drop-offs and hitting the Freeride just a little bit faster than expected. Why wouldn’t I be enjoying myself?
Life unfortunately got in the way of riding bikes.
One minute I was riding, then I was slowly going completely rigid and my breathing was shallow. Being able to concentrate had obviously gone straight out of the window. So I had to make my way down the hill on the fire roads. Rolling back down to the car park, I’d had another panic attack. I say another because I’ve had plenty.
They’re completely draining. I got home and I went straight to bed. I slept for hours longer than I normally do. I was trying to carry on like normal when I clearly wasn’t ok.
Checking Roots & Rain I did actually race. Although my time was way off what I would normally ride. The guys I’d gone to the race with had managed to persuade me to race. I don’t know how, but they did. It’s times like that when you realise how amazing some people actually are.
Hitting rock bottom as hard as I did, from then on I slowly started to sort myself out. I decided I needed to be selfish and just focus on me for a bit. Do what I needed to do. Sort out what I needed to sort out. Only then I could move forward.
Panic attacks flared up at random points through the year. In a driving lesson. At the Doctor’s when I was going there for something completely different. Sometimes I could feel them build up over a few days before they hit properly.
Looking back now, all that seems a lot longer than a few months ago.
Since then I’ve passed my driving test, got a full-time job (apprenticeship to be exact) and completed a Duathlon, which I’ve always wanted to do! Passing my driving test wasn’t easy and I didn’t think I’d get offered the apprenticeship either! I even decorated my bedroom…which was long overdue! Getting all of it done was like having a massive weight taken off my shoulders.
So you could say the first 6 months were a bit of a write-off, but the last 6 were a complete whirlwind. I’ve accumulated so many memories, seen beautiful places and gained amazing friends. I know 2016 was a bad year for the world in so many ways, but I’d like to thank everyone who’s been there for me throughout it. It’s been a tough one, but definitely worth it.