Champions adjust

My day today actually started last night. I’m on my way to Mooloolaba for one of the biggest triathlon and multisport festivals in Australia. My role: I’ll be a Technical Official over the weekend, helping ensure the safety and fairness of the racing. All up there will be around 7000 competitors taking part and a Technical Team of around 30…I expect we’ll be very busy!

My housemate is also coming up to race this weekend as a last hit out before he completes IronMan Australia in Port Macquarie in a few weeks. It meant Webber (my handsome 3 legged cat) needed a babysitter – thank goodness for cat loving friends. We only have 2 sets of keys to the house, so I thought I was super clever in giving my front door keys to my friend Anna and using the new back security door keys to get in and out. Clever Fiona however also locked the front security screen which then needs a key to unlock from the inside…with a sprained ankle and no lighting down the side of the house, getting my luggage and the garbages out was going to be entertaining.

Nevertheless, it had to be done, so I adapted and overcame, tricking the cat into the house then locking him out of the garage while I shoved everything (at 4am) out the garage door. The taxi arrived and I was off, or so I thought. On exiting the taxi, I discovered that my pay wasn’t in my bank account yet. I had no cash on me (save for a few bits of shrapnel). I had 15 minutes until my bus was due to leave for Sydney, so I exchanged details with the driver, arranged for him to collect me at the airport on my return to Canberra next week and hobbled in for the bus. I sat down with baited breath wondering if this was the start of “One of those days”.

Nodding off to sleep on the bus came way too easily but we were only an hour into the trip when I was woken by an announcement that there had been an accident on the freeway and it was closed. The driver thankfully was able to divert through some country towns so that we didn’t lose much time – I had a flight to catch! I’d chosen the 5am bus so that I had plenty of time to get from the drop off at the international terminal over to the domestic terminal – clever Fiona because once we hit the M5 motorway in Sydney, it was gridlock. Despite it all, the driver got us to the airport only 30minutes late which given everything, I was impressed.

I headed to the train station connecting the two terminals, bought my ticket and hobbled to the elevator only to have the solo woman riding it not hold the door. Cow (not actually what I called her). I headed over to the escalator jumped on with my luggage and got down to the platform just in time to get the first train through. Yay!

Already clutching my boarding pass, I queued to drop my bags, cleared security and headed off to the revised boarding gate – the furthest possible gate. On arrival I discovered there had been air traffic control problems in both Melbourne and Sydney (flight was coming in from Melbourne), the flight was delayed and I could’ve gotten breakfast and coffee on my way through after all. I started wandering back remembering I’d seen a newsagent close by but before I got to ask him where the best place to get coffee was, he was being abused by a lady who had told off the check in staff too. I had a laugh with him about how horrible she was and how he rose above her pettiness which seemed to lift his spirits a bit. When I asked where the closest place to get a coffee he pointed across the hall – I’d completely missed it when I walked past.

Coffee and yoghurt in hand, I headed back to the gate. The staff announced that anyone needing special assistance or with children to make themselves known as we’d be boarding via the tarmac. Looking at my ever swelling cankle I finished my coffee and wandered up because I knew I’d be slow going down the stairs without flexibility in the joint. The staff were really lovely and offered to come get me just before boarding so I could get a head start on getting down the stairs. They did just that but then when I handed over my boarding pass said I’d need to move seats because I was in an exit row but injured. Sigh…Finally on the plane, chilling out to Channel V and the flight crew come around with refreshments. One last thing before I arrive in Brisvegas 2 hours late…she spills tea over my netbook.

Now these are all very first world issues, but when you are tired/half asleep, sometimes you can lose focus on what’s important. Thankfully I have 4 distractions:

  2. Debbie, my next door neighbour from my childhood whose mother started me out in swim teaching, and I are spending the day together today.
  3. The Catholic world is in celebration at the announcement of a new Pope. AND…
  4. Last night I read a quote that resonated with me: Champions adjust.

Story¹ has it that Billie Jean King (tennis megastar) said this to Zina Garrison when she was coaching her in tennis. Garrison apparently had gotten into a funk and so King just looked her in the eye and gave her that statement. King had drawn this from Hans Selye who in his book The Stress of Life had written:

“Life is largely a process of adaptation to the circumstances in which we exist. The secret of health and happiness lies in the successful adjustment to the ever-changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process are disease and unhappiness.”

I don’t quite see myself as a champion but I do think I’m pretty awesome and one of my colleagues went as far as to tell me I’m B’Awesome (which comes from the movie Bolt by Disney and stands for beyond awesome). Still, given I strive to reach beyond mediocrity, I will take Billie Jean’s point and add it into my black book of awesome quotes when things challenge me: Champions adjust.


¹Story adapted from page 23 of Dr Pamela Peeke’s book Fit to Live. ISBN: 978-1-9057-4402-2

Post script note: So once I got to Brisbane, Debs and I had an awesome afternoon. Lunch in The London Club in Teneriffe, sight seeing from Mt Coot-tha, a trail walk up to Simpson’s Falls, quick trip to the mall and then we created our food baby at Sizzler (Debbie challenged me to add food baby into this post so of course being an over acheiver I’ve now done it twice!).