“She said she could, she believed she could & she did”
Have you ever had one of those competition days that felt like a total nightmare where you wished the day had been nothing but a bad dream?
I have and I’m sure most if not all athletes reading this have too.
Well that was my reality a little over a month ago at the G2 world ranked Presidents Cup event in Canberra.
Earlier in the year it was announced that the Presidents Cup would act as a back door entry to the G4 world Ranked Oceania Championships later on in the year – An alternative route to your standard national team selection event to be able to compete at the Oceania Championships.
Everyone in the snr circuit wants to be able to compete at the G4 Oceania Championships because it is the highest ranked event that is held in the Oceania region every two years, and one that sees you earn big world ranking points without having to travel too far.
Coming back to competition at the beginning of this year and given when the presidents was to be held, I set my eyes on that event to be the one where I really did well, I figured it was enough time to get physically and mentally back into top form along with getting the necessary competition practice back under my belt.
4 weeks out from the presidents after overcoming a lot of personal, physically and mental obstacles I finally as though things were falling into place, consistently feeling good, seeing improvements in all areas of my life and finding the same feeling I had while training and competing prior to my injury, honestly feeling the best and most confident I’d felt in over a year.
The night before competition day, the draw came out and I was pleasantly surprised with my side of the draw, I was no.2 Australian seed with multiple Koreans in my division who I was eager to fight, I knew that fighting them would really give me a good indication as to where I currently sit in terms of performance and would see me qualify for Oceania, all I had to do was get through the first round.
To be honest competition day at the presidents cup is a bit of blur to me now, however there are a few distinct things that I remember leading up to my fight, I felt a new sense of confidence and calmness, two things that normally wouldn’t go hand in hand with me on any fight day prior to my injury – Those close know how nervous I get, to the point where I’m rushing off to do nervous wees right up until I need to check into marshalling – on this day no such thing! I felt strong and calm during my warm up and excited to get into the ring, I had a game plan which I felt good about and then the time came to jump into the ring, and it all just fell apart…
From memory I was down on points from the get go, giving away easy points with no such luck in gaining them back, in the last part of the match however I managed to close the gap but lost the bout in the last dying seconds…It just wasn’t to be on this day and it hurt so bad.
I don’t remember ever feeling so hurt over a loss, it’s no secret that I hate loosing, but this one really hurt given the obstacles I’d over come to get to this point.
Fast forward 6 weeks and we arrived at the 2016 Australian National Championships in Bendigo Victoria, I had shot at redemption, another chance to make it to the Oceania Championships and also a chance to make the Australian National team.
Honestly my preparation for this event was probably at an all-time low, I had come off the Presidents Cup with a terrible case of shins splints which I just couldn’t shake, followed by being hit with the flu, which lead me to be the sickest I’ve been in years, finishing off my prep with a head cold, everything that could’ve possibly happened in this preparation cycle happened, despite all of this I was feeling at an all-time high mentally and emotionally, I had the simple belief that despite all odds and lack of physical prep, I could still win, I knew that deep down if I kept a calm mind and listened to my coach, my body would follow…and it did.
Almost 18 months to the day post knee reconstruction surgery and after 3 tough fights I earned my spot on the AUS national team, took out my 4th national title and qualified for the Oceania Championships in Fiji later this year.
By no means was my performance pretty, and in fact I started out quite sluggish, given my prep this was no surprise, but by the 3rd and final fight I had well and truly found my feet and it was enough to get through and convincingly take the win, sometimes that’s just the nature of our sport – doing enough to win.
To be able to explain how it felt to be in this position 18 months on post-surgery is something that I’m still trying to grasp, I feel so incredibly grateful to say the least. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I always believed in my heart of hearts it was possible.
So now it’s back home and back to the drawing board, time to refocus and plan for the Oceania Championships at the end of November.
On one last note, there’s a few people I would like to thank who helped make this possible:
My coach Di Carn, you’re my rock both on and off the court, your belief in me and my dreams is something I’ll never ever be able to thank you enough for, know how much I appreciate all that you do for me and the rest of our team! #dynamicduoisback
My awesome training partners who have been in my corner since day 1, Hendy & Jonny Lu you guys rock! Thanks for being on the receiving end of headaches & being winded, not ever complaining, just smiling and knowing it would be worth it.
Master Jeff Crane, thank you for your support, thank you for your wise and helpful words, you’ve helped me more than you probably realise.
To my amazing sponsors & supporters: Layne Beachley Aim For The Stars Foundation ,
VIRUS Aust, CastleGate Financial, VixenSports thank you for your ongoing support along this journey and for allowing me to represent you and share my story also!
And last but not least, to my beautiful grandma and my number 1 supporter who I miss every day, this wins for you x