“Have a great trip, BJ!”
Forgive me for sounding like I should be a hemp-wearing hippie with only open toed footwear in my possession and a proud owner of a ‘magic happens’ sticker on my zombie... but this is much more than a 'trip'. It seems like its even more than a ‘journey’. Or maybe these words just don’t seem to cover it properly in my head.
I am normally pretty good with travel and flights and this time of the year, but the last couple of weeks have been odd. It’s not really nerves, so much as a lack of knowledge of how I am ‘supposed’ to prepare myself for this time I have ahead of me. Making the Olympics is not only a goal reached, but something that will be carried with me in some way for the rest of my life. The nature of the attainment of this goal and what happens in London will essentially dictate very much how I approach my goal setting until I breath no more.
This is a fair bit of pressure, and probably a great example of the far-too-in-depth way I tend to get from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, I am going to have a ball, and feel like a child most of the time getting to play with the big kids and do all this awesome adult stuff! But I guess I am aware of this being the story I am going to most often tell for the rest of my life. I love talking shit and I love telling stories, so I am hoping that it’s going to be a sweet story, not one where my grandkids nod off as the climax of the story doesn’t really go anywhere.
“What bedtime story do you want to hear tonight, kids?”
“Tell us your London Olympic story, Pop. That always puts us to sleep.”
The good thing is now that I am all packed, sitting at the Qantas Club in Sydney (pretty much paid for itself already) and awaiting my flight to Europe. The majority of the hard work has been done, we just need to sharpen out pencils and start writing history. I couldn’t ask for a better lead-up really. I have been injury free for the past 3 years, I have done a great base after Olympic Trials, I have my super-coach and great mate MattyB coming over, as well as my super excited and talented training partners Loz and Mel. I can’t wait to hang out with Steve (Hooker) in Germany and catch up with the rest of the team as the tension and excitement builds over the next month.
My aim is just to keep my head on shoulders, my legs painfree and on the track, and my heart open to the experience that awaits. Words will not come close to describing my travels over the next 5 months (I have a 3 months trip planned post-games; i’ll chat about that later), nor will images, but I will do my best to use both give some insight into the experience.
A quick thanks, and one of many to some of the amazing people who helped mould the athlete and man that steps on the plane in a couple of hours. My beautiful, generous and insightful parents, Anne and Barry. Jacqui (and Nathan), and Tim - the bros and sis’ that keep me real. My pre-mentioned coach MattyB, Loz, Mel and the entire MattyB DEPT back in Canberra. The AIS Physical Therapies dept, my home of work and support for the past 3 years, particularly Ari Takkinen (ninja master) and Ben Raysmith (best physio in the world under 5ft tall). The two boys that started my aths career with me 25 years ago, Pete and Sim, and all my amazing mates back in Melbourne. My two mentors and blokes who build me up and shoot me down at perfect times, Steve Hooker and Benn Harradine.And a big cheers and look-the-hell-out to all the people I haven’t met that will be on my epic adventures and part of the stories I will tell for years to come.