R.I.P Grandad. Worst. Christmas. EVER!
I do hope you’ve had a nice Christmas. It was a bit of a mixed one at ours this year. I arrived back to my parents house in Nottingham on Saturday 22nd December and went round to see my Grandad who was in reasonably good spirits. I think I get the best of him when I visit, but naturally he has his good days and bad days. I left him with a big kiss, full of anticipation about our Christmas plans.
I returned on on Christmas Eve to find he had passed away.
Grandad Ray had died in the night and I arrived just in time to hear those dreaded words from the fabulous paramedics who had done everything they possibly could. ‘It’s bad news…’
I was shocked, I still am. It’ll be 5 years in February since we lost Grandma and the other half of this amazing couple had now given up on his fight against a broken heart and gone to join her. I informed close family and later saw a tweet from my cousin who I may have stole some of that sentence from:
“Night night Grandad. At rest with the love of your life now. Never forgotten, always loved.”
In our sport, the training can be lonely. I enjoy the sanctuary of my own thoughts. After a rough day, I woke up Christmas morning after a relatively sleepless night and went for a run. It’s no secret on here that I have an ongoing battle with my ITB whenever I run! I’m still going through a bit of rehab, but I just needed to get out.
I found 3 miles from somewhere which sounds a bit gentle, but in recent weeks I have been struggling to get passed 3 or 4 miles. Maybe it was the joint forces of both Grandparents looking down on me and giving me a good run out! Either way, I stuck the trainers on and went out without a second thought to maybe hurting myself from it. I didn’t – I felt fine.
Being with my family this last few days has given a bit of a different meaning to training. It’s not just been a brain out of gear, slog it out on the bike or endless lengths in the pool. I cannot convey how gutted I am that Grandad will not see me finish my 1st Ironman.
There is a shelf above his fireplace that is covered in awards and trophies from all the Grandkids, namely rugby ones from my cousin! An England Schools cap even. I wanted that Ironman medal hanging right in the middle of them!
Apart from a long phone call with the girlfriend on that dreaded Christmas Eve, I haven’t had much time to speak about my feelings, so writing them down here is good enough for me. Having to hold it together around parents, sister and other family members has bottled mine up a bit.
Training has now become a healer and is filled with happy thoughts. There is never going to be a lonely training session now or anything that is unachievable. My Grandma’s old mantra of ‘be the best YOU can be’ makes even more sense.