The pressure of never being at home has been the main reason for me deciding that I am no longer training for slalom. This has been a decision I have made on my own. There are other reasons, including costs, but another big one is never having an answer when I'm asked so many times "who will be compete in your place" when I'm not allowed to race.
It has been nearly two years of full time training and I have been improving all along. Now, after my first world cup circuit it feels like I am just starting. We think I could make it to the 2012 games but I don't want to just "get there" I want to have a real go at competing. With this in mind we think 2016 is the more realistic goal, but the effort is already out weighing an possible outcome. If I was to start again knowing what I know now, I would do things differently.
I will really miss competing at this level as I was in my element. The buzz of a big competition and the calmness at the start line was everything I expected it to be. I have never experienced anything like it before but hope to find it again, on the water, somewhere else.
I have learnt so much about paddling which could help in most other disciplines, so if anyone wants to contact me for some advice, please do.
I would like to thank everyone who helped along the way, there are too many to name for fear of forgetting someone.
I would like to be able to say something positive about the ICU, but .......................
As this has been such a big part of my life for so long, it is going to be hard to get back to normal. I'm putting up this final blog post and asking for everyone to read it as I find it very difficult to talk about and would prefer not to have to repeat the story over and over.
Some highlights of the trip