One of the most wonderful things about triathlon is how life changing it is for so many people. Garry’s journey from being a beer, cigarettes and kebabs guy to a newer cleaner happier triathlete (to paraphrase Radiohead) led him to be a bearer of the Olympic flamer at the London 2012 Olympics. Most of us as we we make the journey from couch potato to swimbikerunner change people’s lives and inspire them to do more. Garry has done it on a large scale.
Here’s what he says.
I was Chosen because I Inspired
8000 inspirational people have been selected to carry the flame alongside big names in sport and entertainment on a relay that will pass by within one hour travelling distance of every household in the land. This is a sporting event that we may never see again on our soil in our lifetime, and I am proud to be selected, all in the same year as seeing the birth of Freya my first child and representing GBR in the European Age Group Sprint Triathlon Championships. What a story I can tell her when she grows up. Not just a story she can only dream about, but a story that she has played so much an active part in manufacturing. I owe her absolutely everything to how I have turned out.
I Started Running and Changed my Life
To me, all I did was look at my life, and how unhealthy I was. Deciding that i wanted to do something just to keep fit, I started by jogging around the fields until, like Forrest Gump, I just kept running!!! I never thought for one minute that my story and achievements would touch so many people, not just family and close friends where this all stemmed from, but now from messages I am getting from around the country and the world, from people I dont even know and have never met before, urging me to continue to blog as the stories they are reading are inspiring and a demonstration of ’Real Life’, and what shear grit and determination, confidence in your own ability and support of others can help you to achieve.
The Struggle to Win, not Winning
The Olympic Motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, a Latin expression meaning “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Coubertin’s ideals are further expressed in the Olympic Creed:
The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.
Come and Watch my Journey
I can add to the calender that on 16th June 2012 I will be carrying the Olympic Torch through South Shields, Tyne and Wear. My home town, and close to all my family and friends. It will make me extremely proud to represent our proud nation in this massive festival of sport.