Lost……and Found??

I didn’t end up racing the Fleetwood Sprint on Sunday 23rd September, so my triathlon season finished on the 1st July with the Outlaw.

In the early hours of the 22nd September my Mam died, even just typing that is hard.

For the last few weeks I’ve felt completely lost, I’ve been numb, angry, forgetful, tired, emotional – essentially a walking cliché for everything associated with grief and mourning. I always thought I’d be strong, you know, stiff upper lip and all that and I’ve been the complete opposite. At times I’ve probably not been nice to be around, it must have been hard work for Em seeing me this way.

Today I return to work, I can no longer hide. Do I feel ready? No. But life has to go on I guess. Everyone has been wonderful, offering their thoughts, their prayers and their support, it’s times like this when you realise what great friends you have. I don’t think you ever get over something like this, I know it’s something we will all face at some point in our lives and you just have to cope with it as best you can. There’s no training manual for grief, no time frame, you just have to try and do what feels right.

Over the past few weeks I’ve let myself go, eating crap, being lethargic, feeling sorry for myself, I can’t keep doing that. My Mam was very proud of what I’d achieved, over the past months she asked me about my new eating regime and my training. She was excited for me, she firmly believed that I could achieve my Ironman goals. I’m determined to prove her right, I’m determined to make her proud. She will be with me in spirit at the Outlaw next year, I won’t let her down.I miss you Mam, you’ll never be forgotten.

So today is a new day, it’s the start of me finding myself again.


35 responses to “Lost……and Found??

  1. Really sorry to hear this sad news. It was obvious from your book how proud and supportive your mum was of your achievements.

    • Thanks Lynda, I appreciate that. Yeah, Mum supported me, my brother and my dad in all our sporting endevours over the years. She stood out in all weathers cheering and urging us on. I couldn’t have asked for a greater supporter.

  2. Thoughts are with you chap

  3. My thoughts are with you Andy. Such an awful thing to experience, though we must all go through it at some point. Having lost my father this year I have been there and my triathlons & training really helped me to cope. Get back into your training and I am sure you’ll continue to make your Mum proud of you.

  4. I lost my Mother Andy in June 2009 and can relate to everything you say. You have to keep going, its not easy but my mother said before she died “I have had my life, you need to have yours” and that keeps me going to show that i listened at least once to her!

  5. I’m so sorry for your sadness and loss of your mom. This was hard to read, and the writing of it I’m sure was incomprehensibly hard. As for the “letting yourself go,” how could anyone not? Your priorities took a dramatic shift, as they should. Things will come back together with probably greater resolve for you. You have a beautiful family and a global network of friends and supporters. We are all excited for you and believe in you and want to hear about your eating and training too. Your mom was and is proud I’m sure for what you do, yes, but really for who you are. Have a good day back at work. Hope the “in” box is not too scary!!

    • Thanks as always Cort, the voice of sense and reason. Over a 1000 emails, mostly crap, getting through them. All the best for the world champs this weekend, race the roo like you stole it 😉

  6. Really sorry to hear of your loss mate. Hang in there. Thoughts are with you.

  7. You’re a hell of a man and more so for the love you have for your family. Much love from Lubbock.

  8. Chin up Holgs. What CtS says is right. I’m sure your Mam is looking down on you and saying ‘Andrew, I am proud of you. Now get on with living your life and make everyone else as proud of you as I am!’
    Thoughts are with you.

    • Thanks David, I appreciate that. Yeah you are right, I’m sure that she is. She was a great believer in living life your own way and doing things right for your family.

  9. I am really sorry to hear about this my thoughts are with you an your family . Just wanted to say also that having stumbled upon your book I found you to be a great inspiration as I start my training to do something I now believe I can do.

    • Thanks Dickie, I really appreciate that. I’m glad that you enjoyed my book. Good luck with the training, hope it goes well. If you ever need any help or advice give me a shout.

  10. I am so sorry. Hope you are finding some solace in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. Please take your time in getting back out there and believe that the pain will get a little easier every day.

    • Thanks Jen, I’ve been overwhelmed by everyones reaction. We often only hear about thye negative in the world but the messages of support that I’ve received prove just what an amazing bunch of people there are out there. I can’t thank everyone enough. It doesn’t take the pain away but it does raise a smile which at the moment feels priceless.

  11. I lost my dad 9 years ago. We never had a very good relationship when I was growing up, but it got better when I left home. still never brilliant. But I was in a sort of trance for a couple of weeks after he’d gone, even though he was very ill. It took a long time to get over it, and even now odd little things will tug at the heart strings. I won’t even begin to contemplate losing my mum.

    Getting some sort of order back to life is good, I’m sure she would want that. I don’t know what you believe, but I’m sure she’s somewhere watching you – telling you to loo after yourself and get on with your life :).

    Thoughts, hugs and positive vibes coming your way

    • Hi Kizzi,
      Thanks for your kind words. I’m not religious at all, lost my faith many years ago but I respect that people believe in that aspect of things. I do however hope and believe that there is something for the spirit after death, and I believe that my mam will always be with me, watching over me and my loved ones.
      Life will be gotten one with !!

  12. Tough times. So sorry to hear your news. Moving on is hard. Your story has been such an inspiration to many and I know it’ll continue to be so. You’re right, there is no training manual for grief; just let it take it’s course. There will always be hard times, when memories come flooding back and there’s nothing wrong with expressing how you feel. You know exercise and healthy eating make you feel better, so why not cook yourselves a nice meal tonight and give yourself permission to exercise however you want – no goals or schedules for the next few weeks, just a time to get back into a routine. I pray that God will comfort you and your family in your loss and that he will give you the strength to keep going.

    • Thanks Emma for the advice, the thoughts and the prayers. I really do appreciate them. Will ease back into things, taking baby steps, I expect I’ll have good and bad days but I’ll get there.
      Thanks again.

  13. Oh, dude…I know you only from your book and an occasional blog post. My heart hurts for you. I can’t find anything to say other than there are many if us thinking about you. Take care. Be kind to yourself. Breathe.

    • Thank you Cindy, I really appreciate it. The kindness of people I haven’t met has been overwhelming. It restores your faith in the human race. Breathing is good 😉

  14. I am really sorry to hear your news Andy. It was obvious from the book that she was one of your greatest supporters and you had immense love and respect for her. My Father-in-Law died last year. He lived the fullest life to a ripe old age and at his funeral (standing room only) someone much more erudite than me gave an address and said: ” Don’t be sorry that he died – be happy that he lived”. Sounds to me like your Mum lived a great life.

    • Thank you Peter, and so sorry about your father-in-law. I spoke at my mums funeral and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and will do. My dad wrote the words and it was a celebration of her life, a positive send off so to speak. As a nurse she always taught us that there are people worse off than ourselves, and that we should take the positives from life, I plan on doing so.
      She was wonderful.

  15. ….and one more thing. If you want some inspirational advice on how to rise above adversity and prove that no obstacle is too big to overcome if you mean it then read a book called “Can’t swim, can’t ride, can’t run”. It’s inspired many and it is fantastic : )

    • ha ha that amused me, and thank you very much for a timely reminder. Still can’t believe that little old me inspires people, gives me a warm glow and I know it made my mam imensely proud.

  16. My thoughts are with you in this really tough time when nothing but grief is just too overwhelming. Over time the grief which is now an ever present dark cloud will eventually drift back. It will still be there but the good thing is it will allow you to see the road ahead. Take care of yourself and your wonderful family.

  17. Sorry to hear such terrible news.I wish and hope you and yours can take the positives from your mothers life and going forward draw pleasure and inspiration from it.


  18. Sorry to hear the sad news Andy. Having just taken your book away on holiday and read it in 2 days I can see how much you adored each other. Your mam and dad have shown you massive support in all your challenges. My wife lost her father very suddenly 2 years ago and having seen how much she hurt I can only imagine you are going through the same.
    Your book is excellent and I neglected my kids some what as I couldnt put it down. It has inspired me to take on Ironman Wales 2014.

  19. I think your reactions are entirely understandable and I think I’d be exactly the same – anger, despair, giving up. Just make sure it’s temporary and use your loss as a motivation to strive to improve. Take care mate.

  20. Oh Andy, I was so sorry to hear this. You are such an inspiring person and you are that person in no small part because of your mother. She was so proud of you and that pride lives on in you. I wish you and your family strength in getting through the coming months (and years). It is an arduous road. But you are not alone. You are loved by so many and we are all thnking of you. Love to you Andy.

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