Learning courage, determination & resilience from my cat

Posted on: February 22nd, 2012

Earlier this week, our 16 year old cat, Daisy, died suddenly. (Most probably of a heart attack or stroke.) Thankfully, it was very quick and she knew nothing about it.

It’s devastating to have lost her and, quite naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days of the nine years we spent with her. There are three words to sum up her character: courageous, determined and resilient.

Courageous

She was unhappy in her original home: another cat in the flat (her son) bullied her constantly. So, when they all moved from the flat below us to another flat in our complex, Daisy decided to leave her owner and stay put, living in the communal hallway. She chose to leave the certainty of a life with a guy who loved her, cared for her and fed her for a life of uncertainty.

Focus, determination and hard work

Posted on: July 26th, 2010

I was in Hyde Park on Saturday with my husband to see the new summer pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery. As we were crossing the road from the Diana Memorial Fountain to the Gallery, cyclists and runners flashed past us. But these weren’t ordinary cyclists or runners.

They all had a limb missing, except one runner who was blind (with a sighted partner to lead them.) They certainly weren’t your average weekend joggers or cyclists. They looked like elite athletes. When I got back home I looked the event up on the internet. I found that we’d been watching the Paratriathlon of the ITU World Championships. There were 42 paratriathletes competing from seven countries.

It got me thinking about the focus and determination an athlete needs to compete at an international level. Not to mention all the hard work they have to put in to meet the demands of their punishing training schedule.