Pondering the state titles

With the Victorian BMX titles starting in 2 days time from now, particularly my class 30+ retro, I was thinking about the long time in between drinks. What do I mean by that? Well at the age of 45, I honestly can say I would not think that I would be entering into state titles for any event let alone a sport I am relatively new to, that being BMX.

My history in Victorian state titles in all sports I have participated in, is littered with awards, trophies and podium places, my last Victorian titles for any sport was back in 1998 on the day that I turned 27, I competed in the masters state swimming titles, in a return to the sport I did as a kid, I was proud to come home with gold, in the mens 200 breaststroke in the 25 to 29 age class. Before that at the age of 19 I competed in the Victorian Karate championships, I have sweet and sour memories of that day, yes I made the podium and finished in 3rd place, but I also broke my hand in the semi final whilst leading, I eventually lost the semi final and immediately had to come out and fight for third place, I knew my hand was a mess, but I fought on and no idea to this day how I pulled it out, but I won the fight for third and 26 years later still have my trophy taking pride of place on the trophy shelf.

These two podium places are very special to me, in both instances I had returned to the sport after a break of several years, 3 years for Karate and almost 10 years for swimming. Before that as a teen I competed regularly in swimming, lifesaving, Karate and Tae Kwon Do and regularly came over with top 8 finishes, whilst I didn’t win a lot, I did manage a few podium places throughout the course of my sporting endeavours, unfortunately all of my medals, ribbons etc were lost when I first moved out of home and all that I have left to show for it, is a badge from swimming Victoria that shows my relay team once made the finals in the Victorian Swimming Championships. With the strength of swimming in this country not only now but back then it was certainly a proud moment that I can reflect back on.

So here we are, some 18 years later from the last time I competed in a state championship, things have certainly changed from the last time, this time I go into the States knowing full well I have no chance of making the top 8, unless there is miracle I won’t make the semis and to be perfectly honest I expect to come stone motherless last. Do I care that I am going to come last? Well yes a little bit, but things change over the years, I still have that competitive spirit and don’t get me wrong if someone slows down or falls down, I will bust my arse to get in front and take that place in front of them. There is no free rides this weekend, if someone needs a 7th place to get through to the semi finals, they will need to ride it out, because I will have no hesitation in riding them down and taking that semi final spot away, if they take it easy.

I am nervous, apprehensive and I am sure when I am behind the gate, waiting for that automated call, “random start, watch the gate” I will feel like I am going to throw up, but most of all I am excited to be apart of the first time that the retro class is officially apart of the state titles, I can’t wait to get going.

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