Energised Adventures & Team GB in China!

We are back from Chang Ping in China after a brilliant 3 days at the World Triathlon Championships.  Whilst it was only 3 days … Aurelie from The Tri Touch, and myself had the most amazing time looking after the GB team athletes and exploring China! This is my 6th year working with British Triathlon and this has to have been one of the most unique and surreal trips of my careeer!

Where to begin….. with a few Visa troubles I set off a day later than the majority from Heathrow to Bejjing with BA on Wednesday afternoon, landing on Thursday morning last week.  An easy flight, we were collected by the Nirvana Travel Company guys, always easy to spot with their bright orange t shirts and Northern charm!  Then into a ‘mini’ bus of sorts and off to Chang Ping and the Fengshan Hotel.

The Chinese way of driving is certainly different… but you just have to trust them… through 5 lanes roads to no road at all, stalls with various dead animals hanging to fresh, extra large fruits the landscape stretched out in front of us – somewhat like Scotland and not what I was expecting. Lush green landscapes, mountainous hills and a lot of rain.

After an hour or so we arrived at the hotel and it was massage couch straight up

under the Gazebo and straight to work…  I had a full  list of clients to look after before race day, and so did Aurelie.  Over the 2.5 days that I was there I massaged over 30 athletes sets of legs, backs, hip flexors, buttocks, taped, strapped and generally advised, supporting, reassured and motivated. Along with the massage, I was fully booked (with the little spare time) with Sports NLP sessions which are becoming hugely popular too!  The massage balm Dynamint proved to be really popular with the athletes as a cooling balm for post race recovery, and the K-Tape great for any niggles too. Along  with that Aurelie brought her GRID Roller which is an exceptionally good version of the Foam Roller and an essential tool for anyone travelling and trianing hard.

Having worked with team for 6 years now I have travelled all over the World and worked with many athletes – it is a real privalege to have the opportunity to work with Elite & Age Group alike – from 18years to 75 years old they all share a story, passion and commitment to doing their best.  Each trip is thoroughly enjoyable and I would like to thank everyone who has chosen me as part of the support crew for so long!

Following their pre and post treatments news of results and medals were coming into the massage room (we moved inside on the last day due to monsoon conditions!) …. there are so many athletes from Team Energised & Team GB to congratulate for an amazing set of results – Pro to Age Group.

Here is a summary of the wonderful and inspiring people we worked we and watched…

Aquathlon Champion – Richard Stannard – GOLD (Third Year!)

Para Athletes: Jane Egan, Charlotte Ellis, Faye McClelland,  Steven Judg – all GOLD – Amazing, inspiring performances – make sure you watch them in 2012!

U23 – Matt Sharp – GOLD!

Senior Mens: Alistair Brownlee – GOLD, Jonathon Brownlee – BRONZE

Senoir Ladies: Helen Jenkins – SILVER

Some Amazing Age Group Results from the people we treated and know…..

Ladies: Laura Siddell (overall winner in the Sprint – AWESOME performance – she has just come over from Oz winter training and was worried about lack of race preparation -no need Laura!! Big Well done!), Gaelle Lebray – SILVER – this lady is on form and super inspiring & talented (GOLD last year – just too cold for her on race day this year – still and amazing result and you should be VERY proud).

Just outside of the medals, but with brilliant performances were Felicity Cole 7th (first season in triathlon – this lady is sooo talented and definately one to watch – big well done girlfriend!!), Mel Ryding – 17th despite a bad bike crash and severe concussion only weeks ago (such a great result and hugely proud of you Mel – well done) and well done to Truusje, Kate, Clare, Maree & Anna too!

Men: Medalling SILVER to Ian Thwaites (speedy ONE RDS team!) & Bronze to Mark Hirsh (so good to see you again and GOLD will be your’s soon Mark – big well done!).

Other great results for first timers, and seasoned age groupers alike include Matt Fisher with a strong performance in his age group despite knee troubles (well done Matt! Bring on next year), Douglas Wood (inspiring), Matt Hobbs, Richard, John Wood & Ian.

Aurelie and I did not get much time to watch the athletes but we did sneak out for an hour or so

to watch the Men’s Elite – all I can say is the Brownlee brothers are amazing –

they make racing look effortless and

if you ever want to model excellence for a run finish watch Alistair at the end of his 10km! Inspiring, focused, determined, relaxed and ultimately having a good time 🙂 Big well done!

Outside of sports massaging and sports NLP, and despite little sleep we decided to make the most of our time in China!! Not knowing when we would return. So on Thursday night we climbed the mountains behind us to a stunning view and found some small temples (the difference between China and Scotland), Friday night we headed into Bejjing (we were going to go to the Great Wall but it ‘closes’ at 4pm!) to explore the streets displaying roasted millipead, scorpion and other treats (if I had not have been working I would have tasted these delights but thought the athletes would not appreciate no therapists due to tasting millipead!! Yum yum..?!).  The trip home took a little longer due to a traffic jam at midnight and a lack of Manderin from us, plus blonde hair and blue eyes is not considered normal, I think that made them wary!  Then on Saturday night we went to the most amazing Spa with over 100 pools including ones with peppermint, green tea and jasmine!

So all in all a totally surreal and amazing 3 days – working with the athletes is always brilliant, being given the opportunity to see such an amazing country with such a diverse and different culture is thought provoking and inspiring and to have 24 hours on a plane to plot some new business ideas is exciting (plus my University Lecturer from 15yrs ago was sat opposite me and wants to do a piece on my business – small world!).

Total time (approx) travelling about 30hrs, working about 24hrs, watching races and exploring about 8 hrs and sleep time I will leave to you to guess!

I leave you with a few thoughts of reflection….

– If you look after & respect your body, relax, plan and keep everything in balance – anything is possible

– If you relax and enjoy your training & racing, and really believe in yourself your performance will be outstanding and you will learn from every experience and always improve

– China is definately going to have a greater impact in the future on the global ecomony – the young generation are only too happy to help, many speak English and they have a huge awareness of many areas of business, and are passionate about improving themselves and taking responsibility for doing well

– Architecture in China is leading the way .. I sat next to a Venezulian lady on the way out, and a Mexican on the way back – both who work in China, travel around the World and speak Manadarin – impressive

– Goal setting, focus, self belief, having a balance and fun is key to making things happen…

So all that leaves me to say is feel free to post your thoughts below! A huge well done to all the Team GB athletes and a BIG Thank you to British Triathlon for asking me to work with Team again, for Nirvana for sorting out the travel and visa’s, and for Aurelie from the Tri Touch for being a great person to work with!

Until 2012 – the Olympics, Europeans in Isreal and Worlds in NZ …. happy winter training!