This Weekend, I just took flight. It seems the lord of my existence extinguished my travel pass a number of years ago. I hardly looked at a travel site online. I refused to leave the confines of my psychological prison. I could not leave the realm which my life's circumstances had molded me into. I loved my cousin so much. He was my best friend. Kenneth Hennessy and we would go everywhere together. Why he loved me so dearly I cannot understand. He was the most handsome man in Cork, dark, tall, strong and muscular. He was part of the dream team which trained at Leevale Athletic Club.
One of Ireland's finest runners. His records are still unbroken. His brother Anthony's records are still unbroken. I was nowhere near as good a runner. I was a lot smaller. My pale skin, and big thighs didn't bode well for a long distance runner. We sprinted. I trained so hard. It is hard to imagine that from such a young age I was so dedicated to sport. I loved to watch Russian Gymnastics on TV, and Romanian gymnasts. I guess god didn't give me the body of a gymnast or an Olympic athlete. But we trained very hard. We worked as hard. Training began at seven years of age. Each tuesday and thursday we raced the tracks. We trained, we sweat, we loved our chosen sport. The pole vault, the long jump, hurdles, sprinting, long distance. Winter would creep in. We raced for miles, running up to two hours in the cold, dark and rainy hills of Cork City. I went on to become Irelands Top Female soldier. Is it any wonder? Probably not.
Kenneth won two American Scholarships to the prestigious colleges of Mason Dixon and Villa Nova.
Gone were our care free days spent racing each other, teasing each other and becoming some of Ireland's Top Athletes. But before it all ended in tears, thing is goodbyes usually end in tears, we went to Mosney with the Community Games.
I trained my children. I groomed winners. It was the way I was raised. The old Russian way. We create champions and winners. Failure is not an option. But we rest, we have fun in the summer and take holidays. I loved my childhood. I loved my would be so called brothers. My road trip this weekend scared me so. It reminded me why our lives broke up. Sometimes the training is just too much. The body burns out. I mean you cannot just pop into the local hospital and ask for a blood transfusion on route. Pace yourself. Or you will burn out. Coming from one of Ireland's most famous, athletics families I know what I am talking about. Though Russian in blood in some ways, in the athletic way, we are not made of stone. We are but fallible creatures made from God. We must understand our limits or face burn no, Olympic dreams dashed. Heading for Gold stripped away. So pace yourself Sean and James. Though I am guessing it is the pain of losing your loved one, the anger, the sheer sense of loss which keeps your legs pounding the tarmac, your hot blood pumping through your veins. The incredible grief bends and lends itself towards physical punishment. You are brave, you are to be heralded for your determination. It isn't everyone that can break through the challenges of cancer, raise funds for the sick and hope for a cure for anyone afflicted with this god awful disease.
Sean and James Aim is to raise half a million, in four provinces, undertaking the mammoth endurance challenge for Breakthrough Cancer Research. My husband who is my friend, pioneers finding cures for cancer. I like to think that he loved me once. Though I am old and wrinkly now, a bit washed up and I can't really walk properly with that dodgy hip. I like to think that he loved me once.
I Grew Up Chasing My Dreams and Watching the Olympics, in particular Gymnastics.
The training though brutal needs to be paced. Well Done to all those involved in this unfathomable event.