While sport brings us all plenty of #HIGH5Moments, we know that the journey to get there can be challenging, but that’s what makes it great, right?!
We’ve been showcasing real people’s stories behind their #HIGH5Moment – the highs, the lows, the little things that make that HIGH5 worth it! Here’s Duathlete Jess Williams’ inspirational story behind her HIGH5 Moment…
My HIGH5 Moment:
I have a few! Overcoming injury in 2017, which saw me missing out on competing in my second international competition, challenging myself to better my world silver and go for gold, winning British Age Group Duathlon Champion 2018 setting me in good stead to go for World Gold in Denmark July 2018. They all mean so much to me. These are my #HIGH5Moments!
The story behind my HIGH5 moments:
Here I am, in amongst a sea of ambitious, talented and enthusiastic athletes, all with one goal, to be the best they can be, in a sport that’s both demanding mentally and physically. Why do I do it you ask?What got me to this start line I hear you say?!
Well, becoming a duathlete started as a dream, an obsession and a compelling need to seek fulfilment! Now, it’s my light, my savour and my lifeline!
For me, sport reared its head at a crucial time in my life . 10 years ago I felt the compelling need to exercise to lose weight, to be noticed and to feel wanted by a social circle, which I’ve come to realise since was not worth it!
My most difficult time frame has been these last three years. Ironically, my biggest accomplishments in the world of sport have come in this time frame! Which shows that although I felt broken and confused, and some people also saw me that way, I’m ten times stronger than I would give myself credit for. Three years ago I was domestically abused. The most painful experience of my life was not the punch to the face that knocked me off my feet, or the public humiliation of being attacked, it was the heartache that came from the one person I ever loved putting me through such torment.
In the new year of 2017 I decided enough was enough… I would no longer be consumed, controlled or beaten by anyone or anything! I swore with every bit of the strength that remained that the year ahead would be mine!
When you’ve spent your years giving your all to the wrong kind of people, you come to realise, it’s not a selfish thing to channel your energy into you… the one person who is behind every knock or set back.
“Although I felt broken and confused, and some people also saw me that way, I’m ten times stronger than I would give myself credit for.”
So here we are, more than half way through the year and so far I’m kicking ass! My latest achievement took place in Denmark at the beginning of July where I won Bronze World Medallist age group 25-29 in standard distance Duathlon!
However, 2017 saw me hit a low with an injury. This is where my control of food hit a new low. Sport saved me from the depths of my eating disorder… but when sport, the thing that gives me self-worth, is limited and restricted, I resorted back to a low point with eating. But, this time I became all to aware of my fragile frame staring back at me in the mirror and I decided once again it was time to rebuild myself. So after eight months of rehabilitation for my injury, all carried out, researched and worked on by me for me, I bounced back a little less phased, a little less timid than the time before!
So, how does an obsessive, under-eating, depressive and self-destructive girl grow into a Bronze and Silver World Medallist and two time British Champion?! Sometimes I wonder the same thing. Especially on the days where I feel mentally weak, where I question how I will have it in me to put myself through my rigorous training or subject myself once more to the battlefield of competition.
I won’t say I do it on my own, I owe so much thanks to the few that give me courage each day! Still to this day I’m learning more about myself as well as always being surprised by others!
A smile hides a lot, and most people don’t see that every day I battle. Body dysmorphia will be something that lingers, my low days will see me cancel plans, and reside to the day alone, but my true few friends get that and will never judge only understand.
“I live to show others if they believe in who they are, even on their toughest days there is always something to be gained!”
I’m going forward head strong, determined and remaining true to who I am! I strive hard everyday to be the best version of myself for me! I was once a little girl with the overwhelming desire to be noticed, to fit in, now I couldn’t care less who notices me, it’s not who claps the loudest when you reach your goals but who picked your chin off the floor when you failed to see the road ahead on your darkest days.
Now, I work full time to fund my sport and international trips abroad. I’m a healthcare assistant working with patients who have suffered from strokes. And, I live to show others if they believe in who they are, even on their toughest days there is always something to be gained! After all, the sun always shines brighter after it rains! My advice is dig deep on those days you don’t feel like trying, those days make you stronger. Never allow anyone to make you feel you can’t, often they are just longing for the drive to bring the effort you bring everyday to achieve all you can!
Keep believing, keep dreaming and never doubt…
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read.
Love Jess (GB Duathlete, Bronze and Silver World Medalist and two time British Champion) X