It seems as though this move to Scotland was the one thing Mr. K and I were supposed to do all along. We definitely have hit a few hiccups in our plans, but for the most part, things are working out really well; particularly in the triathlon arena.
Yesterday I received an email from Triathlon Scotland
informing me that they may have found a temporary solution to my lack of tandem bike problem. There is an organisation in Scotland that I believe is called "Scotland Disability Sport" and these fabulous people had been in contact with yet another organisation called Visibility. Visibility seems to be involved with blind children and teaching them the importance of activity. I am sure the group does much more, but I haven't found a website for them yet. Visibility has four tandem bikes that they allow the children to use and they said that if I can find someone to transport the bike for me, then I could use it to train on. I would have been a bit worried about transport, but two of the athletes of the Edinburgh Triathlon club have already said that they could assist with transport. At first, I was like,
"transport? Why are we transporting?" Now I understand. The bikes are just over a year old, which means that they won't be crazy heavy like the one I have here is.
Scotland Disability Sport also said that they would be willing to look for other bikes I could borrow, as a back up plan. Having access to more than one bike from different sources may make training and racing a lot more feasible. That way, if the bikes are not available from Visibility, I would have another place to get a bike from. Also, if the second organisation is closer to where I will be living, actually getting the bike may be easier on both myself and my pilot and/or person who has volunteered to transport it.
Remember how I talked about "wow" moments the other day? I seem to have had another one. Triathlon Scotland is the governing body for the sport of triathlon in Scotland. They are very busy people and here they are helping me find a tandem bike. I had emailed one of the men I was in contact with and explained my situation, asking if he knew of anyone else I could contact. The result was another man I had been in contact with a few months back and the information about Visibility and SDS. I am not used to this kind of assistance from a sport's governing body; especially considering I am a disabled athlete. Also, I am just getting started in the sport of triathlon. It's not like I am coming in an established World Record holder in the women's able-bodied event. Their enthusiasm and assistance is so encouraging. I have said this before, but I'll say it again: I have been trying to get training in for just a sprint triathlon for over a year and up until dealing with these people, I have run into very negative attitudes and people just not willing to help. J from Won With 1 had made initial contact with the Edinburgh Triathlon club for me and without her help, I am not sure these communications would be going as well as they have been. So, I guess I can't say that it's only been Scotland who has been great, but they definitely have exceeded my expectation.
I am used to fighting, not only for what I want, but what I need and these people are dedicating their time to finding what I want. It's a very big change; a huge breath of fresh air. If I had known SDS or Visibility existed I would have contacted them myself, but since I obviously don't know what organisations are up and running in Scotland, I am extremely grateful that Triathlon Scotland is so willing to make an effort on my behalf.
Knowing that I have that kind of support, is incredibly motivating. Knowing that I won't have to fight just to get a coach or some training time, makes me want to get to Edinburgh in the best shape possible considering the circumstances and prove to them that I am ready to train. All sporting organisations should model themselves after Triathlon Scotland and make their athletes new and old, disabled and able-bodied and everything in between, feel welcome and important. It's all very exciting and I can't wait to hop on that plane in 33 days. :)