Bella

OK, so I have multi-personality disorder

By Sophie Baldwin

Some people simply run out of steam. Some never got going. But Suddenly Single Sophie had been powered by a volatile cocktail of anger and over achievement for several years. Until now. Now we all have to wait and see what really comes next

PFFT.

And just like that it was gone.

The anger that powered me through an ironman, two half ironmans, numerous Olympic and sprint distance triathlons and way too many half marathons and trail runs to count, has finally left the building.

It's gone.

Disappeared.

It was while I was running the Melbourne half marathon back in October that it hit me.

I was 2 km in and I remember thinking 'holy shit, I have got another 19 km to go — that's a bloody long way to run'.

And bang, just like that I thought 'where are you, angry Sophie?'

She was kind enough to reply 'I have got you this far, I have served my purpose but you are now on your own' before she gave me the finger and sprinted off into the distance — taking any chance of a PB with her.

While the real Sophie was left far behind; dying of heat exhaustion and despairingly contemplating the next 19 km.

And might I add that particular race was my slowest half marathon in five years of running, my 2:10 was 20 minutes slower than my fastest ever at 1.50.

But am I sad?

Honestly, I have to say no.

During my life I have been many Sophies.

There was the little netball crazy Sophie, the straight-A student Sophie (shame that was only in primary school), teenager Sophie (sorry mum), the crazy in love Sophie, farmer Sophie, wife Sophie, mumma Sophie (the greatest gift), sad Sophie and then the crazy, angry Sophie.

Angry Sophie powered me for three years so she was around for a while.

She was the one who would take no prisoners.

She would be telling me to move my butt — run faster, lift heavier.

But she has gone now, vanished into the ether.

In her place is the extremely content, can't break me Sophie.

She's still tough, but I would like to think she is a little nicer, a lot less psycho, more understanding, less judgemental and definitely happier with her lot in life.

It has only taken me 44 years to meet this incarnation, but I sure hope she sticks around the longest.

I like her, I think she is honest and she is real.

She has learnt from life, grown stronger from adversity and refused to let it fill her with bitterness — sometimes life might be a little like a cactus but if you hang in there long enough it can turn into tequila (minus the hangover).

As I write this I am a couple of weeks away from competing in a half ironman at Sydney and already have grave concerns about a PB, but that's ok.

The main reason I decided to compete in this one was because my gorgeous eight-year-old nephew lives there and I really want him to see his old auntie drag her butt around the course.

He cried when I crossed the finish line of my ironman back in June and I thought how great would it be for him to see me do that in real life — he has even been cutting a few laps himself just to get into peak running form to cross the line with me.

My family are awesome.

They have got me through so much — a quiet phone call, a few words of encouragement and of course the obligatory 'pull your head out of your arse Sophie' when needed.

They have witnessed all the different Sophie's and have helped mould me into the one I am today.

I will be especially grateful as I look around my Christmas table this year.

Happy 2019 everyone.