After being on board since joining for prep week in Gosport on August 10th, today’s departure day has come around quickly in many ways but also felt like a long wait.
I have to admit I wasn’t prepared for the emotional roller coaster which today has brought. Saying goodbye is hard. But saying goodbye to go into a massively exciting adventure makes it even harder.
There have been tears all round but also lots of fun and laughter. I can’t describe how it felt walking on stage and all the crowds cheering you on and wishing the team well. What was hard after that, however was the wait after being the second team introduced, then having to wait on the yacht for the others to have their moment. That’s when the tears start to form as you dwell on what you are leaving behind as well as worrying about the unknown which is ahead. Once our lines were slipped I managed to let the smile return to my face and the marathon of waving began!
There were cheers from those lining the banks, those on the official supporters’ boats and also those who just happened upon the race! I have been so lucky to have people on three different supporter boats, so had lots of friendly faces to see and people to wave at.
So this journey has really begun and I’m writing this as we motor down the Thames towards Southend when the race kicks off tomorrow.
I still have mixed emotions but am eager and excited by what lies ahead. This is going to be the biggest challenge of my life so far and that is both exciting and scary all rolled into one. I am so lucky to be beginning this and grateful to every person who has helped me get here.
This is me signing off until Rio!