Road to London, My Story – Karen Coomber

I hope that I can maybe inspire one broken parent to also try something new, as I did……..

I always promised myself, that one day before I die, I would like to participate in a triathlon and Ironman,  as this seems to be the ultimate challenge for endurance, discipline, fitness and perseverance, but also achievement.

27 May 2011, my daughter was killed in a motorcycle accident. She was 24. This made me think that nothing is in our hands and dreams in our hearts are there for a reason. Death can come so suddenly and unexpected for anybody.

I was is the darkest, deepest place of my life, and knew that I had to get out of that place. It felt as if I was going to drown…..and made the decision to physically get myself to swim out of there. I could not swim at all, at that stage, but got hold of a  coach, started swimming lessons in September 2011, and the training for my first triathlon. I have learned from past experiences that exercise is a wonderful activity against any depression.
I completed my first triathlon 3 months later, my first 70.3 Ironman after another 2 months, and was selected for our region triathlon team 14 months after my first swimming lesson. Participated in our South African Championships, and was then selected to participate in the London World Championships in the 45-49 age group.
September 2013 is exactly 2 years ago that I have started this journey to move into this new unknown territory of triathlons, and I can today testify that it has helped me a lot to overcome my deepest pain. So many times in the lonely hours of training I have experienced my daughters presence and nearness with me, and I believe that she is aware of this difficult road that I have taken to find healing and peace.
I hope that this can also inspire just one other parent that has lost a beloved child, to take the courage and do something that seems like a unreachable challenge, because it is only when we work towards something bigger than ourselves that we find peace and hope.
I have learned so much during this journey about myself,  but also how to move forward and to look at the small things in life that I can still enjoy, regardless of the piece that is missing in my life.
Regards Karen Coomber
South Africa

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