• Michelle Partington

Time to take the stabilisers off.

Last year for me was one of the most amazing times of my life. However, it didn’t start off that way. Having just past the first Christmas without my grandad, and knowing we were about to lose my nan to was just the worst start to 2017. I had lost focus and had no desire to do anything. I think most of the start of the year was driven on autopilot; I was completely lost and had no real desire to live.

I then made the decision to get involved with the Invictus Games and it was the best thing I could have done. Watch the video below to see just what it has done for me. In a nutshell, I have focus, launched my own business and happier now than I have been since way back in 2012. It’s given me the fire back in my belly and made me believe in myself again, made me believe my life is in fact worth living.

I had such an amazing time I just wanted to apply for it again this year, to continue to be part of such an amazing thing. However, as some of

you will know by now, I have been battling with that decision. I have been so torn for such a long time but I’ve now finally arrived at the choice I know I have to go with. I’ve come to the conclusion that reluctantly I will not be applying for a place on the team for Sydney 2018.

Last year I was in a complete mess and the whole Invictus journey for me was worth more than I could ever put into words. I think you all know how much it meant to me. I totally needed that and it’s done for me exactly what it was set up to do. It’s given me my fighting spirit back and inspired me to be the best that I can be, reaching far higher than I perceived my limits to be. I exceeded my own expectations (and probably some of yours to)!

As I clicked on the link to apply for Sydney 2018 realisation hit. For me, I believe in my heart that I’ve recovered to the extent I’m going to, and as already stated, I feel happier now than I have done since I became ill in 2012. I am without doubt in a much better place and able to make some life from all this mess.

There was one question on the application that directed me to my final decision. I couldn’t complete a paragraph to justify how attending the games would aid my recovery because I believe it already had. I would absolutely love to go and be part of it all again because being with all the guys is the best medicine ever (well, most of them at least) 🤣🤣. However, that’s not the right reason to apply when so many others truly need that place. I appreciate there has to be a percentage of people at the games who have been before. But there are team members from 2017 alone who would still benefit from going through this process again. As much as I would LOVE to go, I just couldn’t justify taking a place for recovery purposes. I’m gutted but I have to be honest and not be selfish by applying.

I guess to try to help you understand where I’m at, imagine what it was like when you learnt to ride a bike, you have the stabilisers on but you then realise you don’t need them anymore. However, you stretch it out as long as possible before taking them off, regardless off the fact you can now ride independently. I guess you just want to keep a hold of the comfort blanket because it makes you feel all nice, cosy and safe.

I think we can all appreciate that it’s really hard to accept you need some help. I didn’t appreciate that it’s sometimes harder to then release yourself from the reigns and stand on your own 2 feet again. When you’ve had such an amazing time following the most horrific times of your life, you just want to hold onto it but you have to find the strength to let go. Other people need that support now and as much as I want to remain a part of the team, I have to let go but perhaps now I can help others who are currently where I was back then.

I feel like I’ve already reached the finish line and now I want to go back and help others to cross it to, carrying them if I need to; I am a powerlifter after all 😁💪. Invictus was the best thing to happen to me for so many reasons; I feel so truly blessed and I know I have so much I would like to give back. To future competitors, it’s your turn now….



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