A reminder of why I am doing all this

Let’s be honest.  Training for anything is hard.  You have to get up early to train most of the time (so it doesn’t take over your day).  Your muscles hurt.  You are tired.  You get injured.  Sometimes you just want to give up, especially when your spare time is so limited that you are making the difficult decision between spending time with your family, and going out for a run/ride/swim.

I am on a fairly low ebb at the moment.  Work is tough, I am travelling a lot which means spending far too much time away from Cat and Niamh (which I hate having to do), money is a bit tight and I just feel like going into hiding.  Shutting out the world and doing nothing. 

Of course this achieves very little, so I decided to remind myself of why I am even doing all  this training in the first place.  My thoughts drifted to Steve, Louise and Amber.  If you are not familiar with their story, please read the “Motivation” section of my blog – just click on the link above this post.  Amber is the reason I started this blog.  She is the reason that I started training in the first place.  Searching through my email so I could send Steve a message, I found the poem that Louise wrote and read out at Amber’s funeral.  It has really touched me, so I thought I would share it with you.


Louise’s Poem for Amber

The day I realised I was pregnant,
my depression lifted
As you grew inside you kicked your Daddy in the head
with the strong legs you had been gifted

Your Daddy and I brought you into this world,
you were perfect in every way
We learnt what sheer adoration felt like
On Thursday 19th May

We brought you home and the adventure started,
you were a textbook baby
I paraded you around in your bright green pram
and folk marveled at my beautiful lady

We had some activities like swimming and play dates
but mostly we took it easy
You loved your food especially if
it was biscuits, yoghurt, marmite or cheesy

I would walk into your room every morning,
you would greet me with a huge smile
Your favourite toy was your jumperoo
You would bounce for quite a while

We were all so proud to celebrate your first birthday,
cake smeared across your face
We took you out in your new trike
Wonderful memories that can never be replaced

You looked really unwell so we took you to the hospital,
a few days later you went blind
We started fighting Neuroblastoma
Our old lives left behind

Once you’re on the cancer bus you cannot get off,
a new sort of normal beckoned
Good fortune gave us our first year with you
The Royal Marsden gave us our second

We were looked after by such wonderful people
Whom we otherwise wouldn’t have met
Without them we couldn’t have got so far
We can never repay the debt

You felt so much pain and sickness
But even through the woe and sorrow
you showed us how to be strong and kind
And face another tomorrow

The treatment had taken its toll,
your poor little body could not keep up the fight
Neuroblastoma was taking your life,
extinguishing your light

You fought on longer than you needed to,
we were ready to see your pain end
You passed away on Monday 24th June,
our broken hearts will never mend

Time will march on whether I like it or not,
whether my mood is foul or sunny
You are not here with me but you will always be my Amber
… and I will always be your Mummy


An amazing and beautiful poem written by an equally amazing woman who is 100 times stronger than I can ever be. 

For Louise and Steve I will train harder, I will dig deeper, and in just over 1 years time I will become an Ironman, raising as much money as I can to support their charities, and honouring the  memory of their beautiful and brave daughter Amber.

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