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  • Writer's pictureLeanne Taylor

Crossing the Line - Gran

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

In 2021 I was fortunate enough to be able to race in a World Triathlon Event in Leeds. Due to the pandemic the athletes arrived in England and were bussed straight to our hotel where we were instructed not to leave our hotel rooms except to compete.

I was born in England and moved to Canada when I was 10. I have a large, boisterous family in England who I would have loved to have visited but I understood that there were restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Covid so that would not be possible.

Despite not being able to visit, my family was allowed to attend the race as spectators and I couldn't be more thankful that they did. At the end of the race this photo was taken. It turned out to be the last photo that would be taken of my Gran and I. She died several months later.

My Gran didn't know the first thing about triathlon. On top of that in her old age her mind was starting to play tricks on her. She called my Mum shortly after the race and told her that I was excellent in my "concert". But when I look at the smile on her face in this picture I still think she got it- that finish line feeling. She was proud. She wasn't worried about my race time, how I placed, or how it would affect my world ranking. She could tell I gave it my all and she was proud.

As an athlete I do worry about my race time, how I placed, and how it will affect my world ranking. But when I'm out on the course and that just isn't quite enough to keep me going I imagine my Gran at that finish line because I can always dig just a little deeper for that smile. As follow up: My gran passed away in 2022, about 1 year after this race. If it had not been for triathlon and our ability to travel during these races I would not have got to see Gran because of travel restrictions. And Scott would have never got to meet her. Looking back, these memories mean even more to me. Love you Gran.

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