I never had the pleasure or opportunity to meet the incredible Jane Tomlinson, who sadly died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 43, after a long term battle with cancer.
This didn’t stop her though. Jane completed the London Marathon while on chemotherapy, completed an ironman triathlon, cycled from Rome to Leeds, cycled the length of the country and cycled across America. These were just a few of the things Jane did while receiving treatment for cancer.
She was criticised by the media at one stage, because she was accused of faking her cancer, she was still achieving so much despite it.
When I read that she attempted her first ironman while not fully being able to swim freestyle and while also suffering from cancer, I suddenly realised that I was making all sorts of personal excuses to NOT try a triathlon.
As a direct result of reading Jane’s book, I decided to have swimming lessons, tried a triathlon and now look at me! The triathlon bug has certainly bit me! Had Jane’s book not have given me that push, I wouldn’t be able to say that I have represented my country on the international stage in triathlon for 5 years now.
It was an incredibly sad day the day she died, even though I did not know her and had never met her.
Jane continues to inspire me on a daily basis, and remind me how lucky I am to have what I have, and be healthy, happy and alive. If you haven’t read this book, go and get it!
RIP Jane Tomlinson (MBE)