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What I’m thankful for this festive season

How reflecting on all the positive things from the year helps me persevere through the hard times.

By Anneke Jenkins

15 December 2017

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As a Kiwi girl growing up in Mount Maunganui, I live for the summer and think of it as time to hit the beach and stay active in the outdoors.

But the summer period and Christmas time is also a great time to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for.

Taking some time to reflect

2017 has been a year of progression for me, though sometimes not as fast or as high as I had hoped.

After spending 2016 recuperating from surgery, it was amazing to be back into training and racing this year. My body’s movement patterns are so much better, and I have been able to train much more consistently. I’ve also had a few good races at the start of the season, and it was great to be back on the start line again! 

Unfortunately a wee niggle in the middle of the season knocked me a bit, and then illness took my last few races out of the picture - this balancing act sure isn’t easy!

In triathlon, many athletes (like me) have come from another sporting background, and many have come to be successful in triathlon later in life. Because it’s endurance sport, it means age is not so critical and I’m grateful that I still have some time on my side to have a good go at reaching the top of my game, and being the best athlete I can possibly be. So I have kept pushing on, still believing I have more to give out there.

So many things to be thankful for

I’m thankful to have had a (mostly) injury-free 2017, which will hopefully set me up to make some really strong progress in 2018. I’m proud of all the hard work I have put into sport, all the sacrifices, all the hours and hours of training, and I am still keen to find out what my potential is. 

Most of all, I’m thankful for the support I have. My friends, family, partner and my main sponsor, Asteron Life, are the support network that enables me to train in some amazing places, travel all over the world and reach for my goals in triathlon. I wouldn’t be here without them and I am forever grateful.

“I’m thankful to have had a (mostly) injury-free 2017”

Sometimes it’s hard to be happy when things aren’t going your way or there is so much more you want to achieve. But it pays to look back and to be thankful for the things that you do have and the things that you have achieved.

For anyone who is struggling with something in life, or has a goal or a passion you’re reaching for, I definitely urge you to persevere.

“With hard work, determination and an open and positive mindset, you can achieve great things”

Face the challenges and look for the opportunity in those challenges. The words “it might be hard, but it will be worth it” are words I live by. With hard work, determination and an open and positive mindset, you can achieve great things. 

And that’s what I’m grateful for this festive season – the journey that I am on, the places it’s taking me, the people I have met, and the opportunity to “Celebrate Life” and to still be lucky enough to have this opportunity to do what I love and work hard at it every single day.

About Anneke

We're honoured to help Anneke Jenkins, one of New Zealand's most promising young triathletes achieve her sporting goals. You can keep up to date with what Anneke's up to on Instagram (annekejenkins) and Twitter (@annekejenkins).

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