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Scotland’s Catriona Morrison has announced that she is officially retiring from the sport of triathlon.
The two-time duathlon world champion shared the news in a blog post titled “The new road taken” on her website Catmorrison.com. Following 18 months of injury, Morrison returned to racing in 2013 and had success, finishing on the podium in every race she entered, including a win at Ironman 70.3 St. Croix. She also had a successful season in 2014, qualifying for both the Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championships. She competed in both, finishing 14th in Mont-Tremblant at 70.3 Worlds and DNFing in Kona at the Ironman World Championships.
Read an excerpt from her announcement below, and check out the complete post at Catmorrison.com.
In 2015, following more than a decade as a professional triathlete, I will be making a career change. It’s a decision that I made quickly, so much so that it has even taken me by surprise. However, it is not a decision made in haste or taken lightly. I know that I can still improve as an athlete, I know that I can be competitive, I know that it is a lifestyle that I love and I know, and appreciate, that triathlon and the triathlon world has given me more than I can begin to articulate. What I also know is that over the past season I have struggled to be fully mentally focused on triathlon. Training, racing and traveling has not given me the same positive feedback, fulfillment and personal satisfaction that it has done in the past. I found myself questioning why I was training and competing. When I was standing on the podium projecting joy and enthusiasm, those feelings were not always reflected internally. When I failed to finish at the World Championships in Kona I was hugely disappointed, but I wasn’t as heart and gut-wrenchingly disappointed as I had been in previous years when things did not go to plan. It’s only now that I can acknowledge that I did the “ostrich”: I stuck my head in the sand and refused to acknowledge my thoughts, feelings and emotions. It’s only now that I can see that my mental and emotional being was reflected in my desire to commit to fully to my race day performances. As an achiever I got busy being busy, I lost connection with, and I was dishonest to myself. I convinced myself that racing and training were my raison d’etre. When it came time to walk the walk I couldn’t follow through.
I did sketch a season plan for 2015 with new and exciting races and different challenges. I thought that this would override the feelings of disengagement that I was experiencing. The reality is that it would have been a temporary fix. In some ways it would have been the “easy” option: a step into the known: consistent training equals strong racing. It’s a formula that I have tried, tested, refined and proved many times over.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford (1863-1947)
The harder decision is to move on from being a professional athlete. I’m no longer driven “to get what I’ve always got” through triathlon. I know that it is the correct decision. I’ve taken my head out of the sand and evaluated where I am, where I am headed and ultimately what makes me happy. It’s time to change and to develop new opportunities to challenge myself. I’m not entirely sure what these new challenges are. For someone who thrives on focus, routine and working to a plan it is daunting, intimidating and scary. But that also makes it exciting!
My triathlon road has been paved with many golden bricks. Sponsors have enabled me; friends and family have supported me; coaches have guided me; homestays have welcomed me; spectators have cheered for me; competitors have pushed me and volunteers, organisations and race organisers have given me a hook on which to hang my hat.
I’d like to thank you all for being a part of an amazing journey. I am an achiever, I have focus and I love to learn. If sport has taught me anything it is that with hard work, persistence and dedication to a goal, I can and I will succeed. My path has diverged I’ve chosen the road less traveled by. I hope to see you somewhere en route.
Read more: Catmorrison.com