Planning for Tokyo became a full time job - on top of my full time job! I was responding to emails at 5:30 a.m. before going to the yard and riding Skye and again in the evenings till late. The amount of correspondence and documentation being bounced back and forth was eye watering and it was a little overwhelming at times keeping on top of it all - or trying to!! At one stage it definitely dulled my enthusiasm for even going!
But as the date drew closer that changed - helped by everything falling into place. The only real concern - which was out of my control anyway ... unknowingly getting covid before I left the UK - being tested positive in my 'fit to fly' testing and having to stay behind with all the pins, team kit, flags & bunting and opening ceremony gear that I was taking to Tokyo with me. It was a very stressful time - and I wasn't even competing!!
But we got there in the end with only the odd drama thrown in for good measure. I put regular (daily?) posts on my Facebook page with lots of photos to try and show as much of the backroom action as possible. Have a look if you missed it - https://www.facebook.com/leefrawley2012
I had my reservations in the months and weeks leading up to the Games but once there I was swept up in the inspiring aura that surrounds all Paralympic sports. And it is easy to forget what a huge undertaking it is to put on a Paralympic Games. Tokyo did a brilliant job - all the people were fantastic and the organisers did a pretty decent job under what were incredibly difficult circumstances. My heart went out to the Japanese public who could not attend the venues and be involved but who still lined the streets of Tokyo as we were bussed to the Opening Ceremony and who crowded the fence by the NPC car compound every day - even into the night - waving and cheering at everyone!
Early on it in the summer though it was clear to me that I was going to have to put the idea of competing Skye on the back burner while Tokyo was on the horizon. There was no point in getting stressed or frustrated by it and I tried to look on the positive side that we could continue training and working hard on those confidence issues while building up Skye's strength and my fitness!! The weeks were flying by anyway with little time to dwell on it!
And so... last week we finally dipped our toes into the competition scene once again! The first small step but - after the issues in the past - a very welcome positive one at last!!