There’s a lot of talk about goals in the disability sector at the moment. As a Paralympic gold medallist, the Hireup team asked me to reflect on what it means to me to achieve my goals. Here’s the thing – no matter what your goals are, the key is to never stop setting them. Big or small, old or new, they’re all worth having and striving for.
I’ve always loved playing sports. I started out particularly loving ball sports but I have a degenerative eye condition and in 1996 was declared “legally blind”. I didn’t want to give up sport all together so figured I’d have to change tact and find something that wasn’t hindered by my disability. After searching and trialling many options, I took up cycling on a tandem bike. To my surprise I was rather good and almost qualified for the 2000 Australian Paralympics (I missed the mark by 2 seconds). After that, I promised myself I would make it to the next one.
In 2004 I made my first Australian Paralympic team. I won one gold, two silver and one bronze medal and set the World Women’s 200m Fly record of 11.675 seconds in Athens. A year later, my riding pilot and I set the One Hour World Women’s Tandem record of 42.93km in Sydney, which meant I held the shortest and longest world records recognised by the Union of Cycling International (UCI), the governing body for world cycling. From there, among other things, I went on to win medals at the Beijing Paralympic Games, compete in a number of paraduathlons and paratriathlons and win two World Championship titles.
For me, it wasn’t just about winning, it was about doing. I believe it’s important to find new challenges to keep a full and fulfilling life.
I’ve now retired from cycling at a Paralympic level but keep looking forward to new challenges. I’ve taken up new sports and am now really enjoying learning how to row. As I grow and learn, my goals have changed but the one constant factor is my approach – I never stop setting them. My achievements are unique to me and the kinds of challenges I face, and working towards them makes me feel proud, accomplished and happy.
So here’s my bit of advice – no matter what it is you’re working towards, keep coming back to it, and each time you get a little closer, make sure you take a second to smile to yourself, feel proud and be happy.
Lindy joined the Hireup community in January 2016. Shortly after joining, Lindy started working with Wendy, who has an MBA and Bachelor Degree in Psychology. Lindy is a motivational speaker and says, since having Wendy’s help with administrative tasks around the house and office, “my life has changed dramatically. I can now focus on my love which is motivational speaking instead of wasting time doing tasks that a sighted person would take a tenth of the time to do.” Lindy’s Hireup team also includes Wieslow and Tesse, who together ensure she’s got all the bases covered. Read more about Lindy’s achievements here.