A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF // by Harriet Brown 📝💙


JOLYN Australia womens sports swimwear blog - Harriet Brown iron woman

This blog post was written by Harriet Brown. Keep up with all of Harriet's adventures via her IG @harrietbrown. 


Dear younger Harriet,

Life is short, but life is exciting, fun and also challenging at times. Embrace it and don’t take the little things too seriously.

You will find it hard to get the perfect balance between training, social, study, work and family. The perfect balance does not exist. Knowing this will make you feel more content on realising that what you’re striving for is near impossible. Spend your energy on the things that matter most.

You will feel nervous to move away from home (Geelong) when you finish school to relocate to the Gold Coast for university and sport. It may feel like a scary step especially when you barely know anyone up there. However, this will be one of the best decisions you ever make. Make the most of it.

You don’t have to do University full time (12 subjects per year). You don’t have to try and top your uni subjects. You don’t have to go straight from university into working 5 days per week. All these things are hard to do whilst training so much and racing in the Ironwoman Series. You will be content that you made these choices, but please know, you don’t have to be achieving everything all at once. To really excel in your sport, you will need to pull back on something at some stage.

Doing so much just so you can be busy is not the best way to live. There is no pride in being busy just because. Work hard at the things that bring you joy, satisfaction and purpose.

Train hard. Don’t just think you are training hard because you’re a bit puffed and your arms hurt. Train really hard and push your body to the limit. If you’re making the commitment to train, you may as well do your absolute best.

Don’t just sit behind the older girls at training because you look up to them and know they will be annoyed if you paddle past them. Be courageous. They will respect you more eventually.

Don’t only call you parents when something is wrong and you want advice. Your parents are your biggest supporters, call them when the good stuff happens too. Otherwise they may think you are unhappy and ask you if you want to move back home.

At 24 you will think you have life all figured out. Things will change. Your first love will break your heart and you will feel like the world has ended. Your world hasn’t ended and you have so much more happiness ahead.

Be kind. Always. Unless you need to stand up for your friends or yourself when you know something is unjust.

JOLYN Australia womens sports swimwear blog - Harriet Brown iron woman

Your school and uni friends won’t fully understand your sport. They will mostly care about partying and hanging out together. You will join in as much as you can. You will sometimes feel left out when you miss a party because you have to get up for training. You will seriously consider quitting sport so that you can hang out with your friends more. You will be so glad later that you did not make that choice. Despite your different lifestyles, those friends will be lifelong friends. They will soon get tired of the parties and start exercising more, prefer cooking delicious food and will continue to come to watch you race.

Learn to say no. Don’t feel obligated to say yes to everything. A “yes” to something you don’t care for is a “no” to something you do.

Your body will allow you to do incredible things. Appreciate it, don’t criticise it. Enjoy good food and nourish your body.

Enjoy success when it comes. Celebrate with your family and friends. Don’t just move on to the next goal and next training session. These feelings are what makes it all worthwhile, so hold on to them for a little longer.

Please try and appreciate training, even when you are tired. You are lucky to have great coaches and friends to train with. You will suffer a couple of severe injuries that will sideline you from competing. These times will be very challenging; you will feel isolated, frustrated and sad. However, you will truly understand the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.

You are a saver. You may not realise it at the time, but later on you will appreciate yourself for it. You will start to learn that it’s okay to spend your money on the things and people that matter.

Ahh travel. Team trips away and travel to races around the world will be some of your all-time favourite memories. This is what you love the most about your sport – seeing new places, making friends all around the world and going on adventures. Say yes to all of those opportunities, you will not regret them. There will come a time when Australia closes its borders and travel is not possible (yes, I know this sounds so unbelievable).

Take photos of the mundane moments too, not just the milestones. These are great to look back on. Back up your phone and laptop!!! Save those precious photos and memories because you are clumsy and you will drop your phone several times.

Cherish your friends and family. Appreciate the time you spend with them, they won’t all be around forever but the memories you create will last a lifetime.

Older Harriet

JOLYN Australia womens sports swimwear blog - Harriet Brown iron woman

This blog post was written by Harriet Brown. Keep up with all of Harriet's adventures via her IG @harrietbrown. 

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