Growing up in North Queensland I was surrounded by the typical wide-eyed kids who each day would share yesterdays highlights verbatim from what they had heard on TV. I could always appreciate this talk, for they shared their opinions with the same passion that I had for my own heroes. But I could never truly relate to it. Most of my peers spent their youth dreaming of one day being the next Wally Lewis or Andrew Johns, but my idols weren’t gladiators on a field, they didn’t bleed and break for the same reasons.
They didn’t have a teammate helping them celebrate their wins or grieve their losses. My eyes from a young age focused steady on becoming a different kind of athlete.
I can remember with such clear detail where it started; being thirteen in my parents living room, like every SundayI had been watching Wide World of Sports looking for ways to pass the lazy afternoon when something new came on. The commentators called it the “Hawaiian Ironman”, and they described it as an event that would test an individual’s heart as much as it would test their body. Something about this sport was so unlike anything else I’d ever seen. I saw myself as one of them. I sat there in that
daydream for hours. It was after seeing Greg Welch win I knew I’d never aspire to be a typical North Queensland kid- they could keep their Darren Lockyer’s I wanted to be an Ironman, I wanted to be a “Dave Scott”. That year marked the first year I competed in a triathlon, and over the next 10 years of my life I lived and breathed the sport. First, becoming a junior elite, then racing for the state, and eventually achieving a shot at the junior world championships in the Australian colours. I can proudly say my passion and devotion never waived – I followed my feet to the next level. Traveling to Spain and France competing in the pro circuit and exploring the world.
However, like all true stories, life had it’s downs as well as it’s ups. After a string of injuries my body gave way long before my heart. I took a few years to heal and put the dream of Kona in the back of my mind. This hiatus no doubt took it’s toll on my figure as well as my focus but my heart was still ready to compete. In 2015 I went for my opportunity. I entered Port Macquarie Ironman and pushed my body to its limits. I spent the last 20k of my run in unbearable pain, with each step knowing there would be thousands more ahead of me. By this point it felt more like a pilgrimage than an Ironman.
I was forced to face myself in those 20k, and by the end I was enlightened. I knew I’d try again, and I knew I’d make it to Kona. Just a little more than a week ago I did just that. My dream has officially become possible!
Keep your an eye out for Izzy in the coming months racing at the Sunshine Coast World 70.3 Championships and The Kona, Hawaiian Ironman. Instagram @izzycamino