Overcoming adversity is something many of us are tested with at different times in our lives.
Adversity can take many different forms. Meg Lemon is a dietitian, personal trainer and elite cyclist. Meg gave an amazingly insightful presentation addressing how she has overcome personal challenges to represent Australia in the Tokyo Paralympics.
As a dietitian, she was working in remote communities when she was hit by a car whilst cycling. As a result, suffered an acquired brain injury (ABI).
With support and persistence, she returned to work and got back on the bike. Cycling helped her face her fears and helped her rehabilitate her brain s neuroplasticity to the extent that she became an elite cyclist making the Australian Para-cycling team.
Meg recounted her experiences of preparing for the Tokyo Paralympics amidst uncertainty due to COVID, training for hot, humid conditions which, when it came to the road time trial, turned into torrential rain and cold, along with dealing with mental distractions which occurred with her track competition. Meg’s results in Tokyo, bronze in the road time trial and fourth in the individual pursuit on the track, are all the more astonishing considering, whenever Meg tries to get into a more aerodynamic posture on her bike, her dizziness increases which it makes it difficult for her to maintain balance.
Meg gave us her unique perspective on living and working with an acquired brain injury. Meg needed to re-learn her occupation and rebuild her confidence on a bike, which then provided her with deep understanding of how to validate other experiences and feelings.
Most notable was Meg’s appreciation of her support network and her desire not to give up.