From wheelchair to wetsuit: Lauren Parker plunges back into triathlon
Lauren ParkerThere will be many inspiring stories in Sunday’s Maitland Triathlon, but none more so than Lauren Parker’s.
Triathlete Parker is taking part in the 1500m swim leg a little more than six months after a freak training accident left her paralysed from the waistdown.
In April, the 28-year-old’s life was thrown upside down when on a routine training ride near Raymond Terrace both her tyres blew. She crashed into a guard railand was leftparalysed from the impact.
Parker said returning to swimming had been pivotal in her recovery both physically and mentally.
The Maitland Triathlon at Morpeth will beher thirdforay back into competition.
She completed the 1000 metre swim legs at last month’s Nepean and Noosa triathlons, but unfortunately a big swell forced the cancellation of the 1.6km swim leg at the Challenged Athletes Foundation triathlon in San Diego on October 22.
“The trip to San Diego was great for me as I got to meet so many people facing the same issues as me,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get to swim as the swell was too rough, but I got so much out of it.
“I hate being in a wheelchair, but that’s where I am at the moment. There are so many things which affect your daily life which able bodied people just wouldn’t consider.
“There are good days and tough days. I just try to look at the positives and the huge support I’ve received from friends and family and the triathlon community has helped so much.
Lauren’s journey back: from wheelchair to wetsuit DETERMINED: Lauren Parker is taking part in the swim leg of Sunday’s Maitland Triathlon at Morpeth just six months after being paralysed from the waist down. Picture: Simone De Peake
DETERMINED: Lauren Parker is taking part in the swim leg of Sunday’s Maitland Triathlon at Morpeth just six months after being paralysed from the waist down. Picture: Simone De Peake
Lauren Parker in the days after her horrific cycling accident near Raymond Terrace on April 18.
Lauren Parker competes at the 2015 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
Lauren Parker in Royal North Shore Spinal Cord Injury Unit days after her accident. She spent three months there before being moved to a specialist spinal centre in Ryde.
Lauren Parker at the start of her rehabilitation in Royal North Shore Spinal Cord Injury Unit days after her April 18 accident which left her paralysed from the waist down.