When I was doing the Paralympics, I was competing against my own body. So, I’m really interested in personal best in terms of competition. I’m interested in win-win situations. I’m interested in when competition leads to equality and fairness, rather than winning over loosing.

I am so internal with my body. For me, it’s about the moment where the decision to go farther is so crystal clear. It’s a moment in time, a split second where you know that your body and your brain has to very, very consciously decide on something. So I decide, “yes, I’m going to put 200% in.” So, it’s a yes moment. It’s a moment I’m going, “I would do that and I would do it really well.” So, I decide and then my body follows and that clarity of decision is what I really like.

Because this world is so confusing and chaotic, and the city is so busy, but in a race or in a performance it’s you and people are looking at you and you’ve got those moments of time and you decide: I’m going to give this everything. It’s generous. It’s giving. It’s a decision of giving something or taking something farther.

When people succeed then people only see their triumphs and they don’t see the realities of life underneath. So I think in that sense, competition can mask reality in many ways or achievement can mask the reality of what goes on with the rest of someone’s life.

Competition for me is reaching and pushing through your personal best. It’s the ‘yes’ moment when everything comes together – a moment of utter joy, of bliss, of peace. It pushes through barriers and shatters past moments of resistance or through the things the lie beneath “the why”. It’s also about self trust. Trust in my agility, my strength and that I know my tools. There’s nothing like it. It feels good, it feels free, it feels supportive, it feels natural, it feels like a good environment to be in. I trust myself because I am agile. I trust myself because I am flexible and I can move within, whatever situation and adaptable.

Agility is flexible, it’s like you can move but you are in control of it, its like water. It’s fluid, it’s a river. There is something about the water for me. It’s a huge part of my being, is water. An affirmation, a sense of feeling the whole body, a feeling of being alive, being fresh, being not alone, being a part of something greater. A sense, a feeling of warmth, but all of the elements, of feeling whole.



The agility of river water surrounded by the calm of rainforest.


Sarah Houbolt