Mental illness ✔️
Only first learned to ride a bike under 5 yrs ago ✔️
I AM AN IRONMAN!!
This was Fiona Livock’s Facebook post after completing her first full Ironman in Cairns on June 6th 2021. Click here to read a story about a remarkable woman who embraces all obstacles and achieves goals that many of us only dream about.
Fiona (Fee) was born with multiple conditions including an undiagnosed physical disability in the form of missing/deformed fingers and toes. She also has hydrocephalus requiring a permanent shunt to be put in and born with a cleft lip and palette. Additionally, Fee lives with depression, anxiety and PTSD. Due to her low bone density from years of disordered eating, Fee is more susceptible to stress fractures as well. But with her positive attitude, determination and pure grit, she has smashed goal after goal since joining the sport in 2017.
Fee’s initial attraction to triathlon was combining three sports into one. Having options to train different parts of the body (especially if there was a niggle) was also appealing. There was just one problem – she didn’t know how to ride a bike! In October 2016, a friend taught Fee how to ride in a backyard. Her first triathlon was Sunshine Coast Tri Pink, where her $30 second-hand bike broke down at 14km of the 16km ride. Fee walked the bike back and then completed the run leg. Although the day did not go to plan, Fee was hooked!
While watching the Mooloolaba Triathlon in 2017, Fee was talking to a fellow supporter who suggested to join a triathlon club. Taking this advice on board, she started with Atlas Multisports. After one of their swim sessions, the members came together and bought all the equipment Fee needed to truly kickstart her triathlon journey (including a road bike, bike pump and a gift voucher for orthotics). At the start of 2019, after completing a Caloundra Triathlon Club (CTC) Beginners Course, Fee made the decision to switch to the club. CTC then brought their newest member into the world of long-distance racing.
Since then, Fee has completed three half IRONMAN's. Her second race was Sunshine Coast 70.3 in September 2020. This was a special achievement for Fee as four months earlier she had had a bike accident which resulted in seven rib fractures and a collapsed lung. During her four-night stay in hospital, Fee describes the pain as ‘the worst [pain] I’ve ever experienced’. This legend also finished her first full Ironman in Cairns last June. Regardless of the situation and the odds being against her, Fee’s fighting spirit always shines through.
The community of the CTC has clearly been a strong support network for Fee. This includes her coach, Ailie Payne, who Fee has credited all her achievements to. Ailie is like family, and her support though the massive highs and lows makes an incredible difference. The inclusiveness and support amongst this club was a major factor in getting Fee to the start line of the Cairns Ironman.
Throughout her triathlon journey, Fee has received and applied many pieces of advice. From not comparing yourself to others, to realising that you can only ever do your best, these lessons are applicable to many aspects outside of sport. For triathlon-specific tips and tricks, Fee suggests finding a club and coach who makes time for individuals. No matter what your goal – in triathlon or life – always dream big!