Dual knee reconstructions would be career ending for most athletes.
But surgery spurred the Bega Valley’s Andrew MacNamara to take up competing in triathlons.
He’s done quite well too, flying out last week to Cozumel in Mexico where he will represent Australia in two events at the ITU World Triathlon Championships.
“The way I got into the sport is a bit different,” MacNamara says. “I had both my knees reconstructed after a skiing accident and I needed a lot of support as even standing was a chore.”
He said going from such an active life to “nothing in an instant” was taking a mental toll as well as the physical strain, but his psychologist sister offered a pipe dream – to compete in a triathlon.
“It was a crazy goal,” MacNamara said with a laugh “but I began training and had support from my parents to attend Sapphire Coast Physiotherapy for rehabilitation sessions.
“I managed my first race about 18 months after surgery and came third, the rest is history.”
It won’t be the first time wearing the green and gold for MacNamara, he also flew the flag for Australia in Edmonton, Canada, last year with great results.
He laughed that the Valley’s reputation proceeded it, even globally as he met an oil-rig worker outside the competition.
I managed my first race about 18 months after surgery and came third, the rest is history.
“We got talking and he asked me where I was from, so I told him and his response was, ‘Bega… like the cheese’,” he said.
Competition began on Monday with MacNamara lining up for the Aquathlon event ahead of the sprint championship.
“I haven’t changed up my training a great deal, I was in the domestic racing phase when I got selected, but I’ve gone to an endurance type of training to build a bigger base,” he said.
“I’ve just been moving through six-week block training sessions, but tapered off last week ahead of my flight.”
The athlete excels in swim legs and said he had to work a lot in the other disciplines to be competitive.
“There is no easy formula, all I know is every session counts and consistency is key,” MacNamara said.
The ear pods will go in ahead of the racing and the song will be something to sing along to.
“It all gets very real when I see the messages on Facebook and Instagram from friends, family and even randoms of support, but I try to control the excitement and not let it turn to nerves.
“As for after Mexico, I’m keeping that under wraps for now,” he said.