After a life-changing injury knocked her confidence, RAF veteran Rachel Williamson almost gave up on fitness forever. Having rediscovered her passion, relearning how to live without mobility in one arm, she set personal milestones as part of her sports recovery journey.
Rachel is proud to have competed in the Invictus Games in Sydney 2018 and recently represented Team UK one more time in the 2020 Invictus Games in The Hague as Team UK Captain.
Before the games, Rachel said: “So far, my recovery journey has taken me from rock bottom to laying down a new foundation. This year I aim to build the new me and take the final step to where I want to be. I’ve accepted my injury, learnt I can let my emotions go and not be embarrassed or afraid about asking for help which I couldn’t have done without the help of Team UK this last year.
“Now it’s time I raise the bar by trying new sports, being positive and happier with less excuses. I want to continue to support fellow athletes by encouraging and providing advice, which will give me a new onset of life and a new way of improving my self-esteem that I can be there for others without feeling like a burden myself. From meeting new faces at Help for Heroes' Sports Fest then seeing how far they have come in a short space of time at the Invictus UK Trials and have them coming up to me to say thanks for the advice is such an amazing reward. I hope this is an aspect I can continue all the way to The Hague.”
During the pandemic Rachel learnt to adapt her training in order to stay focused and motivated; this involved training virtually at home. Rachel found it hard to stay motivated at times but soon learnt to enjoy the extra rest time and found a new routine to stay mentally and physically fit during unprecedented times. Over the last two years, Rachel took part in numerous virtual challenges and online competitions which resulted in gaining multiple Adaptive World and Adaptive British Indoor Rowing Records.