Since then, of course, the world has changed. Something that the majority of us have no control over. Where we have had to put our lives on hold and in the hands of politicians and scientists to do their best to keep us healthy and safe. And for the most part, I believe that they have done their best, but there will always be mistakes made and decisions taken too late and Covid 19 will be something that we will have to live with like many annual viruses for years to come.
As a family, we have been fortunate not to lose any friends or family members to the pandemic, but we know that there will be a lot of you out there that have. Should that be the case, then we are deeply sorry for your loss.
But life goes on, as it should and as it must and we all need to find some joy from somewhere.
Whilst sometimes I struggle with my own vulnerabilities and insecurities, I know that I have my own grit and determination as well as my loving wife and daughter (our tech support) and five dogs to put up with me! I am still that 50+ year old bloke that is in awe of his wife’s talents and her knowledge and compassion for her patient’s greatest wishes, yet still longing for my own desire of being able to return to the arena of speaking directly to you, face to face at an exhibition to hear about your own dreams.
More so, I am still blown away by your determination, your fortitude, and your resilience in forging ahead to achieve your dreams of either starting or continuing your family. Even more, because so many of us have not had that personal interaction that we as a nation take for granted. For the most part, we are a very social society, and we openly accept social contact as a given. In certain respects, it’s what defines us as a nation and as individuals.
I watched the Olympics and I was blown away not just by Team GB, but by every nation that gave their all. I loved the sub-stories regardless of the nationalities, the shared medals, the first medals ever one by a particular nation, and the pain and heartache that brought them to Tokyo after five long years of preparation and waiting. I would just like to highlight a couple of the many standout moments of the games as well as praising and thanking the host nation for putting on an Olympics that lived up to and exceeded expectations under the worst of circumstances.
The first is the final of the men’s high jump where we are down to two competitors, Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy. Best friends ever since Gianmarco was close to quitting due to injury and Mutaz sat down with him for hours and convinced him to keep going. So here we are in the present day in the final. Gianmarco’s plaster cast from his previous injury is displayed on the track for each of his jumps. Both of them had all first-time clearances, so doing a countback to failed attempts was not an option. They could have carried on and done a jump-off, but they also had the option of sharing the gold medal, which they did and in my opinion rightly so as both men deserved it after two hours of competition and Gianmarco’s reaction to his friend’s suggestion was worth it in itself. A fabulous moment and says everything about what the Olympics is supposed to represent.
The second moment is entirely opposite to the first, in that it shows how harsh sport can be sometimes. Annika Schleu from Germany was leading the modern pentathlon going into the showjumping section. For those of you not totally familiar with the modern pentathlon (I wasn’t) the events are fencing, swimming, show jumping, and then a combined shooting and cross country run. In the showjumping, there is no such thing as bringing your own horse. Oh deary me no. You are allotted a horse and are then given 20 minutes to get to know it. Now all these horses are trained jumpers, but of course, it is still a lottery and poor old Annika got one that was not a happy bunny. To be fair, the same horse was allocated to another competitor who also struggled with it, but by the time it was Annika’s turn, the horse had really had enough by then and it was not going to cooperate. It was heart-wrenching to watch and one can only imagine what was going through Annika’s mind as she saw that gold medal disappearing. But like all good athletes, she will put that behind her and she will be back to try again, such is the determination of the human soul.
I know that I have digressed somewhat, but there is a point that I was trying to make, in that sometimes things go right and sometimes they don’t. There will be highs and there will be lows. And when there are lows, we have to dig deep and try again. Giancarlo dug deep because of his friend’s help to come back from injury and Annika will dig deep and come back a better, stronger competitor because of that experience. Your gold medal is to start a family, and we will do everything we can to put you on the top step of that podium.
I believe that if you can accept your own or other’s achievements, regardless of gender, skin colour, religion, or whatever, then we just might prevail. I am not a dreamer, even though I like to dream. But I have hope. And so should you. Why? Because you are incredible.”
– Simon, Co-founder IVF Treatment Abroad
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