“There are a lot of people who dwell on what they can’t do, rather than think about what they could achieve.”
Megan Giglia certainly isn’t one of those people. The 31-year-old is about to compete at the Paralympic Games just three years after suffering a debilitating stroke.
Now, Giglia has to think about every movement she makes, while physical exertion leads to her to lose balance and coordination.
“I’ve been working really hard to get my balance to a level where I am competent on a bike,” she said. “As fatigue builds up it impairs my thought processes, and that’s what starts shutting things off in my body.”
Despite never having taken part in competitive cycling before her stroke, Giglia is now a double world champion, winning both the pursuit and time trail at this year’s paracycling track World Championships.
A year after her stroke, which left her with paralysis on her right side, she was accepted onto the British Cycling Paralympic Development Squad, before progressing to the Academy later in 2014.
“I used cycling as a coping strategy to begin with, because I was having so many emotions,” she said. “I was upset, I was depressed and also I needed to burn off energy.
“I came from a sporting background pre-stroke, so through training and a lot of commitment I used it as physio and it developed from there.”
She added: “Being selected for Paralympics GB hasn’t really sunk it yet. For me it’s all about getting on the track and on the road and doing the best I can, but also to start inspiring the next generation.”