Reflection can help focus the mind. In April this year, it was four years since my Grandad passed away. As you’d expect, it was a period of time I remember well.
And made all the more poignant when I crossed the finish line of my first major sports-related fundraising activity two days after his funeral. The emotional release in that moment was something I still feel.
We raised a load cash for Marie Curie and I got to ride my bike around Perthshire for 81 miles.
Then almost 18 months later I did smashed my fundraising target when running a half-marathon. Following that up a month later with 100 mike bike ride.
Another thousand thank you to everyone who gave (money, yes – but also time and encouragement) for each of those adventures. Especially my family who have endured absence and weariness.
It’s been over two years since I tackled anything like that. These last two years have been, well, both great and rough at times.
Have I been searching for purpose outside of “testing myself”? Possibly.
Have been trying to “lay down” an addiction to riding my bike or running? Maybe.
Or, have I been giving energy to other things – like being present at home?
Let’s not get into that right now – safe to say that I have wrestled with this for too long and the time has come for action.
This year, however, I’ve put three bikes up for sale. Two are sold. Gone. And one remains.
The last one is my original road bike from that first event in 2014 (it’s had almost all non-frame parts changed since then!). You can find out more about it here ;-).
What’s going on?
Back to the reason for this post.
I’ve signed up for a new challenge. And it’s in ten weeks time on 22 September. The challenge is to cycle across Scotland in a day. Seems reasonable – at it’s shortest point it’s not that bad.
Except the given route is 245 miles (394km). There’s over 12,000ft of climbing (3,700m). And there’s 80 people taking part – we’re aiming to complete it in under 16 hours.
Which is just a little bonkers.
And the point? Well there’s the challenge of doing the effort. Then there’s the opportunity to raise some money for the STV Children’s Charity and Place2be. And for me there’s the joy and privilege of riding my bike and sharing the journey with 80 people.
And those three letters matter. J-O-Y.
No matter what happens, I want to be salt and light with the energy I have. I’m believing this challenge is one way to do that. To perhaps bring a little focus that can be re-applied in other areas. And a little joy in pushing beyond what “I” can do.
That also explains why I’ve put my road bike up for sale. I need something that’s going to be a little more suitable for such an epic day (but not something with a motor, thanks Dad).
What does it mean?
I’ve got a minimum fundraising target for the challenge of £240. But I’d like to double that. Actually, I’d prefer to quadruple that, but let’s see what happens!
Fancy getting involved?
And feel free to share!
I’m pretty sure I need a new bike to make the ride easier (ie less painful) so if you know anyone who’d be keen on my current road bike then please share the advert with them.
Fellow riders; any training assistance would be appreciated. I’ve been upping my game over the last few weeks, but as I start to tick over into the 100mile training ride, some company would be awesome. If we can arrange to make something happen the please let me know.
Lastly; if you’re one who prays, then please do – for wisdom, safety and endurance!