Updated: Apr 23, 2021
I’ve not always been fit and I have not always been strong and I have not always been focused. Cycling was the first step I remember, of getting out of a very unhealthy lifestyle. It gave me purpose and focus and a reason to be outside. I first started to set myself cycling challenges to get to work (I was seriously unfit). I lived at the top of a hill in London and I remember the first time that I managed to get to the top of the hill without having to walk.
For some years, I took my focus away from cycling and developed an addiction to running. I found it was a great way to soothe my anxiety. I enjoyed competing and felt I was good at it, my social life changed and I was now out running and enjoying nature on Sunday mornings, not suffering with a hangover. This addiction to running took a negative turn and later learned I could not run from my negative emotions and developed osteoporosis in my early 20’s. I suffered at least 10 fractures in a space of 2 years. Some fractures we so severe I was left not even able to stand let alone walk, just from going out for a run. It was a very difficult time, I was living a seemingly healthy life, but I was not in control and would not listen to my body. It took about 3 years of going through the same cycles, the doctors did not give me any answers, only endless tests. The biggest challenge was taking responsibility for my own health and stopping running and focus on activities that are positive for building my physical and mental strength in a positive way.
My biggest and most memorable challenge as my journey as a cyclist was one of my first cycling trips. I was still frustrated from being unable to run through injuries. I had 1 or 2 long distance rides, but not on my own. I decided to cycle to Brighton from where I was living in North London. To avoid the rush hour traffic getting out of London I started really early in the morning. I went on the bike I used for commuting, had the most impractical clothes and shoes, a backpack including anything I could possibly need including a heavy duty lock. I had paper maps I printed from google. But I did it, the 100km took me about 10 hours and I got up Ditchling beacon without getting off the bike (and was convinced it was the biggest hill in the whole of England).
I did that trip many times again sometimes alone sometimes with friends, perfecting the route and getting fast at it. Every time gave me much joy and I could see the progress I was making. I have done many bike rides that are further and bigger in elevation, but that one gave me a biggest sense of achievement.
I am thankful for all the disappointments along the way. I now have a gym to help people come physically and mentally stronger and help other women become stronger cyclists.I live in one of the best places in the world for cycling. I achieved this from sometimes challenging myself to try something new, but always taking on new challenges. I will never be as strong as I want, never be as fast as a cyclist as I want, but I will never stop believing in myself.
Let me believe in you and tell about your next goals by booking a free online intro. Session. https://getstrongperformance.as.me/CycleCoaching