This is a pretty special journey I am on, I wanted to look back at how things turned around, As such this post is on my Manchester to Blackpool ride back in July 2009.
I’m not motivated by waking up and saying “I look pretty good today” I need to have something to reach for, a new work colleague heard of my story and suggested I did “Blackpool” in 2009, my plan was ALWAYS to do it in 2010, he was suggesting i do it a full year EARLY, I wasn’t ready, no way could I , but he give me so much support and confidence that , there and then on the spot I agreed that we would ride it together in 2009, Thanks Dean, I don’t think I have every said that to you, but you forced a switch on in my head and look at me now !!!
I was intimidated when I saw all these fit people, like super fit, no body fat, that was one of the reasons I did it, sometimes you need to see a chubby guy (well, at approx 25 stone, I was still OBESE) , taking off doing something you dont think he should be able to.
9000 people , Im stood there at the start line, I start crying and then BOOM we are off, and within a few miles, I started to enjoy it it, here was a man, 25 stone, passing other people on his first ever 100km ride. Doing something your not even supposed to do.
So, there was I , passing people slimmer and fitter than I was, having the time of my life, thinking why the hell didn’t I get off the couch sooner, this is a whole new world, That’s why I did it, but also to get that guy off the couch , who’s wondering, what the hell am I doing here
With about 15 miles left, I had nothing left.I couldn’t turn the peddles , I couldn’t sit down,I was done, I thought “that’s it , my ride, my dream of finishing is over” but at that moment, I remembered back to where I was, 40 stone, sat on the couch, watching Biggest Loser , junk food all around me thinking to myself, I want to be like them.
I’m not alone there, I think they are many people out that about all the things they want to be doing, but they dont get off the couch and go.
So there I am, speed dropping, not able to stand up, not able to sit down, not able to stop, not able to push………..People, crowds of them, streaming passed me and I could hear them say “WOW …this guy is done, he’s not gonna make it, he will NOT get to the finish line”
I’m not here to impress anyone, I can only do what I can do, one thing I will say is that I wont quit, I dont know what that word means, about 90 Km into the ride I managed to find something, from somewhere, I dont know what went on but I felt great, I felt like I had only just started the ride, I took off and was “flying”…I was gonna do it, I was going to make the finish line at this rate, No problems …… ….then …………..BOOM……….my body shut down again after a few more km’s.
I went back to the helpless feelings of “I cant do this” and my speed dropped to an almost “walking pace”
The next few KM’s are a blur..pain……suffering…..thoughts of despairer ……But then……… I came around a corner and I saw “The Big One” roller-coaster, I knew I was in Blackpool now, the tears streamed down my face, I couldn’t look at Paul, I didn’t want him to know I was crying like a baby, we had 3 km’s to go, I was saying to myself “You can finish, you can do this, you can finish this”
As we turned into The Prom from Starr Gate, I could hear the people cheering, I could see the finish line in the distance, I turned to Paul and said “sorry” I looked down held my breath and took off, I dont know what happened, but I was sprinting at well over 30 Mph , Paul did try and keep up but I wasnt slowing for anything, I was riding as fast I could, faster than I ever had in my whole life and yet, i’d just done 99.5 km’s, much much more than I have ever done before.
I crossed the finish line and I never quit……No matter how much pain, humiliation or suffering, I never quit…….
I look back over at that ride today and you know what, THAT ride changed me, It made me realise that, its not about how much you weigh, it’s not about what you’ve done in your past, it’s about what your DOING. Our body’s, they are amazing, I shouldn’t have been able to do what I did that day, I didn’t train anywhere near enough, my nutrition was poor and I was obese…. But my body, it just kept going.
There is something about pushing yourself beyond your limits that people need to do once in their life , you need to take the chance , ONE TIME, to see what you really can do……….. but once you have done it, you will NEVER bee the same again………..and the proof of that ? Well check the picture below for how I looked TODAY after doing Joel Lane
EDIT: This is a better pic, taken pre-ride, today