Get The HELL Out Of Your Comfort Zone – Now ! Blackpool Revisited !

18 03 2011

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 !!!

 

Old Trafford, Starting the Manchester to Blackpool 2009

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

Manchester to Blackpool 2009, Rest Stop, Preston

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”

Deano, Paul Gaz Manchester Blackpool 2009

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 NEVER Quit, Gaz @ The Finish Line

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

 

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27 responses

18 03 2011
Ben

WOW Gaz, What an AMAZING read, I have never seen your write up on this before, I understand it was on your old blog though, reading that above, was almost like being there with you.

Keep going man

18 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Ben

Thanks for your comment, yup it the original ride report was on my old blog. The Amazing Shrinking Gaz.

Glad you enjoyed it, TBH I was reliving all the emotions of the day just writing it .

LiveSTRONG

18 03 2011
telemark

Hi Gaz,

on seeing the pictures of the old & new you … you come a hell of a long way!
🙂

T

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Thanks T

writing it showed me how far I have come, mentally too.

Gaz

18 03 2011
Matt

Hi again Gaz

I love reading stuff like this, it’s so inspirational to me, I can’t wait now only 10 days until I can afford to buy my MTB and get started, hopefully get to where your at eventually!

Keep up the good work and keep updating your blog.

Thanks, Matt

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Kill Commercial Brow dude, trust me, if it does kill you, it makes you stronger and the Brow wont kill you !

Buying from HAlfords, however…….;-)

19 03 2011
Steve

Great post and excellent advice for everyone, regardless of their weight!

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Thanks man, appreciate your words as always

Gaz

19 03 2011
skippy

Suggest you take a look at the fatcyclist.com blog ! The past week he has had “guest bloggers posting” and your story is the EQUAL of any of them !

Motivating others to follow your example will not reach the masses quickly but even ONE person following in your footsteps will be a victory !

As London Cyclist said “You are INspiring”, keep up the good work , but still awaiting your email to coordinate for my next visit to manchester area .

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Ah yes, Mr Nelson AKA Fatty, bit of a legend that bloke 🙂

I agree, one person at a time eh 🙂

Indeed, i’ll get to work on it 😀

19 03 2011
Dean

I don’t think I realised at the time how big a challenge it was for you and I hadn’t seen you when you started, so I was a bit casual about the whole thing.  
I’m just glad it didn’t backfire with you collapsing or something or you’d have been cursing me!

Appreciate your gratitude and flattered to get a shout on the blog (does that make me famous now?) but there’s really no need, you did it all on your own and I’m just glad I was along for part of the ride. 

Amazing to think how far you’ve come in such a short space of time. It’s frightening to think what you’ll be doing in another two years!

Dean

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Thing is mate, I owe you SO much , your causal attitude and encouragement made me do something that I had NO intention of doing at that time.

It was a sufferfest for me, pain, suffering, humiliation but had I not have gone though that, I REALLY dont think I would be where I am today, Yesterday I did Joel Lane x3, Then Lancashire Hill, I’m not doing them because it’s fun, but because, on that day to Blackpool, I learnt that you HAVE to get out of your comfort zone, the high that the day gave me at the end, has never come close to being equalled, but that said, right up until the finish line, it had to be the worst day I have ever had on a bike, hows that work ?

So, there is a need for me to show you gratitude, because, believe it or not, your someone who helped me crank up the intensity of my journey and in turn the speed of the weight loss and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

As for the next 2 years, I have plans, you know me, I’ll work damn hard to make them plans come true.

Now bugger off asking to be famous , there’s only room for my ego here you know 🙂

19 03 2011
skippy

That last comment is just like Fatty !

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Not sure what you mean dude?

19 03 2011
Peter Martin

Amazing mate thanks for the inspiration… Is there a pro team you don’t have the top off – class looking!

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Make sure you kill it mate, your never gonna be the same again

Theres a few, im working on those tho 😀

19 03 2011
fizzhogg

Well, I don’t know if it’s equal to EVERY post of fatcyclist! 🙂 🙂

Brilliant post. Truly inspirational.

I read something from Levi Leipheimer once about riding Leadville – the toughest single day mtn bike race in the US – and he said he suffered just as much as every other person regardless of fitness level or ability – because everyone was pushing themselves to their own personal limits, and then beyond.

You are so right that it doesn’t matter how big, small, strong, or weak you are – it’s all about heart.

And you’ve got a heart like Secretariat’s, mate.

19 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Yuur right, its better than some :0)

Glad you liked it, I loved the way all the emotions of the day came FLOODING back when I was writing it.

I watch race accross the sky, that shit looks MENTAL, If ever I make it to Colorado, then I’m there 🙂

Thats some major heart to compaire me to there, i’m gonna go on a training ride now, i’d better live up to my own hype and kill it, the 7 stars Jersey its one i’ll DIE to protect…….and thats what im wearing now 😀

So if I dont post again, it means I got dropped, not happened in 3 weeks and 400 miles tho 🙂

19 03 2011
Ma

Hiya! Absolutely LOVE your website. Thank you for allowing me to see into your world. You have inspired me to keep going with my own weight-loss programme. Some days are easy, others are hard, but reading about what you’ve been through keeps me on the straight and narrow. Maybe see you on the road one day…I’ve just got myself a secondhand road bike, so NOTHING’s going to stop me!!!

21 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Really glad your enjoying it 🙂

Its natural to have good and bad days, heck, I get bad days, even now, what matters is that those days days, burn turn into bad months.

Sounds like fun to me, good luck

20 03 2011
Peter Martin

You got a sky top?

21 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Sadly no, I had the Chance of either the Discovery 7 Stars (For 7 TdF Wins) or a Sky one, you and I both know what was always gonna happen, maybe in a couple of months I will be able to afford a couple more, the Sky one is right near the top 😀

EDIT: Also the Addidas Sky kit is even smaller than normal team kit, meaning I would have required a XXL

21 03 2011
Clive Chapman

The one post you need to reprise is the one when you flew into work and found yourself running up the stairs when you got there.

IMHO that one was more moving than this one.

But what do I know? 😉

22 03 2011
39stonecyclist

I’m struggling to recall that one TBH, I assume it was last summer ? where I set a PB then ran up about an extra 4 floors worth of stairs ?

Shit I cant write about that as I cant remember the emotions and to me, its about capturing those more than anything else. Unless its on this blog ? and maybe reading it will jog my memory ?

22 03 2011
Clive Chapman

It would have been towards the end of 2009 I think mate, on your original blog.

22 03 2011
39stonecyclist

Yeah I think I recall it TBH, dont think I could do it justice though

26 07 2011
6 Months in Review ! Its been a good 2011 so far….. « 39 Stone Cyclist

[…] was titled “Blackpool Revisited” and spoke about the day, in 2009 I rode from Manchester to […]

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