It sounds counter-intuitive, but having a Heart Attack has given me confidence.
My “episode” was the culmination of about 20 years of un-healthiness; relatively little physical activity, an overly relaxed diet, too many cigarettes and too much alcohol. I have never generally lacked confidence, but having become a lapsed athlete it has been more focused on the office than the sports field.
Having been physically “broken”, I’ve had to re-build my strength and fitness almost from scratch. At the same time, I’ve had to re-build my confidence to do every day things that I used to take in my stride. After being at such a low level, the only way was up, and increased awareness has meant every step forward has been a conscious one.
Along the way I’ve given myself many challenges. Some of the challenges may appear more significant than others, but they’ve all been important.
Whether it was getting on a bike for the first time or heading out for a solo ride, cycling back up to my house or cycling from London to Brussels (via Amsterdam), they’ve all mattered. They have each required a level of confidence to take them on (often combined with a healthy dose of nervousness), and each has been rewarded with a major sense of satisfaction and a confidence boost.
Tomorrow I’m heading out with a group to “Ride like a Pro”, a promotional event organised by Jaguar. On the ride we’ll be accompanied (“supported”) by a “Jaguar XF Sportbrake in full Team Sky livery”. It’s another step into the unknown, but I’m excited about it. At 50 miles it’s within my range, but whenever you go out with a new group it introduces a number of unknowns.
In my mind, we’ll be in a large peloton, eating up the roads as we roar through the Aberdeenshire countryside…
I really hope that I don’t lose contact with the group so badly that they call the support car through; having set out to “ride like a pro” I may well end up being “just a guy taking a ride”. Either way, it should be fun… and it’ll definitely be another step in the right direction!