One of the things that have really struck me over the past few days has been the role of friends in this journey. Whether cyber friends or real friends you have played both a central and crucial role. Complementing the essential role my immediate family has played and for which I thank God for every day there’s been
Jamie Greer (above), a mate who trained with me regularly for my first six or so months. We swam, hit the gym and even got out for the odd bike run. Life made differing demands upon us and so we now don’t train together but his constant support and understanding got me of the sandbank of obesity upon which I had rested on for years.
Jeremy Biggerstaff (forgive the dodgy football top - scumball), a life time friend who decided to dig his very old mountain bike out of the garage one night for a laugh so he could go with me. That transformed from a one night only experience, to once a week, to twice a week and he now is the proud owner of a full carbon Limited Edition Team Boardman bike and is regularly doing 60+ miles a week.
Brian Rutledge, the last time I spoke to Brian was over 6 years ago but yesterday completely by chance we met. From talking we realised that we now live close by, both have developed an interest in cycling and we now plan to head out soon. I just know that this friendship will be a very significant one for the journey as Brian is one of the nicest most positive and level headed people I have ever met.
Charlie Knox (above), a friend who has a first class honors degree in Sports Science and who every now and then sits me down and gives me a dose of common sense. This has been invaluable during the times when I’ve doubted myself or have been pushing myself too hard.
Then there is my cyber friends which to be fair have played an equally significant role, if not more so. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Gaz who has been an inspiration from close to the start. We have challenged each other, been of support and have even competed in weight loss competitions and yet we have never met.
More recent there has been a number of cyber friends who have been great at getting me blog again and share in the journey of mutual accountability. There is Toby, Christie and the Welsh Cyclist not to mention the other bloggers whose blog I read frequently.
Without all of this support I think to be fair I wouldn’t have made. Without the inspiration and boost in confidence you all have provided I believe I would be putting weight on not losing it. So its grateful heart I say thanks – lets keep journeying on together…