I’m not going to lie to you Marge…

So long. [leaves the room]

Unfortunately, unlike Homer I have to face the truth. Whilst not trying to hide a speak-easy from my wife, I have been trying to hide my lack of fitness, training and motivation from myself and others. Several milestones over the past few months, the death of a loved one – finishing a PhD thesis – moving country – starting my own coaching group, have all conspired to provide a blank foundation that I can build myself back up off. Destruction can lead to new life.

My name is Greg, I like to ride bikes around in circles for hours on end in order to shut my brain up. It doesn’t always work. But I try.

Since I’ve finished the thesis I expected to ride more, feel free, cover more ground. I’ve found the direct opposite. The bike has not engaged me, it’s been ridden, but more out of reluctance than want. The perpetual student in me knowing how much those bike parts cost. Reticent to take it out in the mud. Denying the bike its one purpose.

My fathers death spurred me on again. Two weeks of nearly no exercise hurt the mental image of my physical self. I saw myself getting fatter by the day despite eating next to nothing. I fell down the slope of believing that I needed to ride to stay free, to keep my mind clear, to run from it all. But I fought it. I stepped back and looked, for once, with clarity at my reason for riding and said no. “I am not going to ride to escape this, I will take this and use it as fuel”.

Three weeks have passed. I’ve ridden little, what I have has been with purpose and reason, not to escape. I’ve immersed myself with people I don’t know at a new climbing wall. Felt my arms working again, doing something that was once dear to me, something that requires me to focus not shut off parts of my brain.

Home in Ireland and it is raining. The trails from my home, my paternal roost, will be soaked. I feel like riding them. My eyes open.

HomeA new season, a new team, a new start.

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