Firstly, my health is good 🙂 Just wanted to get that out there before anyone panicked!
But today I (alongside many others), got told that the Myeloma UK London to Paris bike ride had been postponed for the 3rd time due to Covid. This time, it has been moved 12 months ahead to September 2022. I can’t say that I wasn’t expecting it, but it still felt like a real gut wrench as I’ve been training super hard for it and have felt in the past week that I’m pretty much ready to do it!
Now I know that there are worse things to happen to us all in life, but it’s been such a great focus for me in my recovery period after my second stem cell transplant. It has made me get fit, made me get out and new people in the Midlands, and really allowed me not to focus on my health very much at all. To the point I nearly forgot my consultant appointment the other day. Life is far too busy at the moment to consider whether my figures are going up or down 😂.
I’ve been so lucky as I have found a brilliant local bike club called the Stourbug club (Stourbridge Bike User Group I think!), and they have all really taken me under their wing. A special shout out has to go to Patrick and Sally (although I doubt they’ll read this) as they have put on special rides to help me, slowed down the pace, sped up the pace and generally taught me pretty much everything I now know about cycling. Now that the main event has been postponed, I think it’s likely that they’ll help me to find a way to do the equivalent of the London to Paris, over the same dates (16th – 20th September). It won’t be the same and won’t give me the experience, but hopefully I’ll still be in remission this time next year, and I can do the REAL event then. In the meantime, I think it will help me to feel that my training to date has been worthwhile.
I feel really bad as so many people have supported me financially through sponsorship or donations, but this has really been out of my hands. I don’t pity the charity having to make the decision either, but with guidelines changing all the time, covid numbers increasing, and people being expected to quarantine, they haven’t really had much choice.
So, I suppose the next thing is whether I should be doing this ride in September. I know that one of my sisters is worried I’m overdoing things (and yes, I know you’ll be reading this!), but I honestly feel like I’m so nearly there that I’d be sad to not do it and not know if it was possible. I know it will be more training, both in the next couple of months, and next year, but it is something I now love. And pushing myself has always been my way of ignoring my myeloma and I suppose, my way of pretending that it’s not part of my life! I do listen to my body now which is something that I never used to do, so I’m optimistic that if I was really struggling after a couple of days here in the UK, I would be sensible….probably🤔 .
I’m also really concerned that if I don’t do it now and then I relapse in the next 12 months, that I won’t be able to do the main ride next year. Then I’d be letting down all the friends and companies who have sponsored me and donated clothing & cycling items, time and experience. I’m sure everyone will be quick to say that isn’t the case, but it’s me to feel like that and hard for me to stop it.
And more importantly than all of these reasons, I do now love cycling (ok perhaps not uphill!) and it is helping to keep me fit. I’m regularly riding over 120 miles a week and I enjoy it. It’s sociable as well as hard work. It makes me feel like I’m achieving something at a time that I’m not doing much workwise. It makes me feel positive. It has also meant I’ve cut down my drinking (Lockdown had given me a right thirst 😩) so am healthier on that level too.
So anyway, whilst it’s been a hard day to stomach, it’s also good to remember the good things that have already come out of my cycling, and that will hopefully continue to come out of it as I go forward. Perhaps someone out there knows that if I did the ride in September this year, I wouldn’t have enough of the bug to carry on after….and perhaps another year of training will ensure that it’s with me for ever. Who knows, but I like that spin on it.
Anyway, maybe it’ll persuade some of you to join me going to Paris in 2022, and help to keep that #50KB450 going – let me know if so!!!