Life is like a mountain bike ride!……you have to enjoy the grind and pain of the climb up, to reach the heights of the mountains to enjoy the ye-ha and the exhilaration of the descent!.…
My life is my family and our shared love of the great outdoors…living freely and actively. My passion is mountain biking, which I have done for over 35 years. A passion now shared by my family.
But work demands were intruding negatively into our family life and had started to be debilitating! In August 2018 I promised my wife that finally after six years I’d have everything sorted in the business and stress free by the 31st October 2018.
September 2018 was my 51st birthday and I vividly remember reflecting back on what had been a the hardest 6-years of my life! Thinking “this is taking me a lot longer than I’d expected”. I had hoped that by the time I was 50 I would have brought peace, happiness and stability back into my life, and more importantly, happiness for my family.
But the strains of business took their toll. I had become battle weary and needed time out to decompress! To rejuvenate and reignite myself! To get back to who I truly am! After all, I am 51 years young with a gorgeous young family, yet life has quickly passed by! I felt it was time to reboot myself, so off I went to Nepal to cycle some of the highest trails in the world, immersed within spectacular scenery, biking at altitudes in excess of 5000 metres.
I was enjoying the time of my life cycling on top of the world… re-energising mind body and soul. On returning home, I had never felt fitter or more rejuvenated. I was reborn!
Beware the unexpected
However, within a few months, after my day’s ride out, I started feeling under par, running low on energy. In fact, when asked how my day in the saddle was, I described myself as ‘a one paced donkey’. ! I can get to the end but I’ve got no change of pace.’ My long time best mate and cycling buddy for 29 years was kicking my ass!
My energy levels were starting to feel depleted! My enthusiasm and willingness were still there, but I felt generally fatigued and my muscles felt weakened. I put it down to the stresses and strains of the past few years. “I need to practice what I preach and start looking after myself better”, I thought.
Having returned from a weekend break, mountain biking with my wife in Portugal, I started to feel a bit “under the weather”! “man flu”!
As someone who was hardly ever ill, never had a day off sick in my life, apart from a bout of flu every few years, when I would take to my bed for four days or so, this was really unusual and bloody inconvenient…….earache; feeling cold; shivers; couldn’t sleep; body aching all over and generally feeling unwell! It had got so bad I had to ask my wife to take me to the emergency doctor on a Saturday. I was told I had a slight viral infection and given antibiotics.
36 hours later, at 3am, I was waking my wife, in severe pain, screaming “take me to the hospital”!
This was the first time I have ever had to make a call to go to the hospital with such urgency!
We arrived at A and E at 4 am. I was put under surveillance. After 16 hours I was informed I was suffering from pneumonia and pleurisy! I was admitted into hospital.
Another two days of excruciating pain; fever; sweat and living life with a temperature of 40°.
3 days and nights later I was experiencing what was probably my worst few hours, with raging body pain and high temperatures. I was informed I had high levels of protein in my blood, which was being checked out!
At that stage I had no idea what that could mean.
It was the start of what would become a year of healing and well being!