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Healthcare Manager, London
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Support – who needs it?

Posted By on March 9, 2010

As I was approaching the finish line of a 50-mile cycle ride for one of my favourite charities yesterday, I spared a few moments to pause and reflect on the kind of support that had made it all possible.  The route along the Thames from Greenwich, London to Rochester, Kent looked gentle enough – no major ascents, no pressure to finish within a certain time, ample opportunity to rest and refuel. All great stuff, but in reality we were battling mile after mile against a strong, bone-chilling Siberian head wind – all the incentive needed to pedal harder and faster still.

Now, had I been a seasoned cyclist, I would have put more thought into the optimal outer clothing – instead, I’d focused perhaps too much on the sub-layers and looked on with envy at those donning their windbreakers and waterproof trousers. Despite the bitter wind chill factor, my well-worn fleece and those pathetic threadbare gloves (what was I thinking?), I was sitting quite comfortably, actually. In the lead up to the event, I somehow had known what would make the biggest difference to my staying the course. I had invested a modest £19.99 in a small and fairly discreet item. What struck me, was how this relatively insignificant purchase could have such a profound impact on my comfort and endurance.

This led me to reflect on the types of support we have around us, yet rarely draw on when facing difficult or challenging times.  As a coach, I’m acutely aware of the tough world we live in, the issues we have to grapple with every day, and the cultural norm that dictates us to keep a stiff upper lip and never grumble – it could be worse, after all.  I’m also highly conscious of how a very small amount of support can go a long, long way. It often turns out to be the one thing that determines whether your dream or goal remains on your list of ‘Things I Would Love To Do One Day’ or moves over to your list of ‘Things I Have Done’.

It’s the day after the cycle ride and I’m still smiling, proud of my little achievement, happy with our efforts in organising a great event for a project that will make a real difference to orphaned and disabled children in Tajikistan. And forever grateful that I knew myself well enough to be certain of the best support for this particular rider… padded cycling shorts!

One Response to “Support – who needs it?”

  1. Jonathan says:

    Wise words, Kath. I must do something about my squeaky saddle!

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