This week my husband has completed a mammoth of a challenge, a 328 mile cycle in 3.5 days to raise money for Children in Need. He started training towards the back end of last year when he was already a keen cycling fan but you wouldn’t have been to far off in thinking that the “fat lad at the back” range was created with him in mind. He was larger than your average cyclist and although he had all the gear, it’s another safe bet to say he had no idea. In fact as the training went on it became abundantly clear that he did in fact have no idea what he had let himself in for and was starting to dread the challenge with the shame shuddersome reaction of a toddler faced with a plate of peas.
But he trained and he moaned and he planned and he trained some more and despite it feeling like this event was never going to arrive, it eventually did. Now don’t get me wrong I am under no illusion that this tough and grueling challenge wasn’t also a week away with the lads, hotel rooms, peaceful toilet breaks, cooked meals and no school runs, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a huge challenge, both physically and mentally. One that I would never even contemplate taking on, let alone actually signing the papers and handing my rear end over to a triangular seat no larger than a bag of haribo for 8 hours a day.
Throughout the race we were treated to face time updates in the evenings about the uphill struggles and the down hill races, the ability to fall asleep fully dressed before evening meal, and how many people it takes to change a puncture. And with every call the tiredness showed, the homesickness from the boys to their dad was palpable but the determination to see it through to the end was admirable. No amount of punctures, split tyres or aching muscles was going to see him climb in the back of the van and quit. He was there to cycle 328 miles and 328 miles he would cycle. He had a duty to those that had sponsored him and a responsibility to those that would benefit from the funds.
On the final day we drove to watch the cyclists finish and it was such an emotional moment, not only to see my husband after a week apart but also to see the look of pride (mixed with exhaustion) in his eyes. He had done it. He had cycled all the way from Cardiff to Pudsey to raise money for children who are not as fortunate as our own. He battled the weather conditions, numerous technical issues, homesickness and a bottle of chamois cream on areas I do not even want to consider, but he did it and I am so proud of him.
He has shown our children that hard work and determination pays off, he has demonstrated that training and practice are worth it and he has done it in a way that a classroom couldn’t. I am so proud of my husband for setting an example for our children and massively proud of the fact that he was part of a team of super humans that have raised an incredible £246,696.11 for Children in Need.