‘In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity’ – Albert Einstein
Since becoming a father to Lucy, 3 years before my diagnosis, my number one priority has been to be ‘The Best Father I can Be.’ Being diagnosed with cancer the day before Bill was born brought that priority into very clear focus. I make the principle more achievable by breaking it down into several key features, I will talk more about these elsewhere but two of the features relevant to my fundraising are: Being present and being a Good Role Model.
As a father being present means being there and making sure your children know they are loved when you are not. Faced with the probable details of my own death I often find this idea quite overwhelming (actually I’m finding writing this quite helpful!) Firstly of course being present means being alive. I realised straight off the bat therefore that it was a good idea to trust my doctors and not to waste my time second-guessing their advice. One of the subjects that came up was my health and fitness. Their advice was not to lose any weight (I was happy with that!) but also to be as fit and strong as I could be because there would be some arduous treatments in the future. Something I know from my own work is that the fitter and stronger you are going into a treatment the more likely you are to have a positive outcome. It, therefore, seemed inevitable that I was going to have to do some exercise.
Being a Good Role Model
This is about embodying the lessons you want to teach. In my work, I regularly hear advice my patients have been given and find myself thinking, “Really?!” It often seems the advice given by many ‘Experts’ is completely unrealistic. I therefore never give a client advice or an exercise that I either don’t do myself or would be unlikely to do if I was in their shoes…. This can be really limiting because I am both very busy and averse to spending energy over and above what I already do… ie I think normal!! And I do the same with my children. I try to live by certain ‘Ideals’ which I hope they might also incorporate into their own lives. One of these is to ‘always try your hardest, even when the odds are stacked against you.’ I have cancer but I want to be as fit and strong as I can be. The odds are against me but if I at least try then things may hopefully be a bit better than if I didn’t. This all boils down to the simple fact that I’ve got to do some exercise.
How it Started
In December 2020 my best buddies Jim, Ben & Eddie approached me and said they wanted to do something to raise money to support the fight against Multiple Myeloma. They’d been inspired by Jim who raised almost £2k in my name for Movember and said they wanted to raise a decent amount of money and do it every year. They wanted to do some sort of sponsored event, walk, run ride or swim. Obviously, it ticked my boxes, exercise and putting up a good fight so I told them I wanted to be involved.
We discussed a few ideas, ruling out most of Ben’s before he’d opened his mouth, and eventually decided our initial event would be a Coast to Coast bicycle ride which we completed in 2021.