One of my favorite stories to tell people, is that of how I started riding a bike. I think based on a stark realization of mine last night - as well as reading the blog post of a mate which I strongly urge you to also read here - that's its time I reflect on what I have done, and indeed look forward to the similar challenge I find myself confronted with today.
In 2008 I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, well officially anyway. Life, school, family indeed my entire world shifted upon it's very axis. I was placed on, what, at the time was deemed to be the best medication for the symptoms I presented with. The medication called Zyprexxa, worked brilliantly, perhaps maybe to well. Two unfortunate side-effects of this otherwise wonderful medicine are drowsiness to the max, and your appetite sky-rockets not a good mix at all. My weight over the course of the next 11 months until November 2008 blew completely out to 100kgs. I was heading for an early grave. I had no idea in the slightest.
I had been riding a bike at the recreational level with my dad on and off for a few years. To be honest though the roads and weather conditions in Central Queensland are not really conducive to cycling.
When my family moved to Brisbane in November 2008, my relationship with my dad was sketchy at best. So I thought that with the weather being more agreeable to cycling that I would use cycling and going for rides with my dad, as a way to strengthen our father-son bond.
So I went for a ride.
Over the next 6-8 months with the help and support of family as well as my former coach, I shed all the excess weight and lost over a third of my body weight to become as light as 66kgs. I did this almost without realizing it, just through exercise and very little diet. I achieved what I thought was impossible. Most of all though I had gained a certain respect for myself, one I thought, I was never going to lose.
To the challenge I face now, last night after a brutal wake-up call from a mate, I realized I had lost this respect for myself, I had let my weight blow-out again through poor nutrition and ill-discipline in training. Now I need to gain back my respect, I need to drop the weight again, I need to make better choices with my food, I need to regain my discipline.
And I'll tell you right now, I've done it once, I am going to do it again.
This is a fight and I am going to win!
So I'm going to go for a ride.