Well its been a better last week where training has been concerned. Training was interrupted by the Professional Rugby Players awards dinner on Wednesday evening at the Battersea Evolution in London. It was a great night that recognised the players past and present of the game. Jonny Wilkinson received a special award and what struck me was the humility of the man who has achieved so much throughout his career. A model professional and role model for all to follow. His appearance was upstaged by Matt Hampson.
Matt had a promising England career in front of him and had made it to the England under 21’s team where he was injured during an England training session. He was paralysed from the neck down and now breathes with the aid of a ventilator. He battled with his own situation and as a testament to his own character he set up the Matt Hampson Foundation to help others with catastrophic injuries. Hambo is an inspiration to others. Read his story and the great work that he does at http://matthampsonfoundation.org/about-us/matt-Hampson
The ride and all the preparations are taking more and more time. If I’m to reach my goal of raising £10,000 for charity more people need to know what im doing so and choose to sponsor me.
With this in mind I thought I turned to master photographer Simon Fall-Taylor. Si loves his photography and like a true professional had it all worked out by the time I arrived for the “shoot”. He knew exactly the shots he was going to take, the poses that would get the best image, where he was going to sit , stand or kneel and of course which of his family of cameras he was going to use. I arrived with my bike any my cycling kit and like Kate Moss at modelling engagement I was encouraged to look in one direction then another, moving my chins (both of them) all in the pursuit of the perfect snap. After about 15 minutes we stopped to take stock. Si looked happy with how it was going and invited me to preview the images on the screen on the back of his camera.
Now for full effect you need to imagine the delivery of the next bit in a Brummie accent…………………. “ ‘kin Hell Si !” I exclaimed. Si thought it was a sheik of approval and a broad smile came across his face as he proudly inflated his chest to receive the apparent praise. “What’s happened to me bloody forehead…. I looks like it’s going all the way to the horizon”.
“Perhaps I’ve parted my hair in the wrong place” I offered, followed quickly by “haven’t you got software to cover it up?”
“Bert Reynolds style” Si enquired trying to bite his lip at the same time to stave of laughter. Si pointed out that he didn’t think that such software had been written yet. “Put your helmet on” he suggested. I’d forgotten it. “We’ll have to do it again from the other side – and this time I’ll hold my gut in too” (you try holding your gut in for quarter of an hour – it aint easy)!
This time I had problems with my quiff dropping at the wrong time – just like the chap in the hamlet advert – if you can remember that (well not quite that bad)!
You can tell we had a good laugh trying to cover up the obvious.
I was really pleased that “My Pal” was able to join me for a ride on Friday. Not phased by his condition he is hitting it head on. He’s now getting used to his 3 weekly cycle of chemo. Week one he’s washed out and not himself. By week 2 he’s getting back on form and by week 3 he feels normal. To his absolute credit he joined me for about 28 miles which was a great achievement.
I have a big weekend ahead of me where I plan to ride every day Thursday through to Monday cycling at least 50 miles each day. One thing I’ve got to get right is my saddle – I’m trying one out at the moment but its cutting me in half! more about that in my next update.
Sponsorship is also behind plan so if you are thinking about it – don’t delay and click today!