Back to training and the arrival of the bike!!

Hi

I’m just back from a ride on my new bike. Yes, I have finally gotten hold of my new TT bike for triathlons! It is beautiful! I have to say huge thank you to Athletes Services of Henley-on-Thames who assembled the bike (with a bit of amateur help from me) and provided fantastic encouragement when, quite honestly, I was a bit nervous about getting on a time Trial bike. I know that seems ridiculous, but I’m used to drop bars on road bikes so extending oneself down onto the bars like a pro cyclist felt alien. However, I think I’m getting the hang of it. In fact, I know I am and the miles are just flying by!

It is been an incredible seven days. Beginning the week with the news that my doctor suspects I have a stress fracture of my right tibia was not good. I’m still waiting for the MRI scan date but I’m confident that I will be in full form for the Challenge Henley Triathlon in September. So, getting the bike sorted was an imperative. I have to say thanks to Tim from CompresSport who kindly let me use his road bike in the interim. It’s amazing that when you need help you can always count on your friends! So the beginning of the week was bike building mixed with a heavy dose of swimming; coached by Russ Cox.

Midweek became completely surreal. As I mentioned last blog, I received a letter inviting me for an audience with the Pope; courtesy of the efforts of my friend Roberto. Thanks mate! So, on Tuesday morning I flew out to Rome with my brother Jon. This was a good opportunity to catch up with my brother whom I don’t see enough of, and we had a good laugh. Getting to Rome was easy. Taking the taxis was like playing Russian roulette! Both of us agreed that taxi drivers in Rome would either make the best Formula One drivers in the world or the best getaway drivers! I have to say they demonstrated amazing skill, insane courage, and remarkable multitasking whilst being incredibly scary and fun at the same time.

The trip was to see the Pope. Now I don’t mind what people think, whether it’s not their religion, or that they’re not religious at all. For me, to be in the presence (by invitation) of one of the most powerful people on the planet, having your name read out and then being blessed by the head of the Roman Catholic Church is quite something. I’d like to think that this is an incredible validation of my efforts to raise funding for and awareness of Parkinson’s for the 10MillionMetre campaign. Either way, it was huge encouragement and one which I am truly grateful for.

So the return from Rome was back to work, training and my wedding anniversary weekend. The weekend was great save for a couple of occasions when I did jazz hands at the waiters in the restaurant of the hotel that Aurélie and I were staying in. I don’t think they noticed but even if they did they didn’t say anything. I just sat there with my hand grasping my thigh and hoping that the tremors would pass and not ruin the occasion. It does frustrate me but I’m learning to control the stress that comes with tremor and Parkinson’s symptoms. You see, stress makes your symptoms worse when you have PD. The problem is that when you become stressed your PD gets worse and so you become more stressed and so the PD gets worse again, and the problem becomes one great big cycle. I’m getting better at breaking the cycle. It won’t cure my PD but socially it’s better, for now.

That’s it for now. Just remember to keep a positive mental attitude. As positive mental attitude equals positive performance and positive performance makes change happen!

Make change happen to yourself and others today. Keep moving!!

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