Shaking the Grass

In search of solace..

2016 was to be my return to fitness. It was to be a season packed full of physical endeavour that would see me free myself from the layers of excess accumulated from languishing in my comfort zone. A season in which my commitment to training would match the focus displayed by those I coach. A season in which I would rediscover my  inner steel.


That was the aspiration, the dream.

The reality was a series of setbacks and disappointments. These included some broken ribs, spells in the back of ambulances with hypothermia, a lost bike and pounds (lbs) gained rather than lost. All set against the declining health of my father as his dementia worsened until his death in August.

In truth a year that left me feeling battered, dazed and in need of solace.

After an extended period of reflection and introspection I am emerging from my stupor and I have set myself some targets for 2017. These include two cycle based events & one stage- run, all based in the Pyrenees. 

My riding will take me around the roads, lanes and trails of Surrey & Hampshire. It will take me to the cols of Mallorca. It will culminate in two crossings of the Pyrenees, the first on the Spanish side as a participant in TransPyr backroads and the second on the French side as a participant in the Raid Pyrenees. These rides will help me ride away from the noise and confusion of life.   

The Pyrenean stage run will keep me honest.  


The events & my personal redemption be in honour of my dad who throughout his life made a positive difference to people through his kindness & selflessness.  I will also use them to raise monies for dementia research.  


I will share details of my progress on this blog & in due course provide a Just Giving link for donations for dementia research. Thank you for reading. 

3 Comment(s)

I wish you well my friend. Your parents have always been special people and 2017 will be a fitting tribute to your Dad

Terry / 17-Dec-2016 06:47 PM

I have written myself a training plan & have completed the opening sessions. My journey has begun. Ian

Anonymous / 02-Jan-2017 05:51 PM

When I wrote this piece I was full of hope that by re-engaging with my own training I would emerge from the darkness that shrouded much of last year. In truth I have struggled.

A short period of structured training temporarily lifted my spirits & reminded me of the physical & mental benefits of exercise. I lost a few kgs, became a little quicker on the bike, suffered less on the climbs & smiled a bit more :)

Unfortunately I allowed something, & I cannot remember what, to knock me off course & I have struggled since. The kgs lost have been regained (& probably a few more), my fitness has stagnated & I am increasingly ill at ease with myself.

At times I have also let the pursuit of the 'perfect' bicycle & or bike set up interfere with the pleasure of simply pedalling.

Despite these set backs when I have got out it's been positive. I have enjoyed the company & non- competitive nature of the group 'gearsandtears' runs & rides & I loved being back in Mallorca this spring.

My imminent return to the Pyrenees won't be in the shape or condition I had envisaged but I am looking forward to catching up with friends & the views afforded by the Pyrenees as I cross Spain.

In football parlance, I hope I will be able to 'kick on' when I return from this trip. Time will tell. One thing I am sure of is that the track I take is unlikely to be smooth or straight.

Take care,


Anonymous / 03-Jun-2017 06:54 PM

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