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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Embrace the inner loser in you

About a month ago I was returning home from work on my bike.
It was Friday evening and there was a large group of teenagers gathered on street corner next to some traffic lights I had stopped at.
They were smoking, drinking and the males were jostling for position of 'Alpha status' in front of their female counterparts.
With the lights remaining at red for some time their attention seemed to be distracted to myself.
A 50 year old overweight male dressed in Lycra on a road bike.
With my Head phones covering my ears they may have mistakenly believed that their conversions may not have been registered with me.
Why would they think otherwise in their eyes my age may have also determined that I was also deaf!
One of them turned to his girlfriend and sniggered saying look at that 'fat bastard on the bike', this caused them all to laugh, some instinctively, some through peer pressure.

I am not that sensitive to be effected by the immature posturing of a teenager, but if it had not effected me in some way I would not find myself typing about this incident now. I guess I was a bit hurt.

Yes I do struggle with my weight. In the Winter I am FAT, this winter I got very FAT.
But by the start of the summer I slim down to ensure that I can hold my own in the sportives that I enter.
This year I have given myself a new goal. To trim down, get very, very fit and to maintain that throughout the winter.

So what of these kids.......well my retort was simple.
I removed my sunglasses and fixed the gaze of the offending Neanderthal, and spoke.
My voice was calm and monotone
'When you have finished your fag and supped your cherryade would you like to race me up to the top of Westwood (A local climb) I am happy to wait, maybe your buddies might like to join in too.........(I was now on a roll)
In fact if you want an even chance maybe you could form a relay team, because looking at you, I expect you will be blowing out of your arse after about a hundred yards.

The girls laughed, not at me but at him and their potential suitors.......needless to say nobody took up the challenge.
Last night and 16 lbs lighter i pulled up at the lights again and there was the same group.
They all put up there hands with an appreciative greeting, all apart from the previous 'rude boy' who still looked as sheepish as he did when I last saw him.

Over the next few months I have two major bike rides.
Flat out in the Fens 112 mile sportive on 27th of June In the fenland's of Lincolnshire, and Norfolk.
And Hotter than Hell in Witchita Falls, Texas at the End of August.
The latter is the ride that I will try and peak for, and between now and then I will continue to get fitter and faster and hopefully thinner.
There maybe days I don't want to train and days that I want to depart from my healthy eating schedule.
But as long as I move forward it does not matter.

As Theodore Roosevelt stated 'In the Arena'

It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs,
comes up short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows the great enthusiasms,
the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end
the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those
cold and timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat.
Hotter than Hell 2009 (L to R :- Me, Paddy).


  1. Great response. It's interesting that you seem to have gained some respect from those kids by standing up to them.

  2. Good post and good luck with HnH 100!


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