For about the last four or five years I’ve felt compelled to brag about my achievements….

Is it attention seeking….?

Am I just looking for approval….?

Am I looking for some kind of acknowledgement….?

Could it be that I’m plain and simply showing off….?

I suspect that it’s a combination of all of the above, but then let me ask you all, is it really bragging?

If it is, given where I’ve come from over the last few years because of all of the help and support of my therapy team, haven’t I earnt a certain amount of bragging rights….?

I’d like to think so…..

Could it be that I’m just being repetitive due to my brain injury….? I.e. I’ve forgotten that I repetitively tell people things over & over again? “Absolutely not”.

Or

Isn’t it because I’m so proud of my achievements….? “That’s closer the mark”.

Especially when you consider how bad my life could have been and, it very nearly was.

I’m quietly confident that, had I not chose to change my care arrangements including my entire therapy team, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today.

That I guess we’ll never know…

Whilst I’ve been able to find my new normal, I’ve also been able to find my identity again.

What does that mean exactly….?

From about the age of 8 years old I was a high achiever….

I used to swim for Calder Valley School of Swimming at a place called Todmorden in Shade Baths.

Breaststroke and Butterfly was my forte.

At the age of 9 I swam for Calderdale County…..

Having been relatively successful I decided to move to a more competitive swimming club called Rochdale Acquabears.

After about a year of swimming with them I soon realised that I wasn’t that good after all, certainly not good enough to go for gold so, I decided to take up cricket, largely because my grandad, my dads father Arthur Booth had already been the world’s number 1 left hand spin bowler.

“If your interested you can read all about him in a book called Purple Patches”.

I played cricket for a while before I got bored of that….

I then played rugby but, I was never really big enough or, good enough to take it seriously.

Therefore, because I hated football with a passion it only really left Cross Country running and Athletics.

Where running is concerned, I became so quick that none of the other pupils in the whole school could keep up with me, so I used to run with the biology teacher called Mr. Shultz, he would put me through my paces thats for sure.

From the age of 13, I’d taken up competitive cycling, riding for a cycling club called Todmorden CC. I remember like it was yesterday, I entered my first ever 10 mile time trial. I remember rocking up at the start line of Whaley CC’s event on the Clitherow bypass in Lancashire one Saturday afternoon not really knowing what to do.

“I recorded a time of 27:04”, 27 minutes and 4 seconds.

I kept getting quicker and quicker until I was regularly riding sub 22 minute 10 mile time trials and sub 54 minute 25 mile time trials.

Then at the age of 17 I represented Manchester, riding in races such as The Junior Tour of IreLand before making The British National Squad.

It should come as no surprise that, by the age of 25 I ran my first and only London Marathon, recording a very respectable time of 3:38:21.

It was soon after that I discovered my passion for motorbikes, when I used to race for North Gloucester.

The rest as they say is history…..

Now I’m public speaking to the masses, even during the pandemic. Whilst I’m not travelling to places, I am still delivering a number of online talks via things like Zoom.

In fact I’ve just taken bookings for talks with Headway London and Ramsdans Solicitors.

As your all aware, about 20 months ago I also returned to cycling, well triking.

I’m not going to real off all of our achievements again because, that would be repetitive.

What I will say is our cycling goals throughout 2021 will be plentiful and, even tougher than last year.

Ian & I still need to plan what 2021 might look like. However, we already have the Poppy Ride which, is a 136km charity ride on a Sunday, 16th May and is round the roads of Staffordshire.

We also have the LEJOG although Ian and I was taking about it yesterday and, I think that the general consensus is that we do the JOGLE instead.

It’s still 937 miles from John ‘O’ Groats to Lands-end no matter how you look at it…

If I come across as being repetitive then I must apologise.

However, I think that theirs a fundamental difference between being repetitive or, being proud.