The Waiting Is Almost Over
Apr 27, 2017
Posted by: Marcus
The waiting is almost over, in less than a week’s time the Three Grand Tours Challenge will be underway. As I sit and write this there’s a mixture of emotions; excitement, nervousness, fear, worry. For so long it has been something to work towards, and yet now the start is almost upon us.
When I began training five months ago the Giro d’Italia was so far in the distance that, in all honesty, I didn’t give it too much thought, focusing instead on the task at hand. Yet with every training session completed it has been another step closer to the start line, and now suddenly we are just a few days away from starting what is going to be an epic challenge.
I have been so focused on training, as well as balancing that with dad, husband and work, that there was little time to think about what lies ahead. But suddenly that’s all that I can think about, and as such the magnitude of the challenge has finally started to sink in, on several levels. First of all the scale of the cycling. I think because it is so big it’s difficult to comprehend at times, and that’s for someone who cycles (a lot) so I can only imagine what it looks like to someone who doesn’t.
It’s easy to real off the numbers when telling people about the challenge; three Grand Tours, almost 11,000km, 66,000m of climbing, 63 days of cycling, but the reality is that’s a huge distance to cover in anybody’s eyes, let alone someone who only started cycling two and a half years ago now. I hate sporting cliches but this really is going to be a case of one day at a time. There will be good days and bad days, sought days and easier days, and with everyone successfully completed it will be one step closer to the goal and arriving in Madrid in September.
The nerves and fear come from not knowing, as no matter how much you build your self-belief, no matter how well prepared you are, there will always be a little voice asking ‘can you really do this?’ Often people let that voice get louder and louder, until eventually they answer they start to doubt themselves so much they don;t even take on the challenge at hand. There’s only one way to answer the question, and it’s to just do it, to take it on and find out if you’re good enough to succeed. I've learnt the hard way that, at any moment in time, when it comes to goals we either have what it takes to succeed, or we don’t. We will either win or learn, and the greatest lessons come from our setbacks.
But, given the meticulous planning of my training from my coach Matt Green, I have no doubt that I am physically ready for the coming challenge. The biggest test will be the mental one, and that’s where the Champions’ Mindset comes in, to be able to implement the techniques that I talk to businesses about and get the job done. I think the biggest mental challenge will be coming to terms with the fact that I will be away from my family for the best part of a month (three times over the course of the summer), which will be just as hard as the cycling.
Harrison (my son) is at an age now, twenty months, where he is developing so quickly and it will be hard missing out on those precious moments. There is so much time to think when you’re on the bike for six, seven and even eight hours a day, and I know there will times where it plays on my mind that I am away from home. For me it comes down to staying focused and remembering why I am doing this challenge, and my family are very much a part of the reason why. I want Harrison to grow up seeing that anything is possible, and to inspire him to always want to push the boundaries in his own life.
There are a few final rides to do this weekend, and then the next tiem I am on my bike will be in Italy riding the Giro d'Italia, words I never thought I would hear myself saying.