Riding by Numbers: The long road back to health and fitness

People of a certain age all over the planet may relate to getting to that point in their life where they feel the need to do something positive about their general health and wellbeing. An ‘intervention’ if you like. 

The first time this happened to me I’d just entered my Thirties. University life and active sports were tiny specs disappearing over the horizon in the rear view mirror. I’d settled in to a life of sedentary desk-jockeying. A ‘career’ even. Committing long hours to work and not much else. The bike had been swapped for a car a long time since.

I vividly remember the moment when it all changed for me.  I’d been to visit my goddaughter in Newcastle and we’d been fooling around in the garden. We took some photos. I’d got the photos developed and was looking through them when I paused, staring at one photo in particular, thinking to myself ‘who’s that fat bloke?’. Correct, it was me. I hadn’t recognised myself. Time to do something about it.

New Year’s Eve 2003 I made a drunken pact with a mate - the father of my goddaughter. That summer we would go to watch the Tour de France and we would ride up Alpe d’Huez together. What an adventure that would be!

But having such a scary goal really focussed the mind. For the next few months I lost a ton of weight and in the summer of 2004 I did ride up the Alp all the way to the top, and I’ve not looked back since.

At least not until spring of 2015 and the best part of two years that followed. Now I find myself in a similar position again, if under different circumstances. The road back to health and fitness starts here. In a regular blog feature I will update on my progress, or lack of, as I hope to get myself into good enough shape to compete in a series of time trials and road races through 2017. There will be highs and lows I’m sure. I’m more confident about the lows. But whatever happens I will record my exploits here in a regular feature “Riding by Numbers”. 


Information on GH from The Haemochromatosis Society

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