I have been pretty active for most of my life. When I was young, we went orienteering as a family, and as a teenager I began to take running more seriously, competing in cross country competitions. Aged 17, encouraged by one of my teachers, I bought my trusty road bike. This was a revelation and sparked my love affair with cycling – going fast on British roads and rolling round foreign climes.
After a gap year which catalysed my love of travelling I got into triathlon in a big way at university.
For years, I had dreamt of an epic cycle adventure, but it was always in “the future”. “The future” has abruptly become “now”.
When I found out I had cancer, exercise was vital for me to keep on living positively and healthily. I read everything I could about my cancer and realised that just rolling over and being institutionalised wasn’t the answer – there were things I could do to make my dream happen, and also to improve my chances – what did I have to lose? This attitude has helped me enormously, I know it will help other CanLivers too.
Exercise has given me physical and mental strength. Without this, I wouldn’t have been able to undertake and complete my Master’s at the University of Oxford whilst undergoing chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.
I know it can often feel tough, but I also know that persevering is more than worth it.
Exercise helped me so much – to stay strong during treatment, to keep a positive mindset, to sustain self-belief that I could get through this and attempt even bigger challenges.
Exercise was so important for me and now I want to share this message with as many people as possible: young individuals with cancer, and others who are facing difficult challenges.
This ride is the best way I can think to do this.
Now pull on your trainers, hop on your bike and get outside.