How time flies

Has it really been over two years since my last post on this blog site? Yikes.

Since I finished the round the world race, I felt that perhaps I didn’t have anything “worthwhile” or “exciting” to share. And there are rather a lot more spokes than spinnakers at the moment.

This year, it appears that I’ve ridden, rather than sailed, almost 5,000 kilometres, of which 54,000m has been ‘up’. That’s sort of the equivalent distance of six times up Mount Everest. Before I competed in the Round the World Yacht race, I’d ridden about 3,000km to this point in the year. I did another Etape du Tour aka the amateur stage of the Tour de France in 2016 and then again this year as well as riding in the London Prudential 100 mile event.

In my first year back after the race I really didn’t want to do anything that stretched me physically and mentally. I shied away from anything that was, as I saw it, a challenge. I was tired, exhausted even and didn’t “need” anymore challenges.

How the pendulum has swung since then.

A friend of mine told me that the London 100 was an ‘event’ and not a “race”, at which I screwed up my face and thought, “hmmm, what does that mean?”. A little bit like the quizzical look I had when talking about what I would be doing during 2013/14, and some people would have a different interpretation entirely (to me) of what it was. The clue of what I was embarking upon was in the title. Simple and clear, a “round the world yacht race” – obviously…..!

A lot of what has happened since the race has got me thinking about the meaning of the language that we use (that I use), and its impact on others (and on myself). I’ve spoken to groups about my learning from the race experience, my preparation for the race and my experiences since returning, focusing on how we choose to do things, or not as the case may be. One of the people who inspired me, when asked about what she did, says that she, “sailed around the world” whereas my description of exactly the same event is, “I competed in a round the world yacht race”.

When I thought about continuing with this blog, I was struck with questions to myself about whether people would still be interested in hearing from me.

Just that sentence with the words, ‘struck with’ makes me take a step back. Was I actually hit with a question? Of course not, yet, the word ‘strike’ suggests to me, being hit, and in that happening, stepping back (or being pushed back). And that is in fact what has happened, what I allowed to happen. I’ve stepped back from doing what I love doing – writing, and sharing my ‘thinking out loud’ moments.

What are the words that you use most frequently and how do they impact how you think and act?

I’ve had so many exciting moments and quite a few not so exciting moments since Christmas 2014 – think time stuck in the doldrums kind of moments. I’d like to re-kindle my love of writing and thinking out loud, and take some time over the next few weeks, or maybe longer, to share with you some of the “what happened next” episodes to “spinnakers and spokes”.

So here’s to raising the spinnaker once more, to heading downwind in a leisurely, cruising kind of way. The sun is shining; the birds are gliding above us, perhaps even Trevor the pigeon will reappear on deck. Remember the smell of fresh made bread as the dawn breaks, with the dolphins leaping, leaving behind glowing silver phosphorescent streaks in the still waters of the ocean.

Those words and the images they evoke leave me with a sense of calm.

Here’s wishing you all a peaceful, calm week ahead.




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