MY 1ST RECYCLE YOURSELF BLOG
So I've never really ever wrote a blog post so this will be my first, to be honest, I don't really know what a blog post is. Now I've wrote articles, press releases, hundreds of CV's, a few crappy poems however never a blog.
But, it's very almost a year since the worst 4 hours of my life happened, and that's saying something when prior to that I'd had to survive the death of my Mum (to a brain aneurysm) when I was 25 and she was only 44.
So anyway on February 18th 2018 was the day I last lost my marbles so to speak and was the moment that I decided to Recycle Myself and this start my Recycle Yourself Campaign.
When I started this I never intended it to become anything like the RyanRides adventures that it has become. I didn't set out with the intention of people calling me an inspiration or to become a 'mental health campaigner', I didn't want to be a fundraiser or an awareness raiser, or a cycling advocate for that matter, I just started cycling 50 miles every day for 50 days in the hope that I could reinvigorate my still only recently discovered passion for cycling, and that I could find a way to put my troubled past behind me and in my own way Recycle Myself from a depressed, often suicidal, drinking, smoking loser in to someone that could be proud and happy within himself, and I recorded it on my Facebook & Instagram pages as proof, to log the places that I had visited whilst cycling and as a reminder of that I could achieve if I put my mind to something.
However, as I did that and I got mentally and physically stronger I was inspiring people, I was helping others and it was helping me so I pushed on to where we are today.
Recycle Yourself is now getting recognition as a philosophy of exercise, inparticularly cycling, being a format of well-being. I've been on TV, on the Radio, in local and national newspapers, I've done talks at schools, businesses, a prison and at functions as well as sharing my story in a number of website articles.
I'm, I believe the 2nd fastest person ever (after Nick Sanders) to have cycled the entire 4800 miles of Britains coastal roads, the quickest recorded on Strava and I raised money and awareness for Mind, the mental health charity in the process of what I called RyanRidesAroundBritain.
And finally for now, in July this year embarking on cycling Across Europe from Nordkapp to Tarifa following the route of the great Guinness World Record making and breaking cycling legend that is Lee Fancourt (Ridgway), and for his mental health fund that will hopefully help future cyclists in their own cycling projects in the future and raise further funds and awareness for Mental Health causes.
Oh, not finally because the fundraising clothes range are coming along too. So, as you might gather I've gone, and it's gone so much further than I ever expected it to, but its exciting now and positive which is such a difference to that night in February when I was stood on the tracks facing down a Keighley to Skipton train.
The reason for me writing this blog now is because for the first time in my life I feel mostly happy and content with myself, I feel confident in my ability to deal with my mental health, and despite still having a few aspects of my life that I want to improve (mostly getting to see my son again, who I've not seen since just prior the that February night) I can't see myself returning to the dark days that I have experienced previously.
Through cycling and talking openly about my mental health and behavioural challenges I have, to not use the Recycled Myself term, but I have not even re-discovered myself, but almost found a brand new me.
Today I sit here poles apart from the man I was a year ago when I felt like I had nothing to live for and my brain could justify my suicude entirely.
Now I have great relationships with all of my close family, I've some amazing close friends that are supportive of me and I am to them. I've got people spread around the country (if not the world) that I can now count as friends, and I have a girlfriend that allows me to be me. She knows I'm a crazy cyclist, she knows that she will have to deal with my mad challenges and shes fine with that and so are her parents (which is a big bonus). All this has been built on the solid foundations that cycling and talking have developed.
Now you might say how has cycling done anything? And that I did all that myself! And yes that's true but cycling builds character, it's aids mental strength through pushing your physical and mental boundaries, it produces serotonin through exercise that improves mood and appetite, and because I'm exercising I have a regular sleeping pattern and thus I'm refreshed and ready for each day instead of being tired, lethargic and borderline depressed because I can't be arsed moving of the sofa.
Some people might get sick of me going on about it but until you can understand how low I was to be stood on the train tracks to the now present me being capable of cycling thousands of miles, being happy with my life and by talking and cycling also being able to provide hope, help, strength, positivity and wellbeing awareness to support other mental health and suicide survivors, not to mention inspire other cyclists are things that because of my experiences I am proud to be able to do.
Helping people find a way to cope with their Mental Health is something I am passionate about and I'm extremely grateful for the support I receive through my cycling to be able to get this across and raise funds and awareness of some great charitable causes, and I suppose for that I must say THANK YOU to everyone that has been involved in my Recycle Yourself Campaign, whether you are in my life now or you passed through, you've all had an impact, enough of an impact for me to write this today.
And as my finishing note for this first blog in going to say
"YOU CAN DO ANYTHING ON YOUR OWN BUT TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THAT HELP IS EVERYWHERE IN BRITAIN IF YOU LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU NEED IT.