A friend of mine (he knows who I'm talking about but let's just call him MrX), has been fishing for some praise lately as he claims to be the original stimulus for me getting into cycling. MrX believes that he is responsible for where I am today and that I owe him some thanks.
Well, he is correct, in some ways.
I will admit that MrX was the one that made me realize that I had let myself go by 'permitting' me to go for a run with him after many requests and watching me struggle for air in the gutter 3km down the road.
I will admit that MrX was the one watching a triathlon on TV that fateful day that my wife saw the handsome Courtney Atkinson exit the water and laugh at the thought of me finishing a race.
I will admit that MrX made me want to ride my bike and get fitter but it was indirectly. He made me want to ride my bike in the same way a teenage kid wants to prove their parents wrong or in the same way falling off a horse is supposed to make you want to get back on again.
When I sold my car and purchased my first road bike, I asked, nay, begged MrX to allow me to go for a ride with him but he came up with so many excuses...
'Tomorrow's ride will be a bit too fast for you. Next time though.'
'I have to sprints off the bike tomorrow.'
I'm just riding into work tomorrow.'
It is only now that I realize that it was for my own good. That MrX was putting me through the school of Hard Knocks. What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger.
I used the rejection to ride my bike every day. To train harder and harder so that one day, I may come back and hand MrX's ass to him on a silver platter.
So, MrX, I thank you! I wouldn't be where I am today without you!!