Anxious before a climb? It happens to the best of us.
As I write, this I’m hours ahead of flying out for 8 days of riding with the Fireflies. It is an 8 day tour where we cycle from Geneva to Cannes (south of France) and cover over 1,000kms and climb over 3x the height of Mt Everest. This group has been a rock for me over the years, and this year is more important for me to ride with them than ever before.
However, I am anxious about this trip, even though I’ve ridden with this group for years and years.
Of recent, life has come at me in full force: launching a business while working full-time has taken it's toll on my body, my mind and occasionally my spirit. I haven’t trained as much as I usually do for big tours like this. I’ve gained a few kilos. I’m very fatigued and I'm carrying a niggling injury. Some days it’s difficult to find the energy and passion that I know I need to make up the climb. The worry of this tour has loomed over me and I’m not sure I’m fully ready and prepared.
So why am I even riding, if I’m so nervous?
Because I absolutely love this event, this group and the cause. After pushing myself up to the top of those many Cols, I’ll go back down to help someone who is on their first Col ever, to give them encouragement to make it up the mountain. It’s life-changing to conquer your first climb and to watch someone find their inner strength and resilience for the first time is truly touching. I had support on my first climb and I want to pay it forward as much as I can, to inspire more people to love cycling and climbing as much as I do.
And because the mountains call to me, and calm me. Reconnecting with these giants is my way of finding my centre, of reconnecting with what I love to do.
But finally — this year it will be a completely different ride for me. Last year I lost my Step Mum, Linda, to Leukaemia. She was a vibrant and beautiful individual and at 53 years she had so much more to give and to live. She was struck down with Leukaemia and in less than 12 months she was gone. Linda knew I loved riding my bike and she knew how much the Fireflies meant to me. She is why I’ll help the newer riders on the Tour - it’s what Linda would have done.
Even though I am anxious I can’t wait to board that plane and to start this journey (and to keep climbing those mountains).
Alicia will be writing a blog every couple of days on the Fireflies Tour. Stay tuned to read about her journey.
If you'd like to support her ride for Bloodwise, Leukaemia Research charity, please donate here.