Ok, so we are back. Sorry.
We just couldn’t help ourselves.
Since we returned from our adventures a few things have become frighteningly clear and so, as you have been so incredibly generous with your response to our event, we thought it might be good to share some it with you.
If someone had told us before we left to complete our challenge that we would have gained the response that we did – we wouldn’t believe it.
It was, and is, such a beautiful feeling. It makes you realise that what you are doing, the reasons for putting ourselves through so much pain are completely justified.
We aren’t celebrities, in fact we’d never want to be, but hearing people say it has inspired them to either seek better help or to get out of their own comfort zone is an extraordinary feeling.
Now though, it’s reality.
Still, you know that feeling you get sometimes when you come back from being away, that motivation to do something. Well, times that by a hundred and you will understand how determined we are to make a difference.
However, it didn’t take long for the adrenaline to crash from the end of our adventure and the tedious inevitability of the daily routine to hit us – but so it did.
I suppose it was always going to be difficult. It’s like an extreme case of post-holiday blues where you focus on something for so long only for the memories to fade quickly and unceremoniously to leave you feeling flat with an enormous hole left to fill.
For about a year everything we did, every task at work, every conversation with friends, was with our cycling event niggling away at the back of the mind like an attention-seeking child.
As the actual event unfolded and progressed we started to believe in ourselves, partly buoyed on by the reaction from back home and partly due to our growing strength and belief we had in ourselves.
It was all-encompassing.
But without fully immersing ourselves into the task, the focus wouldn’t have been there and our ability to complete the challenge would have been cast into serious doubt.
Every day we lived and breathed cycling; it became the art of getting from a to b with bodies and sanity left intact. If it was indeed an art then we became grand masters.
We aren’t explorers charting unknown territory but the conditions we experienced were a true test of human endurance. I remember reading a couple of football autobiographies when I was younger about England players who had played in the Mexico World Cup in 86′ who described playing in the Mexican heat as the hardest test of their careers. Well, we can concur. We did that, but for ten hours a day.
What now though?
Well, like politicians insistent on an Olympic legacy after London 2012, we are also very enthusiastic about ensuring we carry on our mission.
Without falling foul to a lack of modesty, what we did was extraordinary. I can say that now because we completed the challenge – it was harder than anything we could have imagined.
I will not bore you with any more descriptions of cycling conditions but even now looking back, I just cannot fathom how we managed it.
Anyway, we did it. Now we want a legacy.
Our ultimate aim is to provide other people with the platform and encouragement to do similar feats.
We have our own lofty ambitions and we are not ruling out doing something ourselves again in the future.
However, our attentions are now turning to others. Our mission and our hope is that we can continue to help increase mental health awareness by organising and developing extraordinary challenges for those who taking part in a life-changing journey seems about as far as removed as playing at Wembley.
We fundamentally believe that life has given us a gift: that we are able to push ourselves out of our comfort zone. In doing so, we are able to find within ourselves an inner strength. In points, it’s what we found. Now it’s time for other people to experience it.
The next step though is to document our journey.
However, to keep it relevant we would like to incorporate the daily battles that people all over the UK go through on a daily basis. We want to show the people of this country that mental health issues don’t pick people based solely on circumstance but can effect anyone, irrespective of things such as health, wealth or success.
1 in 4 is a monumentally high number which Morgan and I, as Mind over Matter, are certainly not going to be able to change. However, we can all do our part to help those who suffer, to give them the confidence and the platform to be able to talk openly about their issues.
Our book then will hope to document our recent challenge as well as introduce some people around the UK who have been through their own battles. True heroes in their own right.
We are now on the look out for volunteers. We know what we are asking is a very personal request but I know from my own experiences, the solidarity from other sufferers can go a hell of a long way to alleviating at least some of issues associated with depression and anxiety.
If you are interested, or know someone who might be willing to speak about their issues for a potentially large audience then please email Tommo or Morgan on the addresses below:
For now though we have our memories and scars to remind us that what we did wasn’t just some massive dream. Even if our actual dreams are of continuously being chased by dogs down hot motorways.