Early this week I went to a talk by Sir Ranulph Fiennes in Malvern, where he talked about his life and pathway to being recognised as the Worlds Greatest Explorer. His education, early days in the army and SAS then how he, with minimal funding and support, set out on journeys you would never imagine possible, always looking for that adventure that would set another world record. What was most interesting was the importance he put on what sort of person he had on his team, to him the most important quality was not previous experience but their motivation, without the right motivation and desire his, and their adventure would fail.
That inspirational talk couldn’t have put me in a better place for Friday when I met 13 other riders from the Tour 21 Team ‘Class of 22’ for the first time. I think they would all pass Sir Ranulph’s motivation test, none of us are experts in cycling, put us in a race and it is likely we would finish at the back, but each of us ready to put in work in training in preparation for our own personal adventure, all determined to finish in Paris and all determined to raise the £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia.
We met at St Georges Park, the Football Associations National Football Centre, with Gamechanger Performance putting us through various routines to assess our fitness. But it was not just about physical fitness and conditioning, we had a session on Muscular skeletal profiling and talks on nutrition and phycology. In the same way Sir Ranulph prepares for his expeditions Cure Leukaemia are making sure we also have every opportunity to prepare for our challenge.
With talks from Cure Leukaemia about how important this fundraising event is to them it was a full on day, loads to take in and learn from. At the end of a day like that you could be daunted by what lies ahead, but the support and organisation that Cure Leukaemia are putting together mean we can concentrate on those bits that really matter – riding our bikes and our fundraising.
It was a great opportunity to meet some of the other riders on the team, each of us with different backgrounds, each with different reasons for riding in the Tour 21 team. As I look back to that talk in Malvern I realise how important preparation is, how much you rely on the members of your team, and how vital is is to have the right support. The ‘Class of 22’ have a long road, as we start to come together as a team we can learn from each other and build into a strong unit, which has the support of the Cure Leukaemia family.