Friday 3 August 2012

What do you do once you've carried the Olympic Flame?

So what on earth do you do to top carrying the Olympic Flame?

Answer: Don't bother trying, unless you're going to be a future Olympian!

The real answer, you try and come down from the high of doing it, savour it, honour the faith in your nomination to do it and use the torch as a force for good.

So how will that work?

Well I guess I could have stopped the blog on the high of carrying the Olympic Flame, having my Olympic Torch to look at to inspire me, taken it on a tour to try and inspire others. But it's not within me, not to aim for more - my personal best.
This is the start of a new chapter in the life of the Epileptic Ultra Cyclist. When there is more to do, more importantly, when there is more I feel I can do, I don't want to look back and say, "maybe I didn't give my best?" Or "what if?"

I always felt I was a flash in the pan in relation to the Olympic Torchbearer honour, but I want to satisfy myself that I was never going to be that kind of Olympic Torchbearer. Partly for my own personal targets, but also because I have the opportunity to do something with my bike for Epilepsy awareness and I would never want to throw that away.

Charities in this country don't have the budget for big PR campaigns, positive campaigns as apposed to bad press about Epilepsy related deaths of children of high profile individuals.
There are a handful of amazing role models, of which I am never likely to be able to ever emulate, but I can do something - and something is worth the effort.

The new chapter for me now, is a 2 year £60,000 project, of cycling records, cycling firsts, extreme endurance, finding sponsors and finance, a huge amount of training without jeopardising my job and finally being able to say: "If someone with Epilepsy can cycle 3000 miles in less than 2 weeks, then why can't they have a desk job?"

Epilepsy is a very bespoke condition, but every sufferer shares a common enemy of the condition's stigma. Getting rid of that, would make life so much easier for people with Epilepsy.
- For my friends, for people I constantly meet with the condition and ultimately it will come to pass I believe, that people with Epilepsy can show their true colours.

There's no way I could single handedly tackle the stigma across the world, but even if it saves one person's life who may have died from SUDEP, that it allows one employer to see the light re the condition and allow one person with Epilepsy to flourish...

Then that sounds pretty good to me.