Angela Kirwin, 28, Dual Diagnosis Lead – HM Prisons from London, won a place on Deloitte RAB in Outdoor Fitness magazine. It will be her biggest cycling challenge to date. She will be keeping us up to date with preparing for the Ride in a series of blog posts.
Taking a leap of faith…
All my proudest achievements and most memorable moments in life, and in particular in sport and fitness, have started with me taking a leap of faith.
I ran my first marathon because my fitness class were doing one in Vienna and I had massive FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). It had never occurred to me to run that far, but I enthusiastically signed up and trained until I kind of fell in love with running.
When the opportunity came up to go snowboarding, I dutifully headed to the airport and into the Alps and spent the good part of a week sat on my behind until all the lessons finally clicked into place, and I now conquer black runs!
Taking on Land’s End to John O’Groats
I entered Deloitte Ride Across Britain on a similar whim. I’ve been nursing a running injury through last summer and by Autumn it became so severe that I had to stop running all together. I’ve been working with a coach and a physio to build core strength and fix all those long distance running niggles, but the thought of sitting still, of not moving outdoors, was simply not an option.
Why I love outdoor challenges
The mental wellbeing I get from exercise and outdoor fitness is huge. I work with people in prison who have mental health and substance misuse issues. This job really makes me reflect on the importance of looking after my own physical and mental health, but it also gives me increased gratitude for the freedom I have to move through nature.
The training plan… or thus far, the lack of one!
I don’t consider myself a cyclist (I’m an injured runner!) but that makes this even more of an exciting challenge. I’ve no idea how I’ll train. Usually I just move around as much as possible (boxing, swimming, cycling, kayaking, SUP, yoga) to make my weekends climbing mountains, hiking, running and snowboarding as easy and as fun as possible.
I always worry I’ve bitten off more than I can chew when I first start training for these new challenges, but then I remember that the magic always happens outside your comfort zone.