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Last week, coinciding with the first week of the summer holidays has been a week of preparation and motivation, mentally for us, physically and mentally for Will as yesterday it was the Ride 100 London-Surrey. This has been months in the planning and preparation. There were the set backs with the crushed bike under a height restriction, the amazing offers of help and support to get him back on the road and then getting used to a new bike too.
I never quite realised how much organisation, and planning would have to go into an event like this, even when you aren’t the one participating! We were fully behind him every step of the way #TeamCogan and my boys were determined that they would be there to cheer their dad on.
And then my car broke down, twice last week.
So we all left at 5:30am to travel with Will into London for the start of his race. Nothing was going to stop us!
I honestly think I was as nervous as Will was before the race, and naturally, I start fussing. Making sure he has everything and then worrying about him biking along the London Roads (I like to find things to worry about!) However, when I saw how many riders were travelling in the same direction as him, safety in numbers and all that, I felt reassured it would be okay, and off he went.
We traveled out to Kingston to watch the race as you get to see them ride past twice there, once at 23 and then again at 85 miles. I was, frankly a bag of nerves. I knew how much this race meant to Will, he had never done anything as big as this before but I had absolute faith that he had the mental and physical strength to get through it.
I am so much better at seeing the strength in others than myself sometimes and that is something that we should all take note of.
He and I know that he would not have got to this point if it hadn’t of been for us all pulling together as a family, motivating and supporting in true #TeamCogan style. When you have children and you commit to doing something as big as this it takes a huge amount of compromise and sacrifice to do what needs to be done, days out as a family, Will’s Sunday morning lie ins, everything was secondary to making sure he was ‘match fit’.
So, standing on the corner with my boys waiting to spot him, all three of us had a vested interest in seeing him and giving him some extra motivation and support.
I continued to have to be the reassuring mum, as my oldest fell apart several times thinking we had missed seeing him. I knew we hadn’t but he just wouldn’t believe me, he wanted to see his dad so much racing on his bike, it was all a bit too much.
What was most humbling for me was seeing how many riders were riding for such a variety of different charities. There were some awesome charity supporters there too, literally standing out there all day cheering thousands of riders on, rewarding their efforts which hopefully boosted them for another few miles.
And we saw Will (I am not sure I could have coped with the fall out if we hadn’t!) and, more importantly, he saw us!
That was enough to put the smiles back on all our faces and I didn’t realise how much adrenaline I had had coursing through me until that moment. I felt like a wrung out dishcloth.
Because it mattered to me that Will did well, it mattered to me that he knew that we were 100% behind him, supporting him.
Because life is not all about us, or our lives. When we support and lift others up to be motivated and follow their dreams, it makes us feel good.
My brother and sister-in-law and two nephews came along later on in the day to support Will too, and #TeamCogan took on a whole new meaning. It is so good to do things for others we care about. Hours spent standing along a road watching literally thousands of cyclists going past with aching legs and tired children.
But we would not have been anywhere else. And after seeing him again at 85 miles when he actually managed to ‘high five’ the children, the sense of pride was indescribable.
And it made me realise that this family support, is really important to my life. And if it is not family, then it is those people who are truly there for you, who lift you up, encourage you, not those who belittle or ignore you achievements, however big or small.
You see, my husband Will has been a stalwart supporter of my business and what I do supporting women who are busy, overwhelmed and needing to give themselves time out. He has looked after the boys whilst I have traveled to workshops, events and whatever is needed to grow and enhance what I offer.
But this was his time, his moment to shine, and boy did he make the most of it. Despite 2 accidents (thankfully ones which he wasn’t involved in) and being held up for almost an hour at one point, he kept his head and his total ride time was just under 6 hours, to do 100 miles!
Words could not express how proud I was of him, and I know this achievement will stay with him for a long time to come.
He has also shown our boys that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to, through demonstrating that he decided he would do this, and he did.
So my message to you today lovely mums is this – what support can you offer to others, take part in to help others to follow their dreams, motivate them and move them forward. It might not be about where you want to be but this experience has taught me that it is not all about you, it is about the support you can give to the other, supportive and caring people in your life. In offering that little bit of time and energy to someone you care about, a gesture of kindness no matter how small, you will feel better, just as you will help the person in question feel good too.
Love Clare x