Day eight: A day off! Time to work, rest and play…
While my body was grateful for the rest and I thoroughly enjoyed the reassuring company of family and friends who had come up to West Kirby for the day – my mind was still partially on the day ahead. I was conscious, however, that the challenge had been frontloaded, in terms of physical difficulty, so I was more positive than ever of completing the course. Getting the hard stuff out of the way early on has always served me well in work and life, and usually paves the way for a more positive, more confident finish.
That was not to say that there wouldn’t be difficulties ahead. I knew that there would and that not every day was going to turn out as perfect as yesterday – but the forward-planning had put me in a good place.
The big boost to your energy is seeing those you love!
So, day eight was my first rest day, and it was made all the more special by being able to spend it with Penny and the children. Of course, I enjoyed telling Penny how sensible I had been by choosing to avoid the Severn crossing – not that the disappointment was still ringing constantly around in my mind like a distant faulty car alarm or anything. The children were just happy to see their Dad and likewise it was great to be with them all again.
Anne and Mark Consedine also came up for the day too, and it was good to be able to share more details of the journey so far with great friends and supporters of our endeavours. Anne, in particular, had been responsible for a lot of the fabulous PR we had generated for the challenge, as well as helping with the planning. It was a very relaxing day which, as a result of the people around me, turned into a mini-celebration of the story so far. But there was still a bit of work to do.
In between talking, laughing and enjoying the company of friends, having a well-earned massage and carrying out a bit of bike maintenance, there was some re-planning that needed my attention.
Even in rest, your mind can play a major role in working smarter…
When you run a small business, you never really stop. It is essential to have time off, holidays, rest days and a healthy home-life, but a tiny piece of you is always working. Even if it is just the awareness to spot opportunities, the clear-mindedness to solve long-lasting problems, or the distance to see the bigger picture with more clarity – your time off can be super-valuable.
Although I had been meticulous in my eighteen months of planning, prior to the event, nothing was ever going to be quite like the real thing. I had learned a huge amount in those first seven days: about myself, my equipment, the transitions, timing, distance, and the environment. It was experience and data that would serve me well for the rest of the challenge, and today (my rest day) was the perfect opportunity to build some of this information into the plan for the days to come. So I did!
While it had been lovely to see my friends and family, it was perhaps all the harder to say goodbye. Simon was also leaving that day and the thought of facing the next few days on the road alone was not one I enjoyed considering. But the rest had been welcome, and I was about to head North into the unknown…