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The times they are changing

August 18, 2011

So I thought I’d put up another update as the ride is almost here. I know I’m posting a lot on here but I’m getting quite into the blog and it gives me a neat little record of my mindset, thoughts etc. When it’s all done and dusted I’ll hopefully be able to look back on this blog and recall what I went through.

So the last few days have been pretty eventful in a variety of ways. Life continues to be a stressful time. I keep telling myself it’s all in a good way but every now and then it doesn’t stop it getting on top of me!

On Monday, Em and I went along to a meet the ref night with Wayne Barnes organised by the KSM (a Gloucester rugby supporters group.) Wayne was doing a leg of the Land’s End to John O’Groats ride to raise money for an amazing woman named Melanie Jaggard. Wayne is currently in the midst of preparing for the rugby world cup and was doing the ride at risk of injury, without a care for it doing it for a great cause.

Wayne was great value, very entertaining and informative, I really enjoyed the evening. I’m also currently winning on the bidding for a signed Gloucester match ball which is an added bonus! More on the night and the charity can be found here:

http://www.ksmglos.org/

You can also support the ride by donating at:

http://www.justgiving.com/end2end4acc

The rest of the week has been manically busy. I’m coming up to a week left at my current job and the pressure is on to get everything done and dusted in time for my start. I was invited to a new staff induction day and academic conference at Weston College before my official start but sadly can’t get time off to go. This is making me more eager to start the new job I really want to get cracking on it.

Tuesday we had a contact session at training and I loved every minute of it! I love the battle in rugby, the physicality and the skill. I can’t wait for the season to start, although our first game is against Longlevens the day before my bike ride next week. As tempted as I am to play, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to play with a 100 mile bike ride to do the next day!

Wednesday was touch rugby and sadly another frustrating loss. I feel like I’ve let the team down this year, the effort has been amazing and everyone has tried so hard, they really deserved more wins. I just don’t know if I’ve been effected as a captain, I don’t feel a natural leader, I’m hardly what you’d call inspiring. I do think this is changing though, I’m much more vocal playing rugby now and try hard to be positive. It worries me about the new job what with being a team leader, and it’s a challenge I need to rise to quickly. I have one last game on Monday to try and get us another win. I’ll miss touch when the season is over and hoping I can stay involved when I do move away.

My housemate told the WI we were moving out today. I’ll be homeless come end of September and be staying at my parents till me and Em can sort out a place. I really hope Em gets some luck soon. Not because I want to move in with her (I do) but because she tries so hard and it seems so unfair that its not paid off for her yet. (I’m sure it will) The thought of being 30 in October and moving home is a depressing one. But it’s the situation I’m in and I’ll deal with it as best I can. Hopefully it won’t be to long till I’m in a nice flat, with Em, writing a blog like this.

All week I’ve been trying not to think about it, but the bike ride Sunday looms away. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous but I’ve prepared as much as I can. Looking at the route profile, it looks like a few steep, short climbs at the start, to get warmed up. Then about 30 km in a long steep one. After that it levels out with a lot of downhill till 90 km in. After that the tough Breacon climb hits then its downhill to just before the finish with a short tough climb.

I keep worrying that this ride will expose me; show I don’t have what it takes. That people will look at me and think “he hasn’t got what it takes to do the ride in May.” Then I’ll be hit with a defiant confidence that retorts “fuck you I’ll do this!” I’m pretty sure I’ll do it, not in any spectacular fashion, but a slow and steady pace. As I’ve said before I can’t quit as I have to make dad proud.

I’m not setting a time, and hoping to break it down into sections, there is a rest and feed stop 50KM so I’m not looking past that. Then I’ll think about the 22km to the next feed stop. Then the 77km to the next feed stop. Then it’s on to the finish. If I break it into sections I’m hoping it’ll be manageable. It’ll be a long day. I need to be on the road to Welshpool at 5 in the morning so I can arrive and start at 7. I want to hit that road early to give myself as long as possible. I have till 7 to get to Caerphilly to make the last shuttle bus back to my car. So I have 12 hours, let’s hope its long enough.

I’ve a huge checklist to go through and to make sure I’m ready. I need to go through it Saturday. But I’m prepared, not I just have to do it…..

As always I’m ending with a link to my sponsorship page. I ask for money a lot I know but if people can spare anything at all this week it would mean a lot to me; I need all the encouragement I can get to go through Sunday, I know it’ll be tough but knowing its all helping Winston’s wish will make the pain worthwhile:

http://www.justgiving.com/russell-brookes

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