"Stuff it" I said, "I've had enough. I don't want to feel like this anymore".
I know there's others out there reading this that have either in the past, presently today or will in the future feel just like I did.
Some of you will know that I'd indeed said this a million times before and subsequently failed but this time, there was no other option. I was ready to change the direction of my life and I now I had the catalyst to do it.
It was the 5th of January 2013, I was 31 years old, weighed 110kgs getting heavier each week and was deeply unhappy with where my so called "normal life" was leading.
The vest didn't fit anymore. It had though just 6 weeks before and the signs were beginning to show that my body could no longer handle the torturous life I was inflicting on it.
Yes admittedly that night was a great night filled with plenty of drinks, some dancing and fun with friends but after I recovered for a couple of days, Tuesday January 8th was the first day of my new life. This meant no more drinking, no more partying, regular exercise and healthy food.
In just a short three and a half months later, I was a new man. Totally transformed in every possible way physically, emotionally and most importantly mentally.
So let's fast forward a few years after I'd completed some ironman triathlons, an ultraman triathlon and a dozen other things, to where I am today.
Day #27 of 79 of Ride Around Oz 2016. I'm in a place called Adelaide River in the Northern Territory and after having completed my first major goal of the trip by cycling to Darwin, I'm reflecting on my experiences so far and luckily am actually looking forward to the remainder of the ride and what's to come.
My thinking has changed so much even over the past 4 weeks since leaving Sydney. We as human beings were created with eyes on the front of our heads not on the back and if we look back for too long all you'll really do is get a stiff neck.
This is especially true when you're on your bike for up to 12 hours a day. Your neck starts to remind you quickly that it's much easier to focus on the road ahead rather than looking back at the past and worrying about things that have happened or what you've done.
This adventure, this ride, this new life experience is teaching me new things everyday and I cannot wait for the road that lies ahead. It's hot, it's humid, there's road trains, grey nomads and backpackers and I love it. Everyday is a new challenge, a new reason to ride, a new destination, new friends, new supporters and a new home for the night.
So many thoughts go through my head on an hourly or daily basis on the bike. What will we do when we get back? How am I going to earn a income? Where will we live? This one in particular has had me thinking of many different countries and different places even in our own country here in Australia having now had the opportunity to see our own country, slowly by bike that is.
There are times particularly early in the morning where I don't see a vehicle for up to 2 hours, just me, my bike and a variety of different animals from horses, to snakes, to kangaroos and cows. You think so clearly and can't hear a thing apart from the rustle in the bush from something, the sound of your wheels hitting the wind or the noise of an approaching car or road train which can be up to 2-3 minutes away. Your sense of hearing and smell is heightened so much without the typical smells and sounds of a big city. I can smell different flowers and shrubs, the difference between petrol and diesel cars and the unmistakable smell of upcoming road kill. I'll never forget this part. Depending on the wind condition you can sense the upcoming rotting flesh of a poor animal for hundreds of metres and it's not a nice smell at all.
So hitting my first goal I set as part of the big picture is a huge achievement for me. Without any major setbacks we have battled through some rough weather conditions, leaving my bike outside the van as we drove off one afternoon and getting the van bogged in the middle of nowhere on the Barkly Highway in rural QLD.
If someone had suggested we'd get in and out of Darwin relatively unscathed and having lost 6kgs I would've taken it. I know the road ahead will have some major challenges. The heat alone is enough to cause some serious issues not only playing with my body and mind but all of the equipment and indeed the van.
My mindset is so focused on the task ahead for the remaining 52 days on the road that I believe 100% we have what it takes to overcome any challenge. If it gets too hot, we can change when we ride, if it gets too windy we can ride it out in a more conserved manner.
If someone had grabbed me on that day in January 2013 and told me that in 3.5 years I'd be riding a bike from Sydney to Darwin as part of a journey and fundraising effort of riding around Australia, I would have simply laughed.
The message here is this; where you ultimately want to be has zero relevance to where you are right now. With the right values, the right goal, a solid plan, the right team and the determination to work hard and make it happen, you can achieve anything. Make today your own 'day in January' where you're ready to change now. Find one thing that will lead you to your dream. That thing you've always thought impossible, too hard or what other people do. Have a crack at it. Make a change that will move you just one step towards it. Find that thing that makes your eyes light up and your heart sing and do that.
I believe we are only ever chasing two things as humans, one is love and the second happiness. If you genuinely love what you do each day you'll usually find happiness.
Go get em tiger!
If you'd like to support my campaign and make a donation to Youth Off The Streets please click on the button below.
I'd also like to thank my sponsors whom which I could not have even contemplated doing Ride Around Oz 2016 without them. They all have amazing products which I can honestly say that I use every day and which literally keeps me on the road.
ONTHEGO SPORTS: Custom designed cycling kits including bib knicks, jerseys, rain jacket, wind vest & winter jacket. Get customising here.
THE BIKE ESTABLISHMENT: Bianchi steed.
TEMPLE NUTRITION: Wholefood plant based sports nutrition products including Naturafuel, Naturalyte, Revive Recovery and Pea & Rice Protein. Check out their sports products here.
KURANDA GLUTEN FREE: Wholefood gluten free nut bars, chia bars & energy bars with nothing else except real ingredients. Buy their products online here.
NO LIMITS ENDURANCE COACHING: Top notch endurance sports coaching with proven results. Check out their services here.
ACTIVE BODY PHYSIOTHERAPY: Massage and physio services.
VISION PERSONAL TRAINING: Personal training services from a business that prides itself on providing a professional and results driven service with a small group personal feel.
POWER CREATIVE: Video production services including our Bon Voyage Send Off Event footage complete with 24hr edit and production turn around. Check out their video portfolio here.
RT SCREEN PRINTING: Print services including Ride Around Oz trucker hats and campervan sponsor stickers.
INSIGHT INTELLIGENCE GROUP: Professional intelligence services.