I have finally worked out what is the best thing to get me into shape and fully charged and ready to cycle 325km for charity.

Preparing to cycle this distance in a very limited time is not easy, but I am doing my best.

So, if I cycle to work in the morning, go for a lunchtime run and visit the gym on the way home from the office in the evening? Maybe it is to blast around my living room to my numerous Insanity Workout DVDs?

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In fact none of the above is really going to happen. Surrounding yourself with inspiring people who have done some truly remarkable things is simultaneously uplifting and also wonderful for placing certain challenges firmly in perspective. If you’ve followed my blog so far you’ll see I have been doing precisely that by talking to history-making endurance athlete Ness Knight and Pro Triathlete and unbeaten Ultra Runner Alice Hector.

And an amazing triumvirate is completed by Joey Bull. Joey is a world renown fitness trainer, a 4 x UK Fitness Champion, author, presenter and writer. She is also a former Adventure Athlete who has swum seas, scaled some of the planet’s highest peaks, paddled the remotest rivers and raced through 500km of the densest Borneo jungle.

Stunning achievements, but her real accomplishments have been enduring, getting over and pushing through serious injury and shattering personal tragedy. Nothing is more inspiring than people, and the incredible WatchFit Expert family is bursting with the most impressive folks from all over the world. I have to pinch myself that I can genuinely call these people contacts, colleagues, associates, collaborators and friends!

Reality check with Joey Bull

Joey was very clear about the situation ahead. “It is Wednesday, you set off on Friday. If you have not physically prepared for this, it’s too late to do much about that now”.

On the surface that sounded a bit harsh and perhaps defeatist but she had a point and she wasn’t going to waste any time concentrating on something that will serve little purpose. But based on her own experiences, she knew exactly where the differences can be made at this stage and what will get me back to London from Paris without too much drama and pain!

Jo008

* Pic – Mutliple Fitness Champ & Adventure Athlete Joey Bull.

“Firstly, it is all in the bag, don’t worry. Training and fitness up to scratch?” I shook my head mournfully. “No problem! The body is an amazing machine and immensely strong and versatile. However the mind is significantly more powerful. And where the mind goes the body will follow. It may grumble a bit, but it will follow!

The mind is as important and powerful as the body in these challenges

“If we commit to being positive and focus on the goal and why we are doing something the mind will see you through any glitches, wobbles and weak moments. Call it positivity or call it bloody-mindedness, but it works! I have done a few things that took body and mind to their outer margins of capability and I have managed to come back intact (sometimes only just!).

“When I feel weedy and wimpish I just think of Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions and similar staggering pioneering feats of expedition and exploration. They did all of that in the ‘wrong’ kit, with no scientific conditioning programmes and desperately low on provisions.

“I know it wasn’t for fun or charity but it speaks volumes in terms of attrition, human spirit and durability. If keeping the mind buoyant is a drag mile after mile, just enjoy every immediate observation: the smell of the air, the mud on the mudguard, the shining sun or the splashing puddle, the character of your bike itself (now your best friend) the flowers around…basically the wonders that surround us all the time. Pick them in isolation and enjoy them. Anything to keep the mind in the moment and keep knocking those miles out. Every revolution of the peddle is a step closer to your goal.

“On a simply practical level, ensure you are as comfortable as possible. All the positive thinking in the world can falter when irritants abound. Rubbing kit, painful shoes…that’s  OK for a few hours but not on an ongoing basis! Deal with faffy things like that immediately. One of my teammates once overdid it with the nappy rash cream and after a 100km had lathered up a foamy froth that seeped through his cycling shorts. Not a good look!

“You will complete your charity cycle, you will have fun and you will appreciate being in the moment because you are amazing. Remember that. In fact that’s your mantra for the ride ‘I’m amazing!’

Wonderful words of advice from an amazing lady.

I am so buoyed by the support of such remarkable people who know the true meaning of pushing to the limits. Thanks to them I’m actually excited about hooking up with the Tech Bikers and setting off on our French-Anglo adventure in aid of Room to Read.

Thank you so much Joey!

Read more about Parisa’s journey in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5, and Part 7.

Please check out Tech Bikers & Room to Read and do donate if you would like to. Thank you.

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