Catching up

This is a quick catching up post.  I’m sorry it’s been such a long time since I have been here to blog about things.  Actually I have really missed blogging both here and on my other blog.

My absence has also meant an absence from cycling; I’m not sure what I feel more regretful about – not cycling or not blogging!  It has taken quite a toll on me as I’ll explain a little later on.  So, I think I need to summarise a few of the things which have been going on and also to say a big “thank you” for the camaraderie from family and friends.  It means a lot.

I have astonished myself by switching career.  This was not really of my choosing but instead as a response to the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms ripping the Probation Service apart.  Amazingly I survived an eye-watering restructure, the like of which I’d never seen before in my 23 year career.  Having survived the restructure I just couldn’t feel right about staying and through a certain amount of good fortune I was able to step sideways into my Local Authority.  Now I am almost having to learn a new language as I get to grips with the new terminology and structure.  I have found, in many ways, the ideal job at the right level.  I like not being tied to my desk and instead I often spend time with colleagues in other offices and working with other organisations alongside the Authority.  I like building bridges, establishing and nurturing new relationships to our mutual advantage.

So with all things job-wise I feel incredibly optimistic and positive.  When we hit a bit of a snag at work (and I cannot remember what this was) my manager asked whether I had any regrets in moving across.  Absolutely not.  While if I was left to my own devices, I think I would have stayed there in the jolly old criminal justice world until I retired, it’s probably a healthy thing to move at some stage.  After all, I have about 10 years before I hang up my ID badge.

IMG_4750On a personal front, I unexpectedly said farewell to my father who passed away on 31 December.  He was 88 and although increasingly frail, there wasn’t actually anything obviously wrong with him.  And so it was quite a shock, for all of us, that without any warning, he collapsed and died.  There was nothing the ambulance crew or Emergency Department could do.

During this time I haven’t cycled.  I really regret this as cycling is something I have loved so much and will continue to do so.  Now one of the reasons is lending my turbo trainer to a friend to try out earlier in the year and this was quickly followed by lending him the rear wheel skewer to enable him to snugly fit his bike to the trainer.

Instead I have run quite a bit but far less than last year where I was averaging almost 90 miles a month.  Worst of all is that my weight is creeping up and my BMI has hit 23.5 and I feel HEAVY and SLUGGISH.  Additionally I am feeling stiff, not very supple and certainly not flexible at all.  I know my core strength has dropped like a stone and my fat/muscle ratio is now less favourable.  So I’m starting to pull myself around.  Without any doubt my running and cycling has benefitted from exercises beyond simply clocking up the miles; working those arm, shoulder, chest and core muscles is really important when it comes to running and cycling.  In fact I think the difference it makes is quite amazing.

So here I am, catching up and bouncing back, feeling positive and pleased to be back blogging once again!  One of the perks of working in my Local Authority is that I get a discounted membership of a brand new, bright, shiny and well equipped gym.  I am definitely going to make the most of that.  So definitely half full, never half empty.

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6 Responses to Catching up

  1. John says:

    sorry to hear about the loss of your father. mine passed away in January at 70 after a longer illness and I empathise with the lack of cycling miles and the peace it brings. my BMI will never be 23 though…

    I suspect that like you, I’ll be recovering in 2016 by getting back on the bike, thinking about dad

    • doug says:

      John, thanks so much for your words, sorry to hear you’re in the same situation having lost your own father. Yep I’m looking forward to some long reflective rides and, as you say, thinking about Dad.
      Very best wishes.

  2. velovoiceblogspot says:

    Doug, good to hear from you. We have wondered how you and your family are. Very sorry to hear about your dad. (I expect it’ll be the same with my dad – 85 and counting, with nothing really wrong with him other that the worries and grief of living with my mother’s dementia.) No doubt your faith is a great comfort during this difficult time.

    Do look after your own health – get out for walks on the Downs if you can – it’s wonderful this time of year, even in this dismal weather!

    Oh and Congratulations on the new job! Sounds like a very positive change indeed.

    Hope to see you out and about soon. All the best.

  3. Rav Dighe says:

    Hi Doug,
    Sorry for your loss. Good to hear that you are bouncing back and working on your fitness.
    Would you have an email address I can contact you on? I’m one of the owners on triathlon coaching and events company Tri One in St Albans. We’re organising The Bison duathlon on the 8th of October this year.

    Many thanks,
    Rav

  4. Rachel says:

    Hi, I am new to this cycling malarkey 😌 have just bought a mountain bike and looking for people to go out riding with. Obviously not very fit at the moment and a bit wobbly, work nights so looking for someone to accompany me very early in the morning for a short ride or on days off longer rides, can you help with any sites for my situation, please.

    • doug says:

      Hi Rachel,

      My apologies for not responding sooner, I’ve had a really busy week. First things first, well done on getting a bike and this is a brilliant time of year to get moving.

      Tricky answering your question without knowing where you live but here’s some possibilities.

      Firstly the CTC has just rebranded itself to become Cycling UK. They’re a brilliant organisation to join. Also they have a forum which includes a women’s section. Here’s the link: http://forum.cyclinguk.org

      If you live locally (Dunstable) you could find the Luton & Dunstable Cycle Forum’s Facebook page for local contacts.

      Also there’s the Travel Choices Hub in Dunstable and they’re a mine of information: http://www.cbtravelchoices.co.uk/home

      Hope this helps!

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