Breifne Earley is one of our ambassadors and is currently attempting to cycle his way around the globe, helping to spread our core message that it’s ok not to feel ok and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help.
I’m lying on my bed in a cheap guesthouse in the city of Chumphon in Central Thailand. It’s 5am and I can’t sleep. The small amount of light creeping in from the hallway has kept me awake although I suspect it’s more than just that. In the last hour or so flashes of lightening, rolls of thunder and heavy rain has joined the light and sound orchestra playing outside in the night sky.
It was during my Cycle Against Suicide 2013 experience that the seeds of my Pedal The Planet odyssey started to take shape but the real story began almost three years before that.
In 2010 I was stuck in a rut, single, feeling unhappy and unchallenged in work, morbidly obese at a touch under twenty stone. I had cut myself off from friends or family and I was contemplating suicide. I made a conscious decision to not give up on life and compiled a list of things I’d like to do with my life and told my friends about my plans.
This list of ten challenges became my bible over the next year including significant weight loss, job changes, fifty blind dates, travelling, learning to swim, cook, completing a marathon, triathlon, sea swims, cycling around New Zealand and returning to cycling & singing.
I faced some interesting responses from the initial ridicule and disbelief right through support and the uncountable offers of help from swimming and cookery lessons, personal training, training buddies & wannabe cupids!
A year later with all my targets met, I set myself even more challenging goals. I had been toying with the idea of going on a big cycling adventure and during those days in the orange army in 2013 the strands of the idea came together.
Shortly after the completion of the event I approached Jim Breen about the idea of participating in the world cycle race with the Cycle Against Suicide logo and message front and centre as the main focus of my campaign.
The support from Jim, Maghnus, John and the superb Cycle Against Suicide family have helped make my dream a reality and on 1st March this year I pushed off from the Greenwich Observatory alongside three other competitors at the start of the race.
For a number of reasons including Injury, Visa issues and disqualification (who knew you weren’t allowed get a taxi as part of a cycle race – turns out one of the competitors did) I am the solitary contestant still moving towards the finish line at this point.
It’s going to take the best part of a year to complete the 29,000km course with ten more countries to join the sixteen I’ve already passed through. Those remaining countries are Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Mexico, Ireland, Spain before returning to France as England and the finish line in Greenwich.
I’m going to be keeping you all updated on my progress here over the next eight months or so as I Pedal the Planet to help spread the message that “It’s ok not to feel ok”