Words such as “sprocket”, “Lycra”, “spokes” and “cleats” are now a part of your vocabulary. Mentioning “sartorius”, “periformis” and “gluteus Maximus” muscles in polite company has become the norm and your family and friends are becoming increasingly irritated by your constant reference to anything regarding cycling. Falling asleep in front of the TV is now part and parcel of Sunday evenings and reference to your posterior and “nether regions” in front of your in-laws, cousins and work colleagues is bordering on the embarrassment. Your friends no longer invite you to weddings and social occasions and associates and work colleagues hide in supermarket aisles so as to avoid striking up a conversation which they know will inevitably turn to Africa, insect repellents, Tsetse flies, dung beetles and the dangers of the black mamba!!
Talking of trips to the supermarket also means your normal 20 minutes looking over Pavi’s camping equipment. Emergency foil sleeping bags, head lights and detol wet wipes are essentials of course but small washing liquid a hand flannel and your mosquito deterrent spray add to the expense that such a trip inevitably comes to.
You’re just starting to question your reasons for doing this? We’re only 4 weeks into the training and already the pressure is on. The talk on Friday by James Muscat of the Transplant Support Group is inspiring but is it enough to drive you on? Deep down of course the thrill of Africa is keeping you focused but that’s 3 months away and even though you’re being told it’s a “life changer” you just can’t focus that far ahead while you’re posterior is starting to resemble something on a butchers counter?
Of course next week you’ll be in the bike shop buying your new MTB shoes, your gelled gloves and some ultra cool Oakley sunglasses. You’ll be at the Floriana Polyclinic getting your first injections, you’ll get another breakthrough with the sponsors and you’ll delve onto the Kenya tourism website and purchase the required visa. You’ll also start to feel those legs getting stronger, your sessions will quickly start to improve and the change in your general physique becomes noticeable.
Of course it’s still not too late to change your mind but imagine the feeling of never knowing whether you could have done it? Imagine how you’ll feel seeing the group leave in July and imagine how you’ll feel getting invited back to those social gatherings and having to explain your reasons, and not being able to tell them tales of Africa, insect repellents, Tsetse flies, dung beetles and the dangers of the black mamba!!