So after a month, if not longer, of being down and frustrated with myself and having many tension headaches, and missing out on quite a few rides with friends at Lady Cannings and Greno, I finally pushed myself to go on the 24th March. For me, this is a massive achievement; although I don’t really see and have the feelings it was a big achievement… but thats just me – I see the negatives in everything rather than the positives.

Usually, when I have low periods they last at most for two weeks but this seemed to go on forever and it wasn’t helped by being so busy with TotalMTB and trying to sort out riders, jerseys, sponsors etc. as well as having another businesses and a baby at home. I do think it slowed me down in bringing myself out.

Everything on Sunday was just set up perfectly for me. The weather was nice, I had been before, I was going with Lew and George who knew about my struggles and how to keep me calm and most importantly I had the fantastic support of Tracy my Wife and again Lew and George messaging the day/night before giving me encouragement.

I did have two worries about the day which were about struggling to get my bike in and out of the car (because I am still waiting for a Marin, I am having to take my e-bike to trails) due to the weight and also getting a bad headache through being anxious about the travelling there and back.

I understand you have to try and push yourself and thats the only way to conquer anxiety but I really really hate bad headaches, migraines and tension headaches that much that sometimes I would rather not do something than possibly cause one. I know it’s not the right way to live but they are so horrible when you’ve got one!

I previously mentioned that I thought travelling was the issue however after talking to others I have actually found my fear isn’t traveling, it’s migraines, stress headaches and tension headaches. I get these due to stress over big events, commitments and travelling so if I could be 100% sure I wasn’t going to get one then I would be fine to do most things which is frustrating.

So, on the Saturday I took Calms all day and Nytol at night to try and help me keep calm and sleep well so I woke up fresh and without a headache. If I was to wake up with a headache of some sort it would be game over already and I really didn’t want to risk anything!

Saturday night I also packed the car so on Sunday morning I had virtually nothing to do apart from get ready and get in the car. I had also changed plans for the night which my parents were coming round for tea; I changed it to Saturday night instead so it wasn’t an additional thing to stress about on Sunday. Again, I wish I didn’t have to mess around so much and I never used to so it’s great I have people around me who understand.

Lew and George were aiming to get there for 10 and it’s 35 mins for me so I was going to set off at 9:25 however I know how quickly the car park gets full so I decided to set off around 9:15, this way I had less time to think about go and actually go.
I was just about to step out the door and Lew messaged to say they were running late and would be setting off at around 9:30 and it’s takes them an hour to get there. That was not really what I wanted to hear as I was walking out the door nervous, but after talking to Tracy we thought it best to set off anyway and get there.

After getting there, finding a space and parking up, the anxiety started to kick in. When the anxiety starts to kick in and you have nothing to take your mind off it it just gets worse and what made matters worse was Lew and George being a further 10 minutes late, but before they arrived I started to get my gear on and doing this calmed me down.

Yes, I know the two things above shouldn’t impact me and it probably doesn’t affect you, but at the minute even small changes in a plan can cause a massive effect on my anxiety and therefore how I feel. It is something I am trying to overcome.

They arrived and we got the bikes set up and headed to the trail. We found the spot to take photos, videos and get drone footage and it all went very well. We just stayed in one location to get content, chatted and I tried to keep myself hydrated and ate whilst there. The time passed very quickly, I was aiming at best to stay until 12 but it was more around 1 – 1:30 I think!

I got back to the car and they were staying for an extra hour to get more content but I didn’t want to push myself too far in case I did get a headache, in which case I would have put myself really down and maybe not want to go again – so I couldn’t risk it.
Once I got home I had an hours sleep and I had a slight stress headache but nothing major. In the morning, I woke up with a headache but more of the headaches you get the morning after a migraine when it just hurts when you move and bend down so I stayed in bed for a bit as I usually get up early. Towards dinner time it started to ease!

Because it wasn’t the type of ride where you’re biking for hours and up hills, it was relaxing and doing what I love which is downhill mountain biking. I have also never had someone photograph me professionally while mountain biking which is what Lew is known for and we even got the drone out so seeing the photos and footage just makes it feel a bit more satisfying.

Monday and Tuesday I have felt good after the ride and wanted to do it again soon which is great. There were only two negatives for me which were that I did get a headache even though it wasn’t massive on the day. The other is that I came home early, but I need to think that if I had of stayed and my head had been worse I don’t know when I would have wanted to go back.

Hopefully onwards and upwards 🙂

Written by: Ryan – #TotalMTB Founder
Instagram: @RazOldfield
Twitter: @RazOldfield
Facebook: /RazOldfield


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