An Unlikely Hero

Bradley Wiggins is an unlikely hero to say the least.

Brad was raised in London from the age of two. His father was a pro cyclist named Gary Wiggins, who, was from Australia. However, he was never around while Brad was growing up. For this reason Brad had to rely heavily on his mother and on his grandparents.

Wiggins certainly didn’t come from a wealth family. His success stems from his ability to work hard and endure suffering. But, more importantly, he was a dreamer and at the age of twelve he already had high ambitions.  Bradley had told one of his teachers that when he grew up he would be an Olympic champion and “wear the yellow jersey in the Tour”.

Another big moment in his life was buying his first bike aged twelve. The rest is history.

What makes brad an unlikely hero isn’t that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a likely hero. It’s the fact that he never really asked to be a hero.

After his first Olympic success in the 2004 at the Olympics in Athens he became one of the first British athletes to win three medals at the one games in over 40 years.

Bradley then began drinking quite heavily when the games ended. “I wasn’t just drinking for England during this period, I wasn’t quite at the races mentally either. For a while my life threatened to spiral out of control.” He said in an interview.

The nine-month binge ended with the birth of his son, Ben. Here, the unlikely hero got back in the saddle. He went on to do well in the 2008 olympics and then placed third in the 2009 Tour de France, after Armstrong lost his position.

In 2010 he signed a contract with Team Sky and pledged himself to win the Tour De France.And in 2012 this became a reality.

What makes Bradley special is the way his mind works. He is not greedy.  After winning the Tour once, that was enough for him. He is a romantic towards the sport and loves the rich history that cycling offers. He is the proud owner of many signed jerseys and some bicycles  from legends of the road.

Brad was also knighted for being the first British cyclist to win the Tour. This really adds to Wiggins’ persona. ‘Sir Bradley Wiggins’. From here he really has become a style icon and a crafted his own identity that no one in the peloton can replicate. His tattoos, the beard, he even made the mutton chops work in 2012. Which is no small feat.

Also, Brad’s attention to detail is admirable. The bikes he uses always have a unique twist just for him. He makes ‘cool’ seem effortless. Even his short bouts of anger don’t make him look arrogant, but instead show his devotion to winning and what he expectations are  from his equipment.

 

The scene where he threw away his bike; but instead it rolled away, eventually coming to a stop and leaning beside the wall looked like something 007 had orchestrated. unlike kittel’s “BIKE SMASH” move.

Brad has published three books, is a gold standard Olympian, a Tour winner, a two times world champion and the hour record holder. He recently was a part of the Olympic team that beat the world team pursuit record. He has proven time and time again that he can and will do whatever he puts his mind to.

His mental strength which is not out of the reach from us ordinary folk, brings Bradley’s achievements back down to earth. He has built his persona and has earned his accolades through sacrificing since he turned pro in 2001.

Wiggins has been long known for his love of time trialling and track cycling. Both of which are known as the purest forms of bike riding. This defines Brad. His love for cycling is pure. It’s the passion he puts into his cycling that makes him a hero.

 

 

 

 

Tick, Tock, Ten by Gerry Duffy

Are you in need of some mid-Summer motivation?

Tick, Tock, Ten (TTT) by Gerry Duffy is the book for you then.

We all know that our motivation to continue our training can drop lower than usual sometimes. Usually we just leave the running shoes at home, or the bike in the hallway for a few days and then go at it all over again.

However, at your low points, instead of scouring YouTube for “Best Motivation 2016” videos, pick up TTT and get lost in the sheer determination and will power that is held within the pages.

The book details very vividly Gerry Duffy’s winning run at the Deca Ironman challenge. This challenge involves 10 ironman distance triathlons in 10 consecutive days. This covers a total distance of:

  • 38km of swimming
  • 1802km of cycling
  • 422km of running

As Gerry says on the first page “it is not for the faint of heart”.

If you are suffering from a deprivation of motivation, then this book will have you itching to get out on the road and the trails once again. Gerry’s account of his training, which generally started around 3am each morning will make you rethink sleeping.

His ability to take on an event that is done mostly in mental isolation shows us mere mortals how strong a person Gerry really is. Often times the marathon taking him into the dark of night with nothing but a head lamp and a pair of running shoes.

His account of hallucinating on the bike will tell you just how far he pushed his mental boundaries.

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The physical aspect of this challenge is what someone would expect to be the most demanding part of the challenge. However, it is the mental side of the challenge that impresses anyone who is a long a distance athlete.

This is why the book is perfect for anyone looking for a little ‘pick me up’. Gerry’s mental strength is strong enough to carry a us during our harder days. Hopefully it could be the spark you need to reignite your passion and drive.

Gerry goes on to win the Deca Ironman challenge, which is regarded as one of the toughest races in the world, and also raised money for charity.

If you have an interest in this type of success story, then Gerry also has a book out on called “Who Dares Runs”, about his epic challenge of 32 marathons in 32 countries. Gerry also has a great back story of going from being an over-weight, unmotivated smoker to the long distant machine he is now.

Let this be something to think about when the going gets tough again.

By Nick Moloney