|The Big Bike Ride
In July 2010 me (Liz) and my husband (Stu) cycled 1400 miles around the UK meeting up with coaches, authors, trainers and coaching experts. This was a physical and mental journey, with highs and lows - but we made it!
Why do it?
This is the question we were always asked. "Why are you doing this?" It was hard to answer. There isn't a single reason. We wanted to do this on many levels. We wanted to get fit, we wanted to have a challenge that stretched us both mentally and physically. We also wanted to meet up and talk with some of the most successful coaches in the UK. What were their thoughts on coaching. Where did they think the profession was heading?
Although we didn't embark on this trip for charity we do support a Sreepur Village women's project and orphanage in Bangladesh (see top right hand corner).
We always knew it would be a physical challenge. We cycled from Devon, along the South Coast, up to London, Edinburgh and then back. Cycling day after day means the body takes a pummelling; aching legs, sore backsides, dodgy knees and battered hands.
The weather was also a challenge. We went through huge contrasts. On Day 9 we were scorched by the sunshine in Cambridge on Day 19 we were drowned cycling through a month's worth of rain in one day in Cumbria.
There was also the mental challenge. Sometimes my (Liz's) legs were hurting so much I wanted to cry. There was an internal battle to keep going. The most emotionally exhasting day was on route to Weston Day 26 when I had 3 punctures and cycled on a wonky wheel.
The kindness of strangers and friends
We were so blessed by the kind people we met along the way. Sometimes it was the simplest of smiles that bouyed our spirits. On Day 1 we were given a real boost by the enthusiasm of the owner of a cafe. Someone we'd never met before. On another (Day 21) occassion we were offered a bed for the night by a complete stranger.
We also had huge support from friends on Twitter and Facebook. I am truly beginning to understand the power of social networking.
The people we met
We met up with some real 'greats' in the world of coaching. Sir John Whitmore, Myles Downey, Nancy Kline, Gerard O'Donovan and Curly Martin were just a few of the people we met up with.
They all shared an infectious enthusiasm for coaching and had differing views on where it was heading.
We also connected with other coaches across the UK - people we'd met through Twitter or on previous coaching events.
We will be sharing their thoughts and ideas on coaching in future blogs. We learnt so much by hearing and listening to the thoughts of others.
Coaching Connect is working towards two events (London and Devon) in October. We have a wonderful array of speakers lined up. We keep the costs to a minimum on these days, but ensure good lunches and excellent venues.
We have found coaches are incredibly supportive and generous people. We bring coaches together to share expertise, business tips and idea. We would love to see you if you can make it.
Coaching Connect London:Book here.
Coaching Connect Devon: Book here
Day 1 - Ivybridge to Exeter (the power of a smile)
Day 2 - Exeter to Weymouth (horrible hills and great learning about the real and literal compasses in our lives)
Day 3 - Weymouth to Southampton (a quintessential peek at England)
Day 4 - Southampton to Chichester (cycling despite little sleep)
Day 5 - Chichester to Raynes Park (admiring the houses of the millionaires)
Day 6 - Nick Williams and Sir John Whitmore
Day 7 - Raynes Park to Streatley-on-Thames (wonderful cycling on the banks of the Thames)
Day 8 - Streatley to Luton (the power of developing resilience)
Day 9 - Luton to Cambridge (sometimes you have to turn around)
Day 10 - Cambridge to Spalding (happiness is a piece of cake)
Day 11 - Spalding to Gainsborough (the importance of a warm welcome)
Day 12 - Gainsborough to York (laughing in the face of adversity)
Day 13 - York to Durham (standards are starting to slip)
Day 14 - Durham to Wooler (true hunger and tiredness)
Day 15 - Wooler to Edinburgh (the highs and lows)
Day 16 - Meeting coaches in Edinburgh
Day 17 - Edinburgh to Moffat (uphill and into a head wind)
Day 18 - Moffat to Penrith (enjoying Gretna)
Day 19 - Penrith to Galgate (sometimes you're so wet you've got to laugh)
Day 20 - Galgate to Warrington (escaping from Galgate)
Day 21 - Warrington to Birmingham (the longest day of 92 miles)
Day 22 - a day off in Birmingham
Day 23 - Birmingham to Cheltenham (sunshine and high spirits)
Day 24 - Day off
Day 25 - Meet business guru Geoff Burch
Day 26 - Cheltenham to Weston-Super-Mare (a day of punctures)
Day 27 - Weston-Super-Mare to Taunton (the joys of a huge B&B)
Day 28 - Taunton to Bridestowe (it's heaven to return to Devon)
Day 29 - Bridestowe to home (back home safe and well)