Don’t think about it – just do it!


August 22, 2023

One of our learners, Mark has kindly shared how getting back in the saddle helped him on his own ‘recovery journey’

“Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with B12 deficiency; I couldn’t think straight, my energy levels dropped, and I suffered with insomnia. To help me sleep I started to drink, but then alcohol took over my life. I would binge drink until I couldn’t swallow another drop, then I’d try and get sober for a couple of weeks, or even months but then something would upset or annoy me and I’d use that as an excuse to start downing the vodka again. I continued in this horrible, vicious circle for the next 4 years.

Then, after a particularly big session something popped in my chest, I lost my sight and had no control over my limbs. I was petrified. Fortunately, my dad was staying with me, he called an ambulance and I spent the next few days in hospital. I later learned that I’d had a Toxic Shock Seizure. Luckily, the physical symptoms were temporary, but I decided then that I would never let this happen again.

I got sober and developed a healthy routine; attending the Recovery College was part of that and it has played a pivotal role in turning my life around. I started swimming and going to the gym but after a while I got Sinusitis which was worsened by the chlorine in the pool. I decided to give cycling a go instead. I hadn’t been on a bike since my youth, but I managed to pick up a ‘pre-loved’ bicycle from Street Bikes in Cleckheaton and getting back in the saddle is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Cycling has done everything for me. It’s kept me sober, improved my fitness and my mental health, I’ve made friends, I eat better and lost weight – I’m now 5 stone lighter than I was when I was drinking.

I always look forward to my cycling trips and head out several times a week. I never wake up thinking, I don’t fancy it today. Each time I set off, I see it as a new adventure and I always encounter amazing views and scenery, marvellous wildlife and meet interesting people. I know cycling is something I’ll always do. My advice for anyone contemplating getting back on two wheels? All I’ll say is don’t think about it, just do it! You won’t regret it.”



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