As you may know, I have a passion for cycling, and I am training for the Coast to Coast in July. Well, that’s if the tram tracks don’t get in my way again!

Lately, I find myself watching more and more cycling. Last week there was a World Tour race in Italy called Tirano-Adriatico and another called Paris-Nice, which are the first real big tests of the season. One of the stages was won by a rider called Alexy Lutsenko who rode away from the peloton with about 40km to the finish.

Alexy crashed twice, which led to the chasing pack catching him, but he never gave up and stayed with his chasers. I cannot imagine what was going through his mind as the other three riders decided to sprint it out at the end. Alexy had fallen twice by this point and had road rash up his arms and legs and torn clothing. Despite the odds against him, with about 250 meters to go, he outsprinted his competitors and won! He picked himself up off the floor to win against some of the best riders in the field. He has my full respect for this. I couldn’t imagine being able to do this myself.

But, thinking about it, I have, and you probably have done so too. You just don’t know it. Think about those times you have been to the brink, on the edge, down and desperate and picked yourself up again to win your personal battle.

I’ve been down, I’ve been anxious and I’ve broken bones, but I know how to recover from the awful episodes I’ve had over the years. It’s the mental struggles we all go through, every day, and the courage we show that helps us beat whatever is going on in our heads. You don’t have to fall from a bike to pick yourself up again to win a race… you are already doing it. YOU JUST DON’T KNOW THAT YOU ARE DOING IT.

It’s all about being a winner and taking strength from the little things in life that make us happy; like the smile of a child, or getting out of bed in the morning, or being able to walk up ten flights of stairs in a day. It’s not just the beginning that matters – it’s the middle and the end of the fight that get us where we need to be. It’s these battles that allow us to be the best person we can be.

Watching Alexy Lutsenko scraping himself up off the road, getting back on his bike and going for it, really hit home with me last week. I think that win will stick with me for a long time and I am going to use his strength and power to harness my own inner strength. I will beat this anxiety, I will ride that hill, and I will be the best version of me that I can be.

Thanks to Rich for sharing his experiences. To find out more about his story and to make a donation to us, visit hisJust Giving fundraising page. If his journey has inspired you to support us, visit our fundraising page for more infoor if you’d like to share your story, contact us at

If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, the Sanctuary is here for you at night, every night. Call us on 0300 003 7029.