THE RIDE OF MY LIFE. //
Benjamin May, the brains behind Barber + Blow (our in-house barber and blow-dry service) is taking on the greatest challenge of his life in memory of a personal hero, his Dad. Not a natural athlete, Ben is training hard every day and fundraising for an incredible cause. Over to Ben...
Saying goodbye to someone you love is often the hardest thing you will ever do. When someone leaves us for a day, a week, a month or a year it can be tough. So saying goodbye knowing you will never hear someone speak, feel their skin or the warmth of their love, watch them dance or smile, hear them laugh or see them cry is quite possibly the hardest task of all.
In July 2015 my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour. On August 1st 2016 he slipped quietly from this world, peaceful with his family around him. At that moment I began to learn just how hard it is to say goodbye.
Growing up my dad was my hero, just as most parents are to their children. A kind, caring, funny man who I felt loved me with all his heart and who I loved back with all of mine. He’s a man who taught me so much and to whom I owe the world and more.
A dancer, a singer, a charmer, a character. He was strong. He came with stories. Stories of his past that had you hanging on his every word. He commanded your attention when he walked into a room. A deceivingly charismatic man (mainly because he was 5ft 7 and always dressed appallingly) he would be the first to the bar and the last off the dancefloor. He was my dad and I loved him.
After he passed we sat around as a family and spoke about what we should do to say thank you to the Countess Mountbatten Hospice where we had spent his last days. I can’t begin to tell you what they did for him and for us. 6 of us slept there one night. They put us all up without even questioning it. They even brought my old man a can of John Smiths (his favourite tipple) despite him being unconscious and therefore unable to consume the sweet (flat) nectar. They were utterly brilliant. So, because of this, I decided to take on the Ride of my LIFE.
On the 22nd July 2017 I will be starting my ride from John O’Groats to my Dad's front door in Southampton. For those who are unaware it is the most northerly point of Scotland, tucked right up in the furthest corner. It is basically a really long f**king way! 1200 kilometres to be exact (or 800 miles).
With the help of friends, family and the wonderful trainers at 1Rebel, I am training like a madman to make sure I don’t fall short. Multiple Ride and Reshape classes every week...fun! Also keep your eyes peeled for my own Ride class nearer the time. If Tiago and Danny agree it won’t be a huge mistake then you might be able to come see me make a fool of myself...more fun!
And this is where you lovely lot come in. As much as I like riding bikes, I don’t like 800 miles over 7 days. I’m not doing this for the love of fresh air or my desperate desire to see the Scottish highlands. I’m doing this to raise money, to say thank you and to hope that whatever donation my friends, families, customers, strangers and I can put together to make sure that someone else’s brother, dad, mum, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent or whoever else they might love will have the same kind and caring treatment that we and my dad received. So that's the grovelling over with. Donations are anonymous so don’t worry too much. Every little helps (and by that I mean I’ll find you and shake you down myself...).
Finally, a word of advice. Take the precious time you have to love those who matter. Spend every moment you have telling those that you love just how much you love them. I had no idea how precious life was until the day my dad told me he was sick. Please don’t wait to be told. Live now and love the important people. You never know when they’ll leave you...