They say nothing is ever straightforward and nothing has certainly been straight forward for most of us during 2020.

I have spent this week cycling in Richmond Park where I have been riding with two old ex professional cyclists that I met last week whilst riding around on my own.

It has been great to sit on their wheels as we did loops around the park.

Monday was a nice 80km on the car-free roads of the park.

And as I mentioned last week, this was a much loved training route for Liz, so it was emotional laps this week for me.

It has been great mentally to find some people to ride with.

It is amazing how fast 80km goes when you have someone to chat with and push you.

As the pros started somewhat of a start to the 2020 race season this week in the 42nd edition of the Vuelta a Burgos, a stage race in Spain, it was also confirmed that there is likely to be no para racing this season.

Now this is obviously frustrating for many athletes around the world, but for Team Jamaica it’s a slight blessing.

As covid19 continues to run havoc through the world it has provided challenges in all walks of life and to get the Jamaican para Team off the ground is no different.

I guess like everyone we continue to train and live with hope.

But as I was saying nothing is straight forward.

I woke on Wednesday ready to go training to hear that Marloe Rodman, who I have spoke about before and a strong hope for a medal suffered a stroke and was in Kingston Hospital.

Initial paralysis to his limbs has thankfully eased and the last conversation I had with him was that he could move but was pretty beating up.

Athletes are certainly an interesting breed of people.

There is a deep psyche that sets them apart and Marloe is no different.

From his hospital bed he was telling me how he wants to get back on a bike and ready for racing next year.

It was funny to hear it as it was like listening to myself.

I know the sound of that voice, but I also know you have to let the body rest.

So I told him to just rest and let the body heal, health is more important than sport and the sport will be here waiting for you when you leave hospital my friend.

I know for some reading this, you might think why do athletes get so frustrated with injury?

It is a good question and each might have their own answer.

For me now - as I see my fitness returning to that of 2018 - I am loving my training and the mental boost I get from feeling strong, but at the same time I get bouts of complete fear of my tumour returning.

It is a constant battle in my mind.

Wednesday’s ride was a much needed one to turn the pedals and clear my own mind.

I needed to clear it of thoughts like ‘why do these things keep happening to so many people around me?’

So many good people who have kind personalities.

I used to chat with Liz about that voice in your head around tumours and scans, as it is nice to have someone who gets it.

It feels like only last week that I wrote about my last MRI. Just when you think it can’t be that time again, right on cue the email appears in my inbox to remind me I have my MRI on the 1st of August.

The fear, the voice in the head, it all comes rushing in.

It certainly gave me a reminder to enjoy my bike rides this week, even in the heat that Friday threw our way.

It’s not the physical stress of an MRI, I don’t want to scare people into thinking these machines are scary.

For me it's the results of these MRI scans that cause me distress. Plus, I am not a fan of needles so the dye that gets injected in is never pleasant for me.

Everyone is different and this is just my personal experience, but I never like scan day, the magnitude of 10 years of scans and 6 surgeries has taken so much out of me mentally and emotionally it is never a nice experience.

I am member of an online support group for spinal cord tumours and usually around scan times I read the posts, I guess searching for hope.

This weeks post was a real hard hitting one of a 4 month year old baby with a tumour from his brain stem all the way down his spinal cord to his upper back, the mum sharing how her baby boy lost the movement in all his limbs and was pretty much told he was not going to make it, then one morning the little guy started to move again and is now waiting for a new treatment as he fights for his life. As i read this with a tear in my eye I thought of what that family are going through, and how hard this stuff is on not just you but on everyone around you.

I try not to read too many of the stories as its heart breaking but the group also gives you so much hope, as people share recovery stories.

When you live with this and read that someone is recovering and doing great it gives you a huge boost.

I guess we all need good news stories and I know on a personal level when I read about someone who refuses to give up, to keep pushing no matter what and to find away, it inspires me.

So I leave you this week with a challenge, to ask yourself the next time you’re inspired, what are you going to do with that inspiration?