I took this photo on Friday evening on the way to the shops to buy food having realised I had a completely empty fridge and 10 Euros to my name. I was actually lucky to have that, Louise had left it for me knowing, as usual, we were a little tight at the end of the month. When a surprise direct debit energy bill hit on Friday and my work took the “mañana” approach with this month’s salary, I somehow managed to generate an overdraft in an account that doesn’t offer that service. LOL.
There is something very rewarding about living on a shoe string. My first learning is that I will live within my means. If there is no money to buy new shiny bike wheels and eat out at a posh restaurant, those things will not happen. Secondly, when we do get to treat ourselves to a meal out, or a nice new pair of fluoro yellow socks to match my new team kit, damn do we enjoy it. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed racing in my new socks today after putting up with old ones for the last 6 months!
So what did I spend my 10 Euros on? I bought what any wise cyclist would buy; milk (for coffee & pre-race oats), salad, chicken (protein a must) and vegetable pasta (carbohydrates a must). I have been pretty much living off that all week end. I can hear my mother panicking now – please don’t. I had an incredible week end, As well as racing on the most beautiful circuit I have ever seen (imagine windy roads through colourful flower filled fields with mountain backdrop and wind turbines just for effect), I met our lovely Airbnb guest who is an artist from New Mexico. I also spent time dreaming up what to do next with Eat Sleep Cycle and wandered the streets of the beautiful Girona old town. All of these things were completely free. Sorry, my race entry was 5 Euros paid last week!
I used to be driven by money, I think we are shaped this way through School, University and quite often our parents. It is understandable, money puts a roof over our head and food in our mouths and we are very lucky to have both of those things. However there is a big difference between just that and always driving to earn more, buy more things and worry about those things. The best things in life are free, that’s our family, nature, time (which I personally value more than money) and of course cycling. The joy that cycling brings me could not be paid for. Cycling is my passion and I mould my life around my passions, not money. Rather than thinking “how can we earn more money”, we often ask ourselves “how can we have more time to enjoy the things we love?” I hope that each and every one of you has the strength, motivation and opportunity to follow your dreams.