I have had this idea for a while and never really got around to doing it. I am not the type of person that needs to have someone around me all the time, I don't need someone behind me pushing me to train, or to get me out of bed, I have managed to train on my own here and push myself as hard and as consistently as I would back home.
But what is important to me, and what I do need is to hear from my friends and Family, hear what they are up to, and the inspiration and energy each of them give me is what keeps me going strong. I try and talk with my closest friends once a week at least, whether that be by email, skype, a phonecall, a facebook message, whatever, I need that contact and I need to know they are fit, healthy and happy, thats what inspires me.
I feel very lucky to have met and have in my life so many people I know have my back, from my friends in Essex, people back home and here in the BMX scene, the Sheffield Dirt Society and Bolehills, you have afforded me so much. Stephen Murray and the staystrong brand. But there are exceptional people in my life, I think about them every day, and it is they who drive me.
Cooper, with his incredible attitude to life. I have never known someone so absolutely positive and strong minded as Cooper, from the day I first met him over 8 years ago, where he offered me half his sandwich at Bolehills one Spring evening, I knew he would be a friend for life. I don't speak to Cooper as much as I ought to, but when I hear news about him and his recent incredible enduro results, or do speak to him, it gives me such a boost, you're one of my heroes Brother!
Alec is like Ranulph Fiennes, just younger and with a better sense of humour. Alec is one of the most contagious people I have ever met, you could introduce him to anyone and he'd be welcomed instantly, impossible not to get along with, and passionate about his life and his life experiences. He studied as a mechanical engineer and now works on a tall ships several of the things he loves so much, engineering, and sailing. He inspires me massively, to persue the life I want to lead, to take risks and live for the moment. He sailed from Maine USA to Portsmouth UK with 1 other man on tall ship across the Atlantic, one of the most incredible things anyone I am close to has ever done, and I can't wait to be able to sit down with him face to face over some beers and listen back again and again about that trip. Shit like that never gets old.
RB.com perhaps the most creative and honest people I have ever met, been friends for as long as Cooper and I and again Bolehills bought us together. Now he lives in London with his incredible and beautiful girlfriend Fera, he spends his days riding around London pretending to be hip, and following roadies around Europe with his camera in tow looking for the perfect shot. From when I first met to now, his work has just gotten better and better and I love to hear about his experiences, here he has been, where is he next off to, and I love nothing more than recieving pictures from him. His work, his attitude, his honesty and his friendship are things I know I am blessed to know and have in my life.
Warren, a man of many talents, and someone who came into my life, again through the power of Bolehills, I instantly liked Warren, even though the circumstances in which we met under may have been a little tense, he thought I was some bully at the track demanding money from his younger Brother, Devan, to ride, and trying to work the angle on his then beautiful girlfriend, and now his wife, Hannah. Only half of that story was true.
Since knowing him he has taken up, mastered and moved on from so many things, but he always does amazing at whatever it is he involves himself in. whether it be BMX, MX, powerball, wakeboarding, guitar, design, training or whatever, he always goes in hard, always has success and always inspires me to go harder, deeper and push myself further in my life. Without Warren and Hannah in my life, I don't know where I'd be.
Will, my man, the OG, I've known Will since day dot, I think I can honestly say if I hadn't stumbled upon those dirt jumps in Essex that day back in 98 i'd probably not be riding like I am today. Will is probably the hardest person in the world to reach, but whenever we connect it's like we've never been apart, he knows what he wants and strives to achieve it, plus he loves a good mash up. One of the most forward thinking people I know, and he'll go far. Never want to lose touch brother.
Lauren, for being one of the most positive people I have ever met, often in the face of extreme negativity and adversity. What you have achieved, worked for, done for Derby, done for yourself and done for the kids has never been for personal gain. You always put yourself out on a limb, take risks, personally and financially and always seem to be going into the unknown, its admirable. Think where BMX in Derby would be had it not been for you. The real Queen of England, who lives on a boat.
My Family, the love, the laughs, the support, and life you gave me, the man I am really is all down to you. I miss you all every day and I love you. I can't wait to come home and see you all, only a few weeks now.
Without these people, and others around me leading postive lives, striving for perfection and happiness, i'd be at a loss, it's their attitudes, their friendship and love that push me and inspire me to lead mine to the fullest.
Thank you for blessing me.