This month is the month that Ben died. He was one of my best friends in Cardiff - a great guy, a great cyclist, a great friend. I haven't been blogging lately because everything I do, every day, is less good now that Ben isn't around.
The Wednesday after Brewer half and I got back from Luxembourg we woke up with a message that Ben was in a cycling crash during a race. This wasn't too uncommon as he had certainly been in a fair share of crashes and accidents before - once he got bit by a dog while cycling and came home with teeth marks in his leg. But soon we found out it was serious, and when the news was confirmed it felt like a piece me had been ripped away suddenly - I can't (and won't) write about that too much.
I think about Ben every day, and things are not the same, and every happiness is less good when I can't share it with him. The successes I have on the bike are less grand when he's not there to tell, the Strava segments I blast are less exciting when Ben won't be giving me kudos. There were so many adventures we had left in our lives, so many things we were supposed to do. He was supposed to be in our lives forever.
But at the same time I've been inspired this month to cycle more, to try harder, to get better and to get stronger. Ben (and most male cyclists) are often jealous of Lady cyclists because it is easier for us - we are small fishes in a small pool but with some training could be medium or even big fish in that same pool! With that in mind I've tried to do more - to cycle more - to exercise more - to be a stronger version of me. I also hope that being physically stronger will make me mentally stronger, and my victories will be a small sample of the success ben must have felt.
This month I cycled 315 Miles.
This month I ran 13 Miles
This month I competed in the Cymmer Triathlon
And this month we said goodbye to Ben Carroll after a quick blast up his local Gower climb with 200 cyclists and friends clapping him over the finishing line.