Esthers NHS-Inspired Grand Turbo Sessions

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Monday 20 April 2020

Esthers NHS-Inspired Grand Turbo Sessions

I've been really inspired by Geraint Thomas this week and how he's used what he does best to support the amazing doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers of the NHS who are working so very hard on the front lines during this COVID-19 pandemic (and of course all the rest of the time too), putting themselves at risk in order to save lives, care for others and also support the families of those affected.

I know I'm not alone in saying this, but at times over the past few weeks I've often felt like it just wasn't enough to stay at home, even though I intellectually understood that it is actually the best way I can help at the moment.  There's been an impulse inside of me that's been wanting to do something more to help, I just didn't know what.  So I focused on my health, supporting my family and got on with my projects.  Then when I heard about what Geraint Thomas had done something just clicked inside of me and I've decided to act on this impulse inside.

I'm not Geraint Thomas and I've never won the Tour de France. I do love cycling and a challenge though.  And I do have a deep respect for the NHS.

Like most people in the UK, my life and the lives of those I care about have been touched countless times by the marvellous nurses and doctors of the NHS.  As well as several previous operations, they saved Dan's life at birth, again in 2014 and, at around the same time, my father's life also when he had a pulmonary embolism.  In addition to the support of several chronic conditions, I was so fortunate that the NHS provided a ME/CFS specialist nurse when I was diagnosed in 2013 who helped me turn my life around from being unable to get out of bed to now being able to climb up mountains.  Now more than ever those working for the NHS are showing their true colours. 

On the 19th, 20th and 21st April I plan to ride my turbo trainer for 12 hour shifts, a total of 36 hours over three days, also starting at 0730 to 1930 BST.

I thought Geraint's choice of twelve hour shifts to match the marathon shifts worked by NHS hospital staff as they save lives and care for those most in need was inspiring.  They are on their feet all day with little rest.  It's incredible and I want to honour the work they do and, I hope in the process to be able to also help raise a few pounds to support NHS Charities Together - the national membership organisation that represents 140 member charities - who are currently working with the NHS on a COVID-19 appeal.

I've never done anything like this before.  I'm not a professional athlete and the longest I've done on the turbo is 2 hours for a charity spin event.  I do like a challenge and I'm grateful for my health right now that means I can even consider attempting this.  I don't know what it's going to feel like but I want to give it a go and would really appreciate your support with my quest to try and do my bit to help during this time.  I know it's insignificant compared to what the countless NHS staff, volunteers and other key workers are going through right now but it's what I have to offer whilst I'm in lockdown.

So I'm going to stay home, stay safe, support the NHS as they save lives and ride my turbo trainer.

With the support of my able assistants (Dan and our 4 wonderful rescue dogs) who are self-isolating with me, I'll be live streaming from our porch via our Facebook page and posting updates on Instagram and Twitter as I go along.....

Please donate to this wonderful charity and please join me if you can:

Scroll down for more details on the work of NHS Charities Together.

NHS Charities Together: Supports and champions the work of NHS Charities. Give 1 million pounds every day to the NHS improving patient care and experience. Fund major capital projects, pioneering research and medical equipment at our hospitals, helping patients access the best possible care when they need it most. Play a key role in mobilising volunteers to support NHS staff, brightening wards and waiting areas. Build an important link between our hospitals and communities.

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