Therese and Eddie's Challenge within a Challenge

11 October 2017

Therese and Eddie's Challenge within a Challenge

Therese is one of our amazing supporters, and one of the cyclists who took part in the Couch Classic Challenge last weekend.  Please read Therese's Facebook post (copied for you below) about her challenge with Eddie Jordan, another of our very generous supporters.  Our HUGE thanks to Therese and Eddie for all of their generous support of Teens Unite.  The post is a little long, but it is full of humour and well worth a few minutes of your time.

"Ok- despite a nightcap or 2 I didn't sleep that well...

Not sure if this is the blisters I have developed that Compeed would be challenged with.. 
The chaffing that you all know the location of ...
The excitement of more food
Or .... the absolute fear and nerves of the 6k hill where £4K is riding ( literally) on the challenge ahead.... if I win the charity wins !!
If I don't.. the bets off!

I go down to breakfast to be met by Eddie who seems to be limbering up !! At this point I'm doing my best not to throw up!!!

After a hearty breakfast and many more carbs I am convinced I've as much eaten as I can possibly can manage. 
Just to be sure, I put a banana and a couple of pastries in my back pocket. 
A quick refill of skittles in my handlebar bag and I notice I'm actually sweating. I think I've overdone it.!!

At reception we jump on a coach while our bikes go on transport to the start of the hill!

The chat is all about the tactics I'll use and the technical edge I can exert to get into the lead..

More money is being put on the race and pounds and Euro notes are flying around...

I find my stomach making noises and my mind wanders as the journey goes own and I enter my own world... I need to get a grip- I'm nervous and I'm hoping that my breakfast doesn't make an appearance!!

I then remember a couple of events that happened over 30 years ago and I smile- Linda Anderson if you're reading this you'll remember them too)!

Linda and I worked in a local pub which was a little dodgy on occasion to say the least...
On a Sunday night we were often frequented by the local travelling community who were often looking for live singing events even when they weren't scheduled! One night it was getting a little fraught so Linda told them I could sing ( I couldn't) and it was there in the pub after money was collected in the sand bucket used in case of a fire that I was put on the spot with nothing but Linda smiling nervously for me to sing... 
and so that's how 'blanket on the ground' became my signature song! 
As I think about that.... I also remember that the same Linda was behind a 6am running race one Sunday morning along Lieutenant way in cheshunt. The same travelling friends had a runner called 'bones '( not a jot of fat on him anywhere) who they wanted to bet money on to beat any runners in the south of England. 
Again 'helpfully' Linda said I could run and the challenge was set up. I think from memory about £100 was on the race... 
My dad Michael, my Grandad John and Linda jumped into a flat truck with a light globe on top, alongside a couple of washing machines and a tumble dryer.. ( I hope you are getting the drift) and the road at both ends was shut temporarily by some more flat trucks and a few ponies...
Now I was very scared... if I failed at this challenge I heard the alternative was to try my hand at 'bare knuckle fighting' and my friendship with Linda was now hanging by a thread !!!!

So.. with those memories I jolt back to reality and Remind myself that my knuckles never got tested and whatever happened today- the winner would only be the charity...

So... We're ready on the start line ... 
the cheers of encouragement are all around us and Eddie and I get going...
I'm supported by Jo McCarthy who encourages me with coaching tips that I can't even answer back and Mike Edwards who despite a hangover has been my loyal wingman all trip. The guide who speaks little English has mastered 'faster'!!

I go past Eddie and I'm holding my own... I'm shaking and sweating and making lots of painful sounds.. 
Very soon from nowhere I see Eddie pass me by.. I manage to say it's all about the charity Eddie but he reminds me it's a challenge!
Now this man is 20 years older than me and a machine..,
We've 2 kilometres left of the climb and I know I've asked every couple of seconds 'how much longer'

I have to dig in and go faster so I do what I've always done.... pray!!! Pray to the 'big man' ( he's normally distracted I have found from experience)! And I pray to everyone I know that is up there waiting for a chat! 
Have to say my late Auntie Margaret was told in no uncertain terms that she needed to step it up a gear !! 
Anyway not sure who heard but I'm convinced they did as I started to go a lot quicker.. I passed Eddie who then said to me- Therese shall we go over the finish line together !! 
My response... Eddie we have a challenge 🙂 🙂!!

And so.. the winner was the charity ! And what a great great feeling. 
The rest of the group join us and we have a group hug at the top of the hill. I have a big handful of skittles and even found room for the pastry!

And after the excitement of the challenge it's back on the bikes for a couple of more hours of.. yep more hills....

We stop at lovely village and decide to have a coffee break..

I look around at my cycling team. On Thursday I knew not one of them...
They were all guys that had taken time out of work and family and friends to do something that was challenging, courageous and kind...
They don't do it for glory .. they do it because like all of us that are touched by cancer - they know that we have to keep finding ways to make this horrible condition a history for our children's children.

And when the cancer affects children and teenagers like Tyler and sadly, many many more... you forget the temporary pain you feel after a few days in the saddle !

So.. with coffee's in hand and the sun shining Eddie takes to the spoons and we have an impromptu sing song!!

Very soon after this the rest of the teams arrive through the village and we have a great team gathering. 
This leads to more money being pledged for a songs, press up competition, lamppost pole dancing and this is accompanied by laughter. 
What a sight 60 cyclists must look like at this point but that coffee break was one of my hi-lights.. all of us together and all having fun..

And then off for more cycling and our last meal.. 
This was on top of a hill in a farm and was the perfect end... to the perfect trip. I love moments like this- for some reason it always makes me think of my family. U.K./ Ireland and further a field. ( love you all for your never ending encouragement)!

I'm also so very grateful to all of you who text, message and read my updates. I know many of you have personal pain from Cancer and how it's touched your loved ones.

Over £85k has been raised already on the trip which is just incredible but sadly never enough...

So whatever you do, in whatever way to help us better understand how cures might be found- keep going and keep supporting. It does make a difference.

So now back in Blighty- I'm not sure what my next challenge will be or where I might end up... but thank you all so much for keeping me going .

Ciao xxxx"

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