Davina McCall on Headspace - part 2
If you missed the first part of Davina's blog, read it here
I did a challenge for Sport Relief recently, an amazing charity I have been working with since it began, doing fantastic work all over the world, so when they asked me to do it, I couldn’t say no. They called it “Davina, Beyond Breaking Point” and when they told me the name, a while before we began the challenge, I thought 'ooooh that’s a bit dramatic'! Little did I know that it was actually to be quite prophetic. It was without a doubt, the toughest mental challenge I have ever gone through. I’m still having flash backs of biblical weather, my head down trying to protect myself from the hail and brutal gale force winds. It was the very worst of times but at the same time... the very best of times.
One moment I would be crying in a loo (just about the only place I could get any privacy) not wanting to go back out and start again and the next minute I’d be howling with laughter. And the thing that really stood out, was that I have never been so totally in the moment. I was barely using my phone, I was not thinking about tomorrow or next week, I was just taking it minute by minute. I was in a total bubble, more focused than I have ever been. I caught the news on the 3rd night and was horrified to see the country in a state of emergency due to the weather that I had been battling through. There I was doing this crazy challenge, surrounded by a support team doing everything for me and there were all these poor people being evacuated from their homes. It felt wrong, it made for a surreal backdrop to the challenge. All along the route we were cycling with water lapping at the roads, constantly being re-routed because of red warnings. On day 6, Sport Relief announced it would be giving some of the funds from the challenge to flood victims suffering extreme hardship. I was really pleased about that.
People ask me which was the worst bit. Well, it wasn’t Lake Windermere! Which may come as a surprise having seen me being carried out of the water. I was scared and it was really awful, but to be honest I wasn’t really aware at the time of what was happening and once I had thawed out I felt a bit better. My worst moment was Wednesday...
I was so down. In fact I was furious. Furious with the wind. Really, really angry and on our 2nd pit stop after the rain I had to go somewhere quiet and talk to myself. On exiting the pit stop we had to double back on ourselves to get back onto the road and for about 100 yards we had the wind behind us. I wasn’t even peddling, going 18mph, then we turned the corner and it hit me like a brick and all those words that I had said to myself moments earlier just disappeared. All that fighting talk dissolved and I just cried. Cried and talked to God and my dear sister for the next thirty miles. I went to a very dark place and I never want to go there again. It was really frightening and not like me at all. I got to the hotel and collapsed, too tired to even get upset or terrified about the past 14 hrs in the saddle I had to look forward to the next day!
A new day and my last day in the saddle that week. But then... as luck would have it, I woke up the next morning and the wind had died down a little. I felt good, I looked at everyone, looking at me, worried about me and I gave a big smile. I didn’t dwell on the day before and got back on the bike! It ended up being a great day!
I miss everyone from that challenge. We all went on an extraordinary journey. All battling crazy conditions. Try filming in that! I will never forget the kindness and encouragement that I felt from the whole team. I shall always be so grateful for that. But an extra special thanks (and I am crying while I type this!), goes to Greg Whyte. Without a doubt, he kept me going and believed in me... when I wasn't sure I had anything left to give, he would always find it. That in turn meant I finished the challenge, but more that that he left me feeling really proud of myself. He showed me what I’m made of. So a huge, huge chunk of love goes out to that man.
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