Dan Little, our Head of Fitness, has had a tough journey over the last year after being hit by a speeding car whilst cycling round a roundabout on Sunday 22nd July 2018.
It resulted in some rather significant physical injuries, for which he was treated in the trauma unit at The Royal Berkshire Hospital, but he’s also faced a long and tough battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
With it being Mental Health Awareness day, we caught up with Dan to find out about his recovery and the mental challenges he has faced.
Following the accident, my immediate focus and priority was getting myself back to physical fitness as quickly as possible. I never once considered the mental effect the accident had on me.
Towards the end of last year, I found myself struggling with simple tasks such as crossing the road, walking near traffic or being surround by noise and crowds of people - let alone getting back on the bike. It was a tough period.
Long story short, I was diagnosed with PTSD and referred to a 'High Intensity CBT Therapist' for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
It's been an incredibly emotional, long and difficult process, but after completing 27 weeks of therapy I can now confidently walk away in a better and stronger mental state and have returned back to road cycling - all thanks to the NHS and the support I was quickly provided.
Things happen in life, and sometimes you need to step back and take stock of your injuries, both physically and mentally. For me, it really was a life adjustment. Physically, we can heal through rest and rehabilitation, but mentally, that's a different ball game and something that I had never experienced before.
The process was extremely tough. Through therapy, I’ve learnt the importance of being open and honest and not to bury your head. Opening up and talking is good and healthy, accepting that some things can’t be controlled and ultimately that there is no shame admitting when something is not right.
One of the most significant milestones I wanted to achieve this year was to complete RIDE LONDON. I didn't think I would ever get back on my bike, so this was a huge personal achievement and I'm proud to say that I raised over £800 for MIND (The Mental Health Charity).
Never underestimate the importance of mental health, no matter how big or small. If there's one thing that I learnt, you never know what someone is going through - be kind, always!
Thank you to everyone for the support over the past 14 months and I look forward to seeing you on the bike soon.
Join Dan's class in Richmond on Tuesdays 06.30, Wednesdays 18.30 and Saturdays 09.00 & 10.15.