I’m cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in my living room!
Kahren started cycling to stay active and keep her mind occupied during lockdown. First she started cycling the short distances to her daughters homes. Now she is cycling the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for the British Lung Foundation!
Lockdown was very tough at first. I knew I’d have to shield and as a mum of 4 and grandma of 7, having no contact with my family was tough. But as I have severe COPD, emphysema and severe asthma, I knew I had no choice.
Just like everyone else, I quickly got bored of all the normal things I do around the house. I started crocheting, but that quickly got monotonous! After a few weeks I decided enough was enough and I needed to start moving more. I had signed up to Active steps, a programme the BLF ran to help those less active become fitter. But I didn’t continue with it when lockdown began. I needed something to engage my mind and keep me busy, and although the programme was helpful it just wasn’t what I needed at that time.
I needed something different that would take my mind off lockdown as well as helping me stay active. That’s when I remembered my exercise bike - that for the past 3 years had been used solely as a clothes rack! - and decided to start cycling.
I hadn’t cycled in years, probably since I was a teenager, so the prospect of starting again now was daunting at first. But after speaking with my daughters, I came up with a great way to combine cycling and those most important to me. I would cycle the distance from my house to my daughters one day, then cycle the virtual journey to a friend’s house the next. Each day I would get on my bike, turn the TV on (it’s a great excuse to watch a programme my partner doesn’t like!) and start cycling to somewhere new.
Soon I’d virtually cycled to the houses of nearly everyone I knew, so I started googling distances to holiday destinations we’d visited in previous years. That’s when I came up with the idea of a cycling challenge. I would cycle the distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats, the furthest distance I could possibly complete on dry land!
I began doing 5km a day, then upped it slowly to nearly 25km. My friends and family are all sponsoring me and are very supportive of my challenge. They all know how great the BLF’s work is and how much our support can help them. They are also glad to see me active again and doing something that’s helping me both physically and mentally during such a tough time.
I plan to continue cycling after lockdown, if only virtually for now. I’m thankful I was able to find something to keep me going and I hope the money I raise can help more people with lung conditions through the work the BLF does.