Team Apogee 2102 – LIVE BLOG Part 6
SIMPLY RED VI
Sunday September 23
The Apogee Help a Capital Child Challenge Blog
Day 5 – The day after the day before…
The morning after the day before and we are at peace with each other and within ourselves. Believe it or not we have not had one drinking session this past week (something that we will have to sort out in the coming weeks); there is no triumphalism among the group and for the first time in five days I hear a hint of work talk from the rest of the team. It is strange, but commendable, how they always keep a ‘Chinese wall’ between work and recreation. Maybe it helps that I am an outsider standing in Lee Ironside.
It is not clear to me how Company Apogee views Team Apogee but individually we could be anyone from within the company. We are not an exclusive group just people, who apart from me, work for the same company and share a common aim outside of work. It speaks volumes for the team that there is no rank or file here. Femi is Femi, Glen is Glen and Jason is Jason. Any ‘pecking’ order was established by our various personalities; the loud, the organiser, the dominant, the socialiser, the thoughtful, the assertive, the joker, the nurturer and so on.
Once home I know that things will return to normal and so I start this final blog (With Jason this time providing the background snoring on the train) by writing highlights of the week. Having started along that route, Femi has just told me that Van Persie has scored the winner for United and I lose my (pardon the pun) train of thought.
I have just scrubbed the other points but one things survives the cutting floor which is my quote of the week:
“Barry did not hit the wall today, the wall hit Barry.”
I decide to be boring and sensible to end the blogs with my serious thoughts. On reflection, while we (obviously) came here as men I think we are going back home as men in the Rudyard Kipling sense. I recite extracts from ‘If’ in my head and decide to share those (that I can remember) with our past week. I feel that during the past 5 days we have ticked many of Kipling’s boxes.
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs;
We managed to keep our composure in some trying times with Femi in particular showing a poise and maturity above his years. The easiest thing for us to do was to use one of the many obstacles that were put before us as a reason not to get on with our task as a team.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you;
There were times when we all wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew by completing two individually tough challenges in a week. It was a crazy thing to do. However we did, during training, learn to trust our own ability and that of each other that was pivotal to our success. I, for example, had never touched an oar until 12 weeks ago and had to earn the trust of the team.
If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.
We with a few exceptions all had our good and bad days but never ever lost focus on the goal. There were no disasters on the trip for the simple reason that we never allowed our problems to fester, cause divisions and become a crisis. No one was too big to say sorry and believe me, there were a few sorry’s.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
Our hearts, body and soul were all tested and passed the ultimate test. The only other way that any of this team would have gone to Paris, other than on our bikes, was via air ambulance. We laid it on the line, hit the wall, held on for dear life and then crashed through it into a land of achievement that I for one thought was beyond me.
We did not just make it to Paris we made it with competence, purpose and style that had most people believing that we were a professional; cycling unit. We will be proud, Kipling men, when we take your contributions in a giant size cheque (that is still growing) to Capital Radio on everyone’s behalf…
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
To those who read and especially those who responded to the blogs. it inspired me to produce the next one and then the next one. The Team enjoyed it with Campbell occasionally gathering them around to read it out Jackanory (Story Maker to younger readers) style so we could laugh at ourselves together.