David Smith – Alive Man Cycling!
David Smith was featured in a BBC Scotland documentary earlier this week and for us this one programme justified every single penny of the annual BBC TV Licence.
Every Autumn Joe attends the BASI trainers conference, which among other activities includes seminars with motivational speakers, usually from sportsmen or the world of sports science. This particular year (2013) Joe returned as always, fizzing about the people he had met and the ideas he had been introduced to. I picked him up from the local rail station and we drove straight to the pub for dinner and a catch up, he could hardly wait to tell me!!
I am used to his boyish enthusiasm but imagine how it felt as I handed him his beer and with eyes welling up and his bottom lip trembling he announced:
‘I’ve just got to tell you, I’ve met the most amazing man….’
Luckily he quickly registered my confusion and hastily reassured me I wasn’t about to get sidelined (phew!!) or witness some personal confession. Nope, the star guest speaker at the BASI conference that year was David Andrew Smith, Paralympic Gold Medallist & MBE. When Joe first met David Smith it was after his success at the Paralympics and here is the blog Joe wrote about David at the time: https://www.alpinelearningcurves.co.uk/new-inspiration-david-smith/
But David’s problems it seems were far from over and the BBC documentary includes what happened next, culminating in the personal challenge he then set himself to cycle the 3 routes to the peak of the notorious Mt Ventoux.
I was really moved by what Joe told me that night in the pub, however not having met the man in person it did not have the same impact it evidently had on Joe. Maybe seeing is believing because Dead Man Cycling really brought home to me what a truly heroic person this guy is.
David’s story, his all consuming desire to succeed at sport and the monumental barriers he has had to overcome in order to make his dreams reality are completely beyond my feeble abilities to describe. Tired, over-used clichés like ‘passion’ ‘journey’ & ‘giving it 110%’ simply cheapen what this super human has achieved.
If you didn’t get to see the programme, there is still time. Treat yourselves and check it out on BBC i-player: