Updated: Dec 21, 2018
Joe here - I’m considered pretty tough. I’m often described as ‘tough as nails’ or ‘a machine’, just peruse the comments on social media and you’ll see what I mean.
When I go to race what you see is my race face. It’s a face of complete concentration. It’s a face of drive and performance. It’s a face that I show my competitors. It looks like a tough face and don’t get me wrong, it is. Of course, that’s only one side of the coin.
More and more through our live facebook feeds we are purposefully showing the other face, the one that suffers like everyone else; the one that has moments of profound doubt.
The one that is vulnerable.
It’s the job of the Race by the way to dismantle toughness because once it’s dismantled, what’s left is innate resilience, the ability to move forward whilst feeling and navigating pain, doubt and vulnerability. The Race is only interested in resilience. Tough gets you as far as the start line.
I’ve learned that uncomfortable, painful feelings pass. They are very real in the moment and I trust that I have the tools to navigate them or my team does and they are always with me.
What I may have to do is ask them for help.
It’s exactly the same with life, which is why I’m so pleased to say that Team Joe Barr will partner with Cycle Against Suicide during Race Around Ireland and beyond.
We want to participate in the courageous conversation that this terrific National organization is having.
The conversation about suicide.
The conversation that is striving to break down the barriers around mental health.
If we really want to stop people dying by suicide then we must make it easier for them to live and that means embodying the message that “it’s OK to not feel OK; and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.”
There will be portions of Race Around Ireland where I’m not going to feel OK and I absolutely will be asking for help.
I’ve always found life on two wheels much easier than life on two feet. The wisdom I’ve acquired from two wheels, I’m constantly learning to apply to two feet.
I’ve learned to ask for help when the distance seems too great to endure.
During Race Around Ireland we’ll be helping to raise awareness and funds for the Cycle Against Suicide School Program. This is a vital, evidence-based program that educates and supports our vulnerable teenagers. Ireland ranks fourth highest in the area of teen suicide in the EU/OECD Region. This is something we must change.
Please donate generously.
We’ll be posting more information and links shortly. Stay tuned!
For now, please visit Cycle Against Suicide and get informed and involved.
I’d like to say a heartfelt thank-you to the Board at Cycle Against Suicide for allowing us to be part of breaking the cycle.
Joe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org