Some of you may remember (back in August) reading the inspirational story of Michael Barnett. Michael gave up smoking earlier this year and then decided to to embark on a journey of raising his fitness levels and becoming a triathlete.
Yesterday, Michael sent us his latest blog through our twitter account and asked us to please share with you his latest update on his journey.
This is how it goes;
Blog title: The hardest thing I've ever written
I've been debating long and hard over this blog post but I feel it only fair to share what's been going on in the past few months.
As you are all no doubt aware I have managed to get a new job at home, which is amazing as I only applied for the one job.
This job meant so much to me as it would allow me to live back at home and actually get to spend time with my friends and most importantly my wife. Living in hotels for a period of 51 weeks was really not for me especially when it was meant to only be for a period of 10 weeks.
I met some fantastic people who I would not have met had I not been in the hotel in London, most notably all the RG Active people who I consider friends.
Anyway back to the point. Due to how much this job meant to me, I had managed to heap an inordinate amount of pressure on myself prior to my second interview.
This job would end my hotel boredom and allow me more stability for training. Like I said pressure.
During a stupid moment of weakness on my way to my second interview I managed to undo over 150 days hard work and succumbed to a craving for a cigarette as I thought it would help me cope with my nerves.
To this day I have no idea why I did this and hated myself for doing it but I was once again feeding the nicotine monster and before I knew it I had started my descent down the slippery slope. At first I was buying a pack a day and smoking one cigarette and throwing the rest in the bin. After a night drinking in London with my work colleagues I took another step down the slippery slope and smoked more than usual and was then a smoker again.
It really is a slippery slope and I hated what I was doing to myself as I hadn't struggled to give up. I'd just had a moment of weakness and was now paying the price.
I had also become what Allen Carr refers to as a secret smoker as I hadn't told anyone I was smoking. When I was at home I would formulate excuses to go out to allow me time to feed the little monster. I was lying to my friends and family. I felt stupid but here I was again a smoker.
It wasn't long before I developed a cough and I even lied to my wife when she asked me about my cough and if I had been smoking. I denied all knowledge. What an idiot I was being.
Things all came to a head when me and Nicola went to went to the Help Harry Help Others ball in Birmingham on the 19th October. I had relied on Twitter to get the tickets but due to some complications, the person who I was getting the tickets off couldn't make it. She was meant to be travelling from Germany but didn't and I had no way of contacting other members in her party. I worked myself into a right bundle of stress and fed the monster due to extra complications with a receptionist at the hotel I had gone to, to collect the tickets. Anyway relief ensued and I finally managed to get the tickets. I happily made my way back to the hotel where Nicola was getting ready and as soon as I walked in to give her a hug, she said I smelt of smoke. This was it, that one moment where I could have lied again but I had to come clean, this is my wife I couldn't lie again so I was honest and confessed all. I admitted to being a smoker again. I cried and felt stupid but I also felt a huge weight had been lifted off me. Between us we formulated a plan for me to start taking Champix again and to recommence the journey to being a non smoker again (she was amazingly supportive, which was not what I was expecting). I have now been a non smoker since Friday 2nd November and am taking each day as it comes. I've been an idiot and undone so much hard work.
To all the people who have called me inspirational and followed me on this journey, I'm sorry. I've been an idiot.
My faux pas shows that no matter your level of motivation is for not smoking, it can all be undone in a moment of weakness. I have learnt so much about the idiosyncrasies of the nicotine trap and believe me from experience it is a trap and you can only break free with the right support. My wife will always support me through everything and for that I am eternally grateful.
If you are annoyed with me for failing in my journey, I am sorry. If you have stopped smoking because you were inspired by me, I am also sorry but stay strong and don't start smoking again. Use the support of friends and family when life gets tough and don't make the same mistake that I did.
Hope you all stay with me on this journey,
Unlike a certain well known cyclist, at least I have had the courage to admit my failings in a bare all confession. Lol.