As many of us start undertaking our New Year’s resolutions, we spoke to inspirational Horley resident Dani Christmas – a young runner turned pro cyclist (after a serious an injury) to hear all about her exciting plans for 2016 and also get her top tips for getting out on our bikes…
Why did you make the move from athletics to cycling?
I began cycling at the beginning of 2013 following an athletics injury. It was an incredibly hard decision because running was my life but I have really embraced my cycling challenges, loving every minute. I have stayed true to my running roots with a range of coaching and mentoring roles in my immediate community and beyond. Passing on my knowledge and experience is something that I am truly passionate about.
You recently fractured your spine and amazingly were back on your bike, taking on the Belgium Lotto Cycling Cup, within six weeks – why did you decide to challenge yourself?
As a sports person we challenge ourselves on a daily basis. To improve we have to keep pushing the boundaries and that means that sometimes you are outside
of your comfort zone.
I was determined to return to racing after I broke my back because I had worked so hard throughout the year to be on top form and I knew I could still achieve a lot at the latter end of the season. It was a real team effort to get me back on the start line safely and it certainly made me appreciate being able to get out and enjoy being on my bike and racing.
To complete my first international UCI stage race, the Lotto Belgium Tour, was a sign of how far I had come just weeks after fracturing my spine and the obstacles I had overcome both physically and mentally. Looking back and reflecting on the season I’m proud of the way my team and I battled through adversity but it certainly makes me hungrier for more success next season.[tie_slideshow] [tie_slide] [/tie_slide] [tie_slide] [/tie_slide] [tie_slide] [/tie_slide] [tie_slide] [/tie_slide] [tie_slide] [/tie_slide] [/tie_slideshow]
Do you have any top tips or advice for those who want to get on their bike this year?
Cycling is a fantastic way to ease in to an exercise programme and it most certainly does not need to be done in a boring gym environment. If you have ever ridden on a bike in the gym the chances are you quickly turned into a sweaty mess and were bored to tears after 20 minutes forget this experience. Riding on the road is far more enjoyable and can be done at virtually any intensity so it doesn’t have to be slog.
Get out and enjoy the countryside, the south east has an abundance of stunning country roads to explore. Whether you’re looking for a flat easy spin or a challenging hilly route, jump on and enjoy the ride.
And finally, what does 2016 hold for you?
During 2016 every day I aspire to be the best version of myself. This is something everyone can aim for!
Follow Dani’s next tour by visiting: www.danichristmas.com