“My wife wakes up super early and usually cracks me out of bed but regardless, I actually like to wake up at 6am. I love to head to the gym first thing, it’s super important for me to kickstart my day and really sets the tone. I love getting the blood pumping round my body and it helps me fight the day ahead. After the gym, I’m ready to rock! In all seriousness though, I’ve found that the days I don’t make it to the gym are the days that I have a lot of built up anxiety and stress. The more you go, the more you’ll want to go. Plus, it means you can be a bit naughty with your diet!
On the mornings where jumping out of bed doesn’t come so easily to me, I’ll kiss my wife. That helps. And I always make sure to avoid the phone and reach for a book instead – I always have a few good books by the bed. At the moment I’m loving Mission in a Bottle: The Story of Honest Tea, which is a comic business book and Jim Ratcliffe’s The Alchemists.
I have a couple of morning non-negotiables, starting with the cold shower. It gets the blood pumping round the body, gets the heart rate up and gets you focussing on your body and your breathing. It increases blood flow circulation, which is super anti-inflammatory and it’s really beneficial for the mind, too. The gym or some kind of exercise is also a must-do for me and then taking a few minutes for my three-step BAZ & CO skincare routine, where I use the body wash, the 2-in-1 exfoliator and the moisturiser. I also love Aesop’s natural deodorant and Byredo’s Gypsy scent or the classic Le Labo Santal 26. Scent is so important, I think, because it helps me feel alive – especially first thing in the morning! And I use a Dr Organics charcoal toothpaste which is black, so it looks a bit weird, but it makes your mouth minty fresh, which I guess is the point of a really decent toothpaste. And without sounding like a martyr, I do really like to try and do something kind in the morning because it really sets the tone for the day, whether it’s taking some time to talk to the guy in the coffee shop or literally just saying hi to someone in the lift.
I was blessed with a super dicky hip so I have to stretch every morning or I feel a lot of pain and tension. I can’t show anyone, because it looks weird, but I need to stretch out my hips, legs and flexors. I’ve got a 5-6 minute stretching routine which works really well for me. On the weekends, I love heading downstairs after I’ve stretched and grabbing a piece of toast before heading out for a cycle. I think it’s important to mix up the mornings on the weekend so that you’re not getting bored in the gym and also, it’s always a good idea to head outside to watch the seasons change. Right now, in autumn, the leaves look so beautiful! I just bought an old cask which I love to use as an ice bath when I get home from a weekend cycle. It’s super challenging for the mind and body and has even more benefits than a cold shower.
When it comes to advice, the best piece I’ve ever been given is to be kind. It sounds cliché but honestly, treat others the way you’d want to be treated and always treat people with dignity and respect. Give it out, and it will come back to you in absolute abundance. And the advice I’d give to my 16 year old self? Travel. Travel as much as you can and put yourself into fun and different situations that’ll cause you to have some amazing experiences. Get into sailing earlier and try to meet as many people as you can from different backgrounds; learning about diversity and different ethnicities will help with empathy so much. Life is a team sport! And it’s all about the ability to be able to play alongside each other and promote and get the best from each other. No man is an island! Oh, and always wash behind your ears!”