I am David Anthony James Gannon Robinson and this is my story
Friends call me Tubs mainly because I was rather large, I’m glad to say the weight is falling off now I’ve found a passion for cycling.
My story with Cancer began several years ago, it was always something you heard about, something that happened to elderly or sick people I was to learn something about myself and fast. My 1st experience was with testicular cancer. I was in so much pain that I had to visit the doctor, I was quickly referred to a great hospital and dreaded lump found, as this was growing from the side of my left testicle, the surgery was quick and apart from a small mark, I recovered, The pain I was in made me into a person I didn’t know, depression and not knowing we’re dreadful. I knew more about my body from this and kept checking myself, But what came next was a total shocker. I had a slight cough that I couldn’t shake off, was told I needed to visit the doctor to check it out and get something to help me sleep better, but before this I was in the shower one morning, couldn’t breathe, felt faint and was coughing up blood a lot of blood, I got out of the shower had a pee and saw that was red too. I called work and said I can’t come in my boss said what the heck are you doing calling me call an ambulance.
At the hospital I was referred to an specialist in Ear, nose & throat my tests were intense as they didn’t believe it could be cancer due to my age, I got another specialist and he knew my gut was in bits along with my Oesophagus (Oesophageal Cancer) I took it quite well as they said normally guys are 55 years or older, My thinking was lets get this lump out of me please, I was very lucky that I took note of everything that was said to me, My operation was planned I got told my stomach was going to be turned over as well as my reflux wind tube would no longer work, meaning I could lean to swallow after 3 months but I wouldn’t be able to be sick so had to watch what I ate and drank afterwards. personally I had never even heard of the oesophagus let alone know what it did, but oh boy I soon found out it was going to hurt and hurt for quite awhile too. So off the hospital I went and under the knife I think it was around 10 hours of surgery and a week to recoup in there afterwards, I was allowed home as I had a carer arranged, for the next 3 months I would be at home and kept indoors no solid food allowed just high fat high energy liquid foods .
I personally don’t use the term survivor although I totally understand why people do, for me it’s about the people who don’t survive or will never survive I guess.
My family mean so much to me and I love it that we’re able to be there for each other, I had a good childhood with my wonderful parents installing some great belief’s like it’s nice to be nice and helping others, something I still do today, okay it takes time from your normal life but hey I’d rather be this way.
I’m still friends with the guys I went to school with and they keep me in check, I used to be very social butterfly type of chap out for dinner or drinks most nights of the week, (don’t worry no longer doing this :)) I blame playing golf and rugby well watching a lot of rugby involved beer, yes I had fun but I had to pay for that fun with my health. and this is what brings me to where I am today, not to long ago I tipped the scales at almost 20 stone (US 280lbs) (Euro 128KG) I’m currently just under 13 stone and I know by keeping on doing what I’m doing I will get to target of under 12 stone and be in a much better shape than ever before.
This journey started because my buddy Ollie wanted an experiment I think. We decided to do Revolve 24 hour cycle challenge as a 4 man team I didn’t even own a bicycle, I started off my weight-loss journey on a little Hybrid which was slow or I was just really very slow Pah. I could only manage 5 miles at first so when I reached 10m covered in sweat this felt awesome, but I did notice these guys zooming past me on racing bikes well it’s what I knew them as anyways….
I needed a Road bike (oh yeah that’s what people call them) I went shopping and picked a little Red Fuji named Ruby now. a very lightweight piece of Kit and it made a massive difference too, I could soon do 20 miles, I got the bike late July we were racing in just 6 weeks, it was then we noticed other teams and the mileage they were doing, I could possibly reach 500 miles and other riders posted online they had done 5,000+ oh boy, When we got to the closed circuit of brands hatch motor racing track we saw those hills and I really didn’t like hills, OK so it was a challenge so what if we finished last the plan was to finish. 24 hours of pain I was a broken man, I wanted to throw that bike away, but looking at the results we done so much better than we thought, Happy days,
I took the most of the winter off training but come the spring I wanted to ride again, I was asked to write a story of how I was dropping weight so well with the feedback from the newspaper that I decided to start Dave’s Changed my online blog and social media pages of how I overcame Cancer to overcoming weight-loss along with depression and anxiety too. I was inspired to inspire
There are so many people that seek help but everyone that offers help wants to sell them something for a monthly fee, so I thought I’d love to tell my story and maybe inspire someone to lose weight or be more confident after surgery,
Since that 1st event I’ve taken part in 3 other 24 hour races with a team, But I decided it was time to now step up and go solo, once I reached over 6 stone in weight loss instead of upgrading my car to a newer model I had a new bike built for me, Wyndy made bikes for team GB and also did really funky colour schemes at a price of course, it wasn’t about the money it was about investing in myself.
I still need to lose weight and work a little on my mindfulness but having my group does inspire me to try different things and report on them,
My plan for Raam21 is to complete some of Europe’s most prestige events in 2020 to up my game and be race ready for raam because I will be fitter and stronger and be able to handle the miles along with constant rotation within the team, This will include March Spanish Mountains trip, London Revolution race 155mile,
Chase the Sun from sun rise to sun set approx. 235 miles across England, then on to Italy a week later to the Alps and the highest point Slevio Mountain where we plan on setting out at 2am and riding up this mountain 3 times hoping to finish around 10pm it’s one of Europe’s toughest days in the saddle,
France and the Le Mans 24 hour race yes they hold one for cyclists too Its a very hot ride with 540 teams of 8 plus 100 solo riders of which I’ll be one, this event sold out in a day, Mersey UK National TT Championship 24 hour endurance race around Liverpool area on open roads. and I finish my season as always with The Revolve 24 hour solo race at the infamous Brands Hatch circuit of the hills. There will be many more if you want to check me out on Daveschanged on FB etc. All the races and events along with the stories I’ve sold the monies raised has gone to Cancer Research charities and I will continue to raise what I can when I can as any help for these charities is much needed.
To get the call up to race in Ramm21 as the only British rider on this team of hero’s from the good ol USofA is a dream come true after I was part of a 4 man British team that finished 3rd overall of course I was only crew in 2019, I was very emotional at first then a plan of action had to come in hence my list of events, I will truly up my game in both training a commitment to others the training is going to hurt I know this and I’m putting a plan together for winter training camps that’ll help progress me from an event rider. To help others I’ve set up a non profit bike spares and accessories company that will help get others into fitness. I always try to Pay It Forward by giving rather than selling on my Kit. everything I’ve done so far with Dave’s Changed and Clip in Gear has helped give those in need a free to use service, which I am the only sponsor of, I am in talks with a couple of others who now also wish to help me grow this so hopefully we’ll be able to help many more in the future.
I’ve never done anything solo or unsupported like I’ll be doing in the next 18 months I personally don’t know what will happen to my body or mindset, but I cant wait to get going and see just how strong a group of 8 survivors are on this journey. Thanks for reading I promise you all I’ll give it my fullest.