Charlotte Broughton #1: MEGAN HAS TOTALLY CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE!
Name: Charlotte Broughton
Best Results: 2nd at European Youth Olympics Road Race 2013 as a first year Youth A and 3rd overall Tour Series 2016
Rider Type: Road cyclist, potentially a wannabe sprinter and one day hopefully a classics special- ist..
Photo: Dawn Fry, 2013
Where I Fit In:
I’m delighted to announce that I will be working alongside Megan on the Cobble Coaching Blog for the foreseeable future. I have known Megan for years (we go WAY back) so when asked if I wanted to help out I jumped at the chance! This is an awesome opportunity to talk about all the aspects of cycling and coaching and more importantly the importance of looking after yourself: body and mind.
For a little bit of background information I currently race road (and track when I can) alongside working. Therefore, I guess you could say I’m very used to trying (and failing) to mix working and racing/training. Hopefully next season I’ll be able to find a better balance given racing should hopefully commence. If I can even remember how to race that is...
A long old time ago I was a part of British Cycling's track Olympic pathway programme, at this point in time it was called Talent Team. But after two years and numerous wins on the programme I turned down the offer to progress onto the next stage after being refused psychological help from the federation on the grounds of being ‘too young’, I was 16 at the time. Thus, I decided to focus on my studies and gained 3 A Levels which I was very pleased with.
I guess from this what I’m trying to say is please just know that you don’t have to follow the main- stream path in cycling nor education. Some people do and that works out for them which is great but please bear in mind that there’s no such thing as the ‘right way’ to progress personally. I’m happy (maybe happy isn’t the right word) that I finally understand my mental health too, I’ve recently been diagnosed as having pretty (I’m still a tad in denial) bad Anxiety and Depression. Thankfully Megan has also helped me to understand my brain and it’s behaviour post diagnosis, which I’m hugely grateful for.
But in spite of all of this I’m pretty happy as things go. I have learnt to take each day as it comes. I believe the vast majority of us have had a similar realisation subsequent of COVID. I learnt that hitting rock bottom isn’t the worst thing in the world: as much as it was (apologies for being so entirely contradictory) it also wasn’t. It was my perception that needed to change. Hitting rock bottom can be a tool to teach you how strong you really are: I’m proud to report back that I’m re- ally bloody strong.
Thankfully perception is something Megan has really helped me to change, if I have an issue I’m very lucky to have Megan to discuss such matters with. This has in turn helped me to focus on my bike riding and training as well as teaching me not to sweat the small stuff.
I strongly believe a good coach will always help to work out your barriers whether it be physical, financial or in my case mental. In cycling mental health is something that still seems to never get discussed, but why? If it’s a barrier it’s vital to be talked about. Whether that mental barrier be self belief, race day nerves or a diagnosed mental health condition, which can be totally debilitating.
However, chapeau Megan for helping to break that stigma! I believe cycling still has a long way to go regarding mental health. But with support such as Cobbled Coaching breaking this taboo it’s doing a wealth of good.
Please remember there’s no shame in struggling mentally, if you leg was broken you wouldn’t just carry on riding and training as normal would you? No.. So please don’t suffer in silence and please ensure that you reach out to those around you for the support that you deserve.
Until next time, Charlotte :)