Joshua Nuttall, head of CRM at CN&CO partner Purple Group, is crazy about cycling and helping people in need. In his regular column on our blog he talks about his cycling exploits and what goes on inside his head while he’s IN THE SADDLE.

The official MAD2Run 2018 launch

Benky biking in the Australian Outback to raise funds for Qhubeka

Allan and I at the Joburg City Cleanup

I have mentioned before that I enjoy reading the blogs on the Thrive Global website. They encourage me to think differently and challenge myself. In the past two weeks I have been fortunate enough to draw inspiration from those around me and the experiences that I have had.

Writing about this inspiration gives me goose bumps and expands my perspective of how fortunate we actually are. I am grateful that I am, along with my mates, able to contribute to something that is far bigger than my personal achievement or experiences.

So what happened in the past two weeks to inspire me?

Last weekend, together with Allan and Kurt from CN&CO, I attended the official T-shirt hand over for our MAD2Run journey, which takes place in April 2018. At the presentation we heard from two students who are currently completing their degrees at university and are part of the scholarship platform provided by the MAD Leadership Foundation. Hearing them speak was very powerful and made me realise that the funds we are raising for MAD by completing the MAD2Run journey will change someone’s life in a significant way by providing them with the opportunity to receive an education.

At the same time in Australia, a good mate of mine, Kevin Benkenstein, was on a different journey, riding his bike over 3 000km into the middle of the Outback to raise funds for the Qhubeka charity. A group of us were tracking his progress on the race tracker (“dot-watching”, they call it), chatting to him and motivating him via a WhatsApp group (technology I tell you!). After Kev finished, he told us how our words on the group had helped push him through some very dark places and thanked us for our donations, support and motivation. Making my donation to a Qhubeka bike, I realised how this bike will change someone’s life who I will probably never meet. This is the beauty of giving to a cause that you believe in, and giving a person an opportunity! #bicycleschangelives

The third inspiring experience that I had was during the #JoburgCityCleanUp. On Sunday, 17 September 2017, Blake organised an inner-city clean up. It was an opportunity to give back and experience a space of Joburg that I don’t often visit (something that needs to change going forward). I was disturbed by the filth and the amount of litter lying around. It made me upset that people could have such disrespect for their surroundings and others using the space. How can I draw inspiration from this? Well, I realised that it is easy to throw in the towel, but we need to support more initiatives like this to help change mindsets so that community engagements have a lasting impact.

So, all in all… thank you to those who have inspired me. I look forward to learning more and to continuing challenging myself.

Have a cracking week!