Neil Sharp-Dent, 39, sets out today to cycle around the world to face his fears head-on and to show others “they can do anything.” In addition to the challenges faced by any cyclist setting off on an around-the-world tour, Neil is confronting his own battle with anxiety.
“It affects me in pressure situations, particularly my decision making,” explained Neil, as quoted in devonlive.com. Reflecting a rather Japanese approach, he notes, “I tend to agree with people in difficult situations in order to avoid confrontation.”
Neil’s website, www.worrying.bike, explains his vegan philosophy and gives background on why an anxiety sufferer would choose to venture so far from the comfort zone.
I’m cycling around the whole world, turning my physical effort into funds for Mind [the mental health charity] to help other people struggling with mental health. For me, it’s worrying on a whole new scale.
In addition to maintaining a vegan diet through his two- to three-year around-the-world biking adventure, Neil hopes to avoid using non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels when he can. For example, from Oman to India, Neil will take a sail-powered vessel.
That’s part of the reason I’m doing this, to make sure people see [anxiety] should not stop you achieving your dreams. People are often scared about talking about anxiety but it should be spoken about openly like a physical illness.