Keeping my cards close to my chest

Member Sam Wootton uses the club blog to tell a very frank and honest story and a little on why cycling has helped him.


This blog is not really cycling related, just that I happen to be a cyclist.

I nearly didn’t write this, I thought no don’t do it, no one will know. However, this is the problem that we are trying to resolve and we have a nasty habit of not talking about it.  About the way we feel, what we find difficult, what people have said about us, or not said about us. In my last blog “My first ride with the Stars” in July last year, I wrote about my anxiety and the depression I had at the time.

The bit I missed out was, why I had been suffering from this and why I still do.

So here goes!

When I was fifteen, things in my life began to change and I had noticed something, but I could not work it out, until one day I did. I realised I was GAY!! It’s only a three letter long word and if only the next bit was as short.

I told some friends about this and at that point I then had no friends and within days the whole school knew and this was certainly not good news. I of course initially denied it, but after time I couldn’t and tried to stop listening, but it still goes in.

I now hope by writing this you will be able to understand the problems I’ve faced, caused by the negative attitudes of some people.

This next part was my biggest downfall, of not being able to trust anyone, thinking about all the people I had trusted and they let me down. Or had I let them down? Thoughts like this started going around in my head and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. So I kept my cards close to my chest for another 13 years.

When something inside starts to tear you apart you cannot see reason anymore you just cannot hide it, put it on the shelf for later to sort out. The more you ignore it, the more it hurts and there were some dark days before I came out and there were some dark days after trying to put it right.

We cannot change the past, but we can help people in the future by letting them be free to be who they are. We all have our own problems at times, we are all guilty of shutting the door or leaving the door half open so that we can only be hurt half as much, but the truth is people only see one side of your non-good side.

I do think of myself as incredibly fortunate that I had a friend outside of school that understood and sympathised. My love for the great outdoors, my job in the farming rural community, the love of my family (and the dog) and the people in the cycling world have all helped me greatly.

Joining Banbury Star almost 18 months ago was a big and brave step for me, but probably one of the best things I’ve done to enhance my life. I’ve made new friends, enjoyed the weekend rides and helping out with things like the road race. It’s given me new confidence and why I now feel able to tell you a bit about what has been going through my mind. 

Below is a short poem I wrote not long after I came out for my friends and family. I really think it suits club members as friends, it’s yours to have to read share on those – not so good days.

I cannot stand here and bear the fear and bear the thought of an empty heart it’s pulling me a part with my mind full of time no time to be aware of the moments I share its life it’s not that I don’t care it’s time I stood and looked at what cares who cares, fear doesn’t care, care fear, fear doesn’t live here anymore you’re not being pull apart pushed together with moments of life love and care. There is nothing to be aware of, just aware you’re here with me means a lot to me and to be free means everything to me.

Finally writing this blog coincides with the “Stonewall Rainbow Laces” initiative, details of which can be found here