I arrived in the Lake District today for a few days of cycling before going on to the Lowther Show at the weekend. It’s pouring with rain, and I didn’t much fancy going out on the bike! But remembering Mel Robbins and her “five-second” rule, I put my gear on and ventured outside.

Within minutes I was soaked to the skin, and with the low cloud, it was hard to appreciate the beauty of the landscape. On days like today, cold, wet and cycling slowly I’m left wondering why exactly I’m out here?

I had intended to ride a 50km loop starting near Keswick, taking in the Honister Pass which I haven’t cycled before. It’s one of the UK’s classic climbs and is both steep and hard with a maximum gradient of 21.8% and an average gradient of 7.4%.

Within minutes of reaching the base of the hill, I knew I was in trouble! I just didn’t have it in me and pulled up about a 400m into the climb. I sat in the rain, trying desperately to catch my breath as my lungs felt like they were going to explode out of my chest. Five minutes later, feeling a bit better, I climbed back onto my bike and cycled back the way I had come.

Sometimes, we must accept that it’s not our day. I was beaten by the gradient and the rain and my lack of regular cycling over the last few months. As I rode back to the campsite, I pondered the situation.

In years gone by, such a failure would have left me distraught, so much of my self-esteem was wrapped up in my physical fitness and my refusal to give up even when things are hard. I realise that today marks a very positive step forward. Rather than being obsessed by the goal and the outcome of reaching the summit, I’m focused on the journey and enjoying each day as it comes.

The climb will be there tomorrow and the next day and hopefully I will make it next time. Either way, sitting eating a lovely meal back in the caravan, I can feel the warm glow from my body as it recovers from physical exercise, and it feels good. I feel so lucky and grateful for the life I have, with the freedom to explore, to create and play in our beautiful countryside.

I hope you will spend today thinking about what matters in your life. Now is the time to let go of those material possessions, stop comparing yourself to others or worrying about what they think. You don’t need more things; you don’t need better things, you don’t need to worry about tomorrow. Instead, look in the mirror and decide on the person you want to be today and then be true to this vision.

You must live the life that you have always dreamed about. There is no guaranteed tomorrow, only today and the choices you make right now. You have an opportunity; so please live each moment with no regrets, doing the things you love, with joy in your heart.

Together, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

Hi, I'm Luke Bream, the author of this blog, and one of the co-founders of Valentte. Thanks for taking the time to read about our journey.

We are small business based in Nantwich on an old dairy farm. We make affordable, luxurious home fragrance and natural skincare. It smells amazing, works like a treat and comes beautifully wrapped.

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24 thoughts on “Freedom”

  1. Good morning Luke, thank you for the post.
    Having spent much of the last 12 months being chewed up by a situation which is market driven and not through choice I find myself on the verge of closing a small family run business.
    I have tried “ riding up that hill” for the past five years but eventually I have come to terms with the fact that I need to accept that, like the Cow and Calf climb at Ilkley, I cannot climb this hill either and will have accept my limitations.
    Like you, age, experience and an accepting of the situation has allowed me to make the next move without guilt or shame for having failed but with pride at what I have achieved over the past 30 years.

    Good luck at the show, I missed the stall at Harrogate Show but will be purchasing my beloved Patchouli room diffuser and shower gel.

    Great timing in the blog and the first time I have ever responded to one but it was just so right for me this morning.


    • Hi Niki

      Thank you for your comment. I know what you are going through and feel deeply for you. Business and markets can be incredibly cruel and unforgiving. I’m inspired by the strength you show in coming to terms with the situation and moving forward without guilt or shame.
      Do take your time and be kind to yourself. You have put heart and soul into your business, it will leave a big hole. During an experience like this, there is a form of grieving that is required to properly come to terms with whats happened and be able to move on.
      This process takes time, don’t try to rush it. I went through something similar when my sandwich company went bust, and it took me a few years to feel able to get back into business again.
      Best wishes and do contact me if I can help in any way.

      Luke x

  2. So true Luke !!!
    I am inspired yet again from reading your experiences . Enjoy how you feel today and hoping you feel that every day .
    Thankyou for inspiring us readers everyday .

  3. Luke, you have a heart for people and sharing your blog to help others is amazing. I always enjoy reading them. I hope you stay safe on your travels and have an amazing time. Keep inspiring others. #BeALightInTheDark

  4. You’re always such an inspiration especially when my day ahead will be particularly difficult at hospital.
    Keep up the good work.

  5. Luke, please do not stop your blog, ever! I have forward each different blog to various different friends and family each one having so much meaning in their lives. Your blog inspired me to purchase some of your products, and my first order has been gratefully received and complimented by visitors to my house, thank you and I am an absolute convert to your products. I am very keen to go through my e mails and unsubscribed to most but your blog will be one that I do not unsubscribe to and hope one day I get to see you at a show one day. Keep it up and thank you.

  6. Inspiring, thoughtful, calming. As I read your blogs I go through so many emotions but it always leaves me with a warm serene feeling inside. I’m now ready for my day with a smile in my heart. Thank you. Never stop.

  7. Good blog today Luke. Have a look at “The Station” by Robert Hastings. very similar meaning to yours today – live life as we go along don’t wonder or worry about tomorrow or yesterday, just enjoy the journey “the station will come soon enough”. Read it when I was at a very low ebb in my life, and boy was it just what I needed to get back on the horse!!

    Keep up the good blogging!!

  8. Thanks Luke for your amazing blogs, they’re helping me so much. Not only have I found a great company that sells lovely products but I’m receiving true inspiration too!

  9. I read this having spent most of yesterday evening with my sons friend who had been taken to hospital following an overdose. We had to call police to break into his house and things could have been so different today had he not got good friends who realised something was wrong.
    As he lay on the trolley very dazed and confused he told me he felt under too much pressure. He’s 34.
    Your post really resonated on a difficult day.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Lynn
      Thank you for sharing your story on what must have been an incredibly hard day. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your son’s friend.

      Best Wishes

      Luke x

  10. Luke, I just wanted to say what an inspiration you truly are! Your blogs are so uplifting and meaningful and are wonderful to read…keep up the good work xx

  11. Luke thank you for your inspiring words. They are uplifting, inspiring and they have made me look at life from a new perspective.

  12. Luke, I spoke to you briefly on Sunday at Country file, just want to repeat I love your blogs, they are very simply expressed but the impact is massive!! Please don’t ever change your style and please please be sure to keep writing them. It makes me stop and re evaluate every time I read one and I try to change one small thing every day for a more positive outcome. Brilliant and very meaningful. Thank you.

  13. It was interesting to read Yr blog and also the fact that you new your own strengths and mind to go out and do the ride despite the weather.

  14. Love your blog! We are desperately trying to ban live export from Ramsgate which is a huge mountain. But we will do it – one step at a time. Thank you this inspired me today


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