I am sitting on the Tube scrolling through post after post about Mental Health Awareness Day.

I can’t help wondering about what exactly this last year has done to me. I have a neck covered in scars but not all of the scars can be seen.

You get stuck in a habit cycle of cue, action, reward when you are leading a life in performance sport.

But have I ever stopped to ask whether chasing medals is good for my mental health after everything I have been through? Who am I chasing them for?

The truth is that this has become an unhealthy relationship with sport. It is almost an addiction. I crave it and I feel like a prisoner within my own mind and body to this loop of training.

From being diagnosed to having surgery, learning to walk and going through hours and hours or rehabilitation to then do a few races just to be told my tumour is back and I have to start all over again.

I have been stuck in this loop for 9 years now and when I read that people with my tumour sometimes only live for 10 years in total I start to think I need to break this habit. I don’t want to be another statistic.

I have read that WANT TO goals are more likely to be obtained than HAVE TO goals. So I sit and ask myself the question where I am right now.

Staying alive with a tumour is a full time job. Having a spinal cord injury is a full time job. And trying to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics next summer is a full time job. Can you give 100% to them all and stay mentally safe?

As my back injury calms down again, I have started back on the turbo trainer which feels nice. But I am constantly worried and stressed about being able to hit this target of a world top four time at next month’s Glasgow track World Cup in order to stay on the British Cycling programme and stay on track for the Olympics.

This is mostly because I know it was always pretty impossible on 10 weeks training and after missing 3/4 weeks of that 10 week block due to injury.

I feel like my mind is constantly switched on right now. I want to turn the volume down on it and get myself back into flow, back to where I was in Switzerland.

As Dr Steve Peters, the respected sports psychologist would put it, if my chimp brain is craving the goal of Tokyo, my rational mind is asking what is this real goal you would like to set?

Perhaps my mind was racing because a day earlier I had the opportunity to sit down with a sporting hero of mine, former Scotland rugby captain David Sole, to talk about his resilience program and school of CEO coaching.

As we spoke about what resilience was I paused to question whether I still have the physical and more importantly the emotional capacity to put myself under the pressure of riding for GB.

I am not sure I even enjoy riding my bike under that pressure anymore.

Has it become in my mind that I HAVE TO do this over I WANT TO do this?

Surely sport is about enjoyment. While it’s a gift to feel the pressure and I love the pressure of racing, at the moment I feel close to mentally breaking with the emotions of the last year.

When we are stressed, our chimp brain takes over, we move into flight or flight and basically shut down our rational mind until we feel safe and the stress is gone. So exactly when we need our rational brain we can’t use it. And we can only function so long in this state until we burn out. This was something I picked up from ‘Why Zebras don’t get ulcers”, a book written by Stanford neuroscience professor Robert Sapolsky.

If we want to make better decisions in life and control those bad habit loops that are built on cravings then we need to understand how our minds work.

Then we can learn to have more control. Willpower is not enough, especially when willpower comes from our rational mind, and remember that shuts down when we are stressed.

Hence why we eat when we get emotional, it makes us feel good and when we feel stressed we are more likely to eat things that make us feel good.

That is why I am currently sat here eating chocolate biscuits. Because getting on my bike is making me stressed, rather than making me feel good.

So where do I go from here?

Well, my first step is to gradually start getting back out on my bike to see how my back feels.

Then, rather than going right to my normal craving, I am going to look more deeply into my option B, a future which might be very different to the Great British cycling programme.

I am going to break my habit loop. Who knows, maybe that change will also stop my tumour growing as well.