I’M a bit of an introverted person who prefers staying in or going out on my bike.

I’m not always comfortable attending big dinners or events although I know it is part of being an athlete.

But I have to say I was blown away and deeply moved by an event I attended on Wednesday night. It emphasised to me the power of story, something people hopefully feel too when they read about my journey.

I was humbled to receive an invite to a dinner to celebrate the life of Vikki Orvice, the sports journalist for The Sun who sadly passed away this year from breast cancer.

A trailblazer for women in her industry, I always feel hugely moved when I hear stories like Vikkis or from the team at the Glasgow Hospice where I have attended events.

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I guess it hits me hard as I know what it feels like to have life stop for that moment when you’re told the news that you never dreamed you would ever be told.

The scary thing is that one in every two people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer at some point.

Nothing prepares us to sit in a clinical room to have this news broke to us, but Vikki transcended the world of sports journalism with how she lived with the disease.

I never had the pleasure of meeting her but I could tell she was a much loved person. It was very humbling for me to be able to share in the celebration of her life.

I am one year on now from surgery myself and attending events like Wednesday’s can physically hit me hard.

My new motto is human being, not human doing, but the cold wind of November has not been kind to my body.

The pain in my neck and paralysed arm has been off the scale sometimes. It almost feel like I have been stabbed.

Coupled with the fatigue, it can be frustrating. So when a hero of mine messaged me asking if I wanted to catch up over coffee on Friday I jumped at the chance to go listen to the stories of another trailblazer in the world of sport.

Konrad Bartelski is one of Britain’s best ever skiers, who famously came within 0.11 seconds of winning a World Cup downhill ski race at Val Gardena in 1981.

Spending my childhood in Aviemore, I grew up with skiers to look up to. One of my good friend at school was a lad called Josef Fuchs, whose grandad was one of the pioneers of Scottish skiing. In my eyes, these guys cut a track for the current crop of skiers to follow.

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Listening to Konrad’s stories about how they would get in vans and drive around Europe following the World Cup circuit sparked a fire in my belly.

THAT is why I got into sport in the first place.

I got into it because I loved it, and I am the first to admit that maybe I lost that slightly being part of this big machine called British Cycling that is so programmed to churn out medals.

I loved the rawness of all Konrad’s old stories, and before I knew it I was sat planning my first season on my own away from the team next year.

Okay, it might not include Tokyo 2020, but it will include me racing all over Europe, living in the moment racing my bike on my own terms, and reminding myself that the games is just one race in 4 years. Okay its a massive race, but it just one race. There’s much more to my journey now than that.

Listening to Konrad and all his memories reminded of me of what I want from my life. I know what it’s like to lay in a hospital bed not knowing if you will live. All we have is our memories at that point.

I could see the passion in Konrad’s eyes as he reflected on what it was like to stand in the start gate of a World Cup, the adrenaline of what the next few minutes would bring.

He then paused to reflect on a fellow team mate Stuart “Fitzi” Fitzsimmons who learned to ski on Hillend dry slope in Edinburgh before going onto ski at the 1976 Olympics.

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Fitzi was one Scotland’s most talented ski racers in the 60’s and the first dry slope skier to race on the World Cup. He is a great Scottish athlete who pave the way for guys like my good friend Dave Ryding, who is doing so well in the world of ski racing right now.

After leaving Konrad I make my way to the gym before jumping on the turbo for 90min. As I sit on the bike warming up in the gym writing this, something really hit me, both Vikki and Fitzi have been remembered not just for what they did, but who they were as people.

What’s your legacy? How would you like to be remembered? What are you doing today to be a better person.

I always believe in bring a good human first, treating others the way you want to be treated. Find your values then ask if you are living by them.

For me this is the most important thing in life. It’s not what we achieve, it’s about the person we become.