The power of sport for me is unrivalled.

I know from my own personal experience that sport is the only thing that has helped me through the darkest days of paralysis.

Whether it is having the ability to get out on my bike or into water, it has benefited me more than any talk therapy.

This was something I heard Tim Ferris talk about on the Rich Roll podcast this week. 

And it was perfect timing for me to hear this as quite frankly these last few weeks I have been at my lowest.  

Getting the energy to make it into Hyde Park, it takes me one hour to cover 2km and my body feels like it has wasted away.

As those around me try to get me back into therapy, I know for me after years of talk therapy I benefit more from getting out on my bike in nature than sitting on sofa in London. 

Now I am not saying don’t go to therapy if you need it.

I have done many hours with therapists and still work on my mindset most weeks.

But therapy helped me understand how h Bo if a part sport plays in my mental fitness and moving my body as much as possible is key to me styling in a good place mentally.  

For those of you who follow my column you will know how highly I think of my fellow Nike athlete John McAvoy.

The work he has done on getting young people into sport is incredible and inspiring.

As I sat recovering from my 2km in the park I heard that one of the young guys John is helping through the Alpine run project had just taken on the mighty Alp d’Huez on two wheels.  

It is almost a rite of passage when you go to stay with John in France.

You end up riding this climb if you go out on a bike ride with him. 

However, what moved me about this young guy John took up the famous climb, was the fact it was his first time EVER on a road bike.  

John was hosting a training camp with Primal runners - a social enterprise which unlocks sport and adventure to disadvantaged young people. 

This camp was to help one of the young athletes prepare for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, the final leg of the UTMB World Series in Chamonix in August.

Altiough the focus of the camp was running and the team covered 60km on the mountain trails this week, it also introduced one young lad to the bike.

I feel this could be the start of something very special.  

With no idea how bike gears worked, or how to clip into the pedals, David Ervine went off hard.

With McAvoy pacing/pushing him, David told me that “I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit nervous, but I like that feeling so I went hard”. 

Feeling strong the youngster finished the climb in one hour one minute and had plenty left in the tank.

David who has also run a 14-minute 5km has the pedigree to do something special in sport given the opportunity.

And that’s exactly what the Alpine run project have done for this youngster. 

When I see him, I see John in him.

I also see the power of sport at play and how it is giving structure to David’s life.  

It is a blessing that John has come into David’s life.

This training camp would have given the youngster a taste of life as a professional athlete.

Combined with his clear hunger for sport, this provides the perfect recipe to change his life.  

Growing up in the care system was tough for David.

He had no real role model and getting into the wrong crowd resulted in him been put into a secure unit.

So let’s just say that this is one sporting talent which wasn’t discovered right away. 

However, it was here that he got a gym membership, and started using his free time exercising.

Much like John himself they both used sport to transcend their environments.  

However, it was when the 20-year-old got on the treadmill that his life really changed.

There was an instant feeling of being free (he speaks about the feeling of disappearing from everything).

I am sure many of us get the same feeling wither its running, swimming or cycling, this notion of overwhelming freedom that sport gives us. 

I know that’s what it’s like for me. It is this freedom I am forever chasing.  

As fate would have it, this youngster was tagged in an Instagram post which brought the Alpine run project to his attention. 

For a youngster like David to be part of John’s team is a dream come true.

Having got over the nerves of applying and thinking he wouldn’t get selected, to then meeting him at Nike HQ at the launch event and to now see him become the man he is becoming makes me proud to call John a friend.

It makes me proud to be part of the Nike programme and even more proud of David’s effort in how he is going after this opportunity.  

I’m sitting here wating for my latest MRI results.

But I find real solace in messaging both John and David to hear about the camp and how much sport is impacting both their lives.