On the eve of his victory, in the Tour de France 2018, Geraint Thomas intimated he daren’t let himself quite believe that the next day all he had to do was to cross the finish line in Paris:
“I’m really trying not to cry, it’s unbelievable. I tried not to think about it, just take it day by day. I’ve won the Tour de France man, I don’t know what to say.”
But finish he did, and on the 29 July he became the third Briton to win the race. He sounded happy and excited and exhausted and humbled by the magnitude of what he had done.
And something else he said on the night before confirmation of his victory intrigued me:
“I can finally let the emotion come.”
Not being an elite athlete (or any sort of athlete – those who know me well, stop sniggering), I can’t pretend that I understand what it was like for Mr Thomas keeping his emotions in check on such an auspicious occasion … but I can guess what it might have been like for him to release them when the time was right.
I propose this as a marvellous example of self-control, self-awareness, and authenticity.