As people queued to get a location in London this week, the stress from oncology finally broke me.
I knew over the last few weeks I was not in the best head space, but I don’t think I knew just how bad things had got. 
As I sat looking at my four walls unable to move, I knew this was not the David Smith who loves sport. 
Tumours and paralysis were starting to drive me into a downward spiral.  
As I looked out my window at the passing tube as it vibrates through my flat, I just thought that’s it.
Within minutes I was in my car and 10 hours later I turned off the A9 into Aviemore. I was home, an instant relaxation came over my body, I could breathe again.
It has felt like there was a rope around my chest in London.
I was struggling to breathe with the stress and isolation that comes from being 
paralysed in the city.
For those of you who read my column last week you will remember I spoke about the relationship of will power and environment.
How important it is to remove friction in your environment – and that’s exactly what I did.  
That instant removal of all the hurdles I face in London gone, and the first morning back in the Highlands was spent on my bike discovering some of the incredible gravel riding that is right on my doorstep. After two hours of riding with my close friend Brian who has been by my side through almost all of my surgeries, it felt like my recent cancer scare and stress of London had completely disappeared. 
However, it has been five months since I have been on a bike.
My focus has shifted to discus and strength training, so cycling up hills was not as easy as it once was.
Add in the cold weather and it turned out to be a tough few hour back on the bike. 
With a few close calls and some pushes from Brian, I made it back home and the reward of some home cooked food. This trip is more about seeing people than sport, but each morning this week started with a bike ride up to Glenmore Lodge and around Loch Morlich before a coffee and an hour of discus throwing in the local park.
It’s not quite Lee Valley and I definitely got some very strange looks from a few dog walkers as I threw discus across the field.
But the impact on my mental fitness was instant.
No therapy needed, just a dose of Scottish air, sport, and friends.  
Seeing people became very 
important after I left my last hospital appointment and sat in Hyde Park on my own. I thought if I had got bad news there was a chance I would not have seen some of my oldest friends from home ever again.
Even with the good news I might only see some, one or two times more before I die. 
This thought really moved me, 
and as I knocked on one friend’s 
door one evening to tell him I 
needed to see him in case I died, it left him in shock and almost choking on his tea. 
I know that mindset is not for everyone, but as you read this, I encourage you to pause and think how often you see the people who mean a lot to you.
It can be rather scary how quickly time passes, and you never make the time to see those friends.  
Not to sound morbid or to give the tone that I am giving up on my fight, it is the complete opposite. 
But it is just that these last hospital visits gave me some hard-hitting perspective of how little I see people who mean a lot to me.
As a natural extrovert stuck in 
a small London flat with no 
community, well that finally broke me this week. 
As I sit writing this week’s 
column overlooking the 
Cairngorms, I can finally pause 
and breathe.