Leon Goltsman and his bike.
COUNCILLOR Leon Goltsman owes his life to cycling.
Eight years ago, the Waverley Council representative was crippled by chronic arthritis. It led to significant weight gain, a lack of confidence and depression. Then Cr Goltsman discovered he could ride. "Cycling was one of the few things that I could do because it allowed me to keep moving without put- ting pressure on my joints," he said. "Cycling ended up being a blessing for me. "It turned my whole life upside down."
On January 2, the councillor embarked on a solo ride from Sydney to Melbourne to raise money for Arthritis NSW and spread the word about the World Kindness initiative. From being invited to dinner with bikies to riding in 40 degree heat, Cr Goltsman said it had been a rewarding experience. "When I step out of my comfort zone or challenge myself in a particular kind of way such as this, what it allows me to do is look at things from a different perspective," he said. "A cycle like this is a disruption from my usual routine and I end up coming back with a really clear, focused mind." The Arthritis NSW ambassador hopes to raise $2000 for the charity but said the ride wasn't just about fundraising.
"A lot of people underestimate their own abilities or those abilities of other people who could potentially be very good employees, colleagues or friends," he said. "It's about inspiring people and demonstrating to them that it doesn't matter what you have, it's about discipline and determination and that is in the mind, not the body.
"It's important people realise that as human beings we're all fragile to some degree and sometimes it's going to be us that are going to need a hand up." Cr Goltsman reached Melbourne yesterday Leon Goltsman
To donate to Cr Goltsman's cause visit arthritisnsw.gofundraise.com.au/page/leongoltsman