It has been a while since I have written a blog and that is for a number of reasons. First as most of you would know I was at the Tokyo Paralympic Games competing in the road cycling and I felt like I needed to concentrate on just what I was doing in the moment. Second, on September 2nd during my road race I was unfortunately involved in a crash only about 6 minutes into the race. The weather was pretty bad, although it wasn’t anything I hadn’t trained in, so I wasn’t put off with the rain and wet slippery roads. Unfortunately my Canadian competitor Marie-Eve Croteau crashed in front of me and I had no where to go but over her trike. I could see what was going to happen and so I tried to not brace myself but go with it and relax into it. This is probably what saved me from even more serious injury.
Upon hitting the ground I immediately thought ‘I have to get up, my family is watching this race live’. When I finally could jump back on my trike (about 2 minutes and 40 seconds later) and start to ride I didn’t feel too bad, just a bit winded. I guess hitting the road at over 40km/hr can do that to you!
But as I started to pedal up the first little rise in the road it really hurt to breath. The pig headed side of my brain said, ‘keep going, you’ll ride into it’, the smart side kept telling me ‘don’t be stupid…stop’. After trying to ride up the 3km climb I realised that I was going to have to stop and as I made my way to the start/finish line I pulled off and headed towards our physio, Keren, who I could see standing there, almost as if she was waiting for me!
As most of you already know I had a partially collapsed lung and a bit of skin off my body and our doctor was worried I had broken ribs and a fractured tibia as the pain in my right shin was severe. I was transported to hospital by road ambulance, if it hadn’t been so foggy I could have gone by helicopter (I was a bit bummed I couldn’t do that!)
Wouldn’t it be nice if life went exactly as I wished, if everything had gone according to my plan, the weather would have been perfect and I would have finished that race on the podium. Unfortunately that day in order to find peace I had to become flexible to my circumstances.
I had a number of people very surprised at how I was coping with all of this, just being accepting of what was and because of this I want to tell you a little story:
Early one morning an intrepid traveller walks down a long and dusty road. Before long he came across a shepherd tending to his flock. The traveller asked, ‘What kind of weather are we going to have today?’
The shepherd answered, ‘The kind of weather I like’.
The traveller asked, ‘But how do you know it will be the kind of weather you like?’
The shepherd answered, ‘Having found out sir that I cannot always get what I like, I have learned to always like what I get, so I am quite sure we will have the kind of weather I like.’
So the shepherd chose to be open and flexible to what life gave him. By accepting what he couldn’t change the shepherd practiced non-resistance. It was if his personal mantra was ‘right now it’s like this.’
So for me, life threw me a curve ball on the 2nd of September and although it was not what I wanted to happen, I had to repeat that mantra ‘right now it’s like this.’
I am still stuck in Tokyo almost 2 weeks after the Australian Paralympic Team have left and I am waiting to get a flight home. I’ve found my word for the month of September 2021 and it is ‘Acceptance’, so I’ll keep on believing that what has happened has happened for a reason and ‘Right Now It’s Like This’!