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’!

About the author : CarolC

19 Comments

  1. Annice 19/09/2021 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    What beautiful words from a beautiful and inspirational lady. Thinking of you Carol. Your time will come again & you’ll be on the podium where you belong! Sending loads of healing love 💕 & hugs. Hope you get on a flight ASAP. Look forward to seeing you when you get back. Annice 😘

    • CarolC 19/09/2021 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks Annice, I look forward to catching up with everyone as well, as soon as they let us! xx

  2. Mark Reed 19/09/2021 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    I’m happy to hear that you’re alright, it was scary to see it happen, but being an old motorbike rider I know what it feels like to hit the ground like you did, it’ll be good to see you back in Australia and hopefully compete in your next Olympics.

    • CarolC 19/09/2021 at 10:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Mark, it was definitely not a feeling I want to have again in a hurry! I will be happy to be back on home soil as well.

  3. Tiffany 20/09/2021 at 7:07 am - Reply

    I truly believe every ‘bad’ situation has a positive message, as hard as they are sometimes, to find. Thank you, Carol for sharing yours and being an incredible inspiration.

    • CarolC 20/09/2021 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Thanks Tiffany, yes every negative in our life as a positive attached to it in some form.

  4. Sandra Kerr 20/09/2021 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Thank you for the beautiful words and the exceptional wisdom behind them. Take care and I wish you a speedy recovery and to be homeward bound soon.

    • CarolC 20/09/2021 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Thank you Sandra, and thanks for your kind words.

  5. Tracey Roy 20/09/2021 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Carrol you are my inspiration! Yes life can throw objects in your way.
    Hopefully one day we can ride our trikes together in Melbourne.
    Look after yourself.🌻

    • CarolC 24/09/2021 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Thanks Tracey!

  6. Phyllis Banks 20/09/2021 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Lovely and inspirational Carol.
    Where does that wisdom come from?
    You are one exceptional woman and I stand behind you on your future journeys.
    How fortunate to have you as a daughter. So overjoyed you are now healed and soon back home.

    • CarolC 24/09/2021 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Thanks mom, I think the wisdom was handed down by my mom and dad!!!

  7. Phyllis Banks 21/09/2021 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Carol , you inspire every one who knows you. and we are all so proud of what you have accomplished.
    You are one incredible lady and I am so thankful you are able to fly home shortly.
    I will always stand by you in your future endeavours.

  8. Lesley W 21/09/2021 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Carol, so glad you’re well and truly on the mend. It’s so important for our mental health and wellbeing not to dwell on those things over which we have no control, and for you so much more important to focus on recovering well and getting back home! It also looks like you’ve been able to enjoy a lot more of the Japanese culture while you’ve remained there.

    • CarolC 24/09/2021 at 11:46 am - Reply

      Thanks Lesley, we certainly feel blessed to have been able to see so much of Japan.

  9. Peg Hendry 21/09/2021 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    I was so very sorry to hear from Phyllis about the accident and your injuries. But knowing
    your outlook, stamina, determination and past achievements, nothing will hold you back
    for long. This setback may be just a rest required to prepare you for your next endeavour
    in life. I love your smile and “thumbs up” attitude picture. Hoping you are back home soon
    and on the way to a full recovery, and I sure won’t be surprised to hear plans of your next goal.
    God-speed.
    Hugs,
    Peg

    • CarolC 24/09/2021 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Peg! Still thinking what my next challenge will be!

  10. Amanda & Karryn 08/10/2021 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Absolutely love your courageous story. What a journey!!

    Thank you for sharing Carol, and we all hope that you are recovering well.

    Regards,

    The team at RIAC (Rights, Information and Advocacy Centre)

    • CarolC 09/10/2021 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Amanda and Karryn. Yes I have recovered very well and hope to be on the bike again soon.

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