Life choices

From the moment we wake up from our deep slumber, to the time we crawl back into our well made bed after a long day, we are forced to make multiple choices.

Some of these daily choices are as simple as what to have for breakfast. And for most people this choice is rather simple. Breakfast can be toast, cereal or just coffee. Personally, I get by with coffee until lunchtime, so I have one less choice to make. Then there is the tougher choice. What do we wear for the day? Jeans and tshirt work for me most days, but that’s not for everyone.

But these choices, as tough as we think they are, pale in comparison to some other choices we are faced with, and the descion we make can impact our lives, and the lives of people around us.

So as I sit here in the hospital waiting room once again in preparation for another operation, I need to make a very tough choice once I have fully recovered. Do I go back to road cycling and possibly be collected by another car, and this time, not live to tell that tale. Or do I stay on the bike path tracks and trails?

I keep getting told how truly lucky i am that I lived through a cycling accident involving a car and my carbon fiber road bike. I guess luck did play a part, and there was also lots of bad luck. But that’s in the past and I try not to dwell on it. Well, at least most of the time I don’t.

Once I recover from this operation, I need to think long abd hard if I will continue road cycling, or head back to riding tracks and trails to stay away from cars. Trucks and buses.

I know many people will say the choice is simple, get off the roads as it’s so much safer. Yes, in some ways it is, less cars and trucks and no angry cyclist hating motorists to hurl abuse and other objects at me as I ride past them.

But riding tracks and trails takes away part of the freedom road cycling offers. If I wanted to head north at a set of lights I could, or I could go whichever way I felt like heading.

On a bike trail, the options are fewer, so part of the freedom is taken away. Not that i can’t use different paths to ride on, it just takes away the one thing road bike had always offered me. Complete freedom.

In the past few months I have ridden some glorious tracks and trails. Some were easy, and in the last week i have discovered some tracks that have left me gasping for breath half way up. That’s all part of cycling.

After the operation I will have time to contemplate my future cycling routes. But right now, that seems like an eternity away.

Good to be alive

Perhaps it’s the cold morning air, or the way the wind rushes past my partially frozen face that makes me feel so alive. Or it could be the fact my heart is racing due to the pedal power involved in heading up the very first hill before i hit the dirt trail, where the track levels out and i can cruise along for a few hours at a reasonable pace without the interruptions of passing cars, trucks and busses.

It really doesn’t matter what it is that’s making me feel so alive. It’s the mere fact I am alive, and am still able to get on the bike and head out to destinations unknown. And if not a destination unknown, a very familiar track, like an old friend, waiting with open arms to take me back. No questions asked.

And that’s what we all need in our lives, that friend that will welcome us back with a tight hug and a warm smile. No matter how many miles have passed, No questions asked, as no answer is needed. Just knowing that all is good in the world, at least for that moment in time when sharing a coffee, and a laugh.

I would hate to try and live life without someone close to share a laugh, or to unload my thoughts, fears and even my tears with. Oh, and for me, life without coffee would make the world a much harder place to live, but not impossible. There is always a cuppa tea.

Regrets


As I sat down and had a coffee with my parents recently, my Mother said something I would have never expected to hear from her.

She started talking about the things she would have liked to have done when she and my Dad were younger.

Going back to Italy was one thing she would have liked to have done more often, but there was always something stopping her from getting on a plane and visiting her family. They didn’t make the time and put in the effort that was needed to head back home.

It seems we all have regrets of sorts. Sometimes it’s what we have done or said, and then there are times when we wished we hadn’t done or expressed our feelings to the ones closest to us in our lives.


But no matter which situation we have gone through, we will always have some regrets. There is no magic pill to help us out with our regrets, we need to deal with them head on.

If it’s something we have said, we can always apologise. And if it’s something we have done and have hurt others, do something for them that shows you do care and try to move forward.

Then there are the regrets that linger over us like a dark cloud. They are the ones we need to work on the most.

But as we get older we learn and grow, but that doesn’t mean we have to regret what we did before we learned how to do things differently. If we didn’t go through those experiences, we might not have grown into the strong and knowledgeable people we are today.

Without regrets it may mean we may not be in the place we are now. For better or worse.

Regrets

As I sat down and had a coffee with my parents recently, my Mother said something I would have never expected to hear from her.

She started talking about the things she would have liked to have done when she and my Dad were younger.

Going back to Italy was one thing she would have liked to have done more often, but there was always something stopping her from getting on a plane and visiting her family. They didn’t make the time and put in the effort that was needed to head back home.

It seems we all have regrets of sorts. Sometimes it’s what we have done or said, and then there are times when we wished we hadn’t done or expressed our feelings to the ones closest to us in our lives.

But no matter which situation we have gone through, we will always have some regrets. There is no magic pill to help us out with our regrets, we need to deal with them head on.

If it’s something we have said, we can always apologise. And if it’s something we have done and have hurt others, do something for them that shows you do care and try to move forward.

Then there are the regrets that linger over us like a dark cloud. They are the ones we need to work on the most.

But as we get older we learn and grow, but that doesn’t mean we have to regret what we did before we learned how to do things differently. If we didn’t go through those experiences, we might not have grown into the strong and knowledgeable people we are today.

Without regrets it may mean we may not be in the place we are now. For better or worse.

Cronuts, cycling and friendship 

After not having been on a bike for over 9 months,it was time to test the waters and hit a track to see how my mind and body would cope.

So when it came to going off road and getting down and dirty on the Warby trail, there was only one person who I wanted to be by my side as I took the first few turns of the pedals of my trusty Giant mountain bike.



On the day of the ride and waking up much earlier than really required, I checked and then rechecked my gear and then my bike. A few butterflies fluttered in my stomach, but not as bad as I expected.

So once at the start of the track, I slipped on my gloves and put on my helmet and took off with my bro right by my side.


I guess it’s true what they say that you never forget how to ride a bike. It was easy as I  turned the pedals over and the track quickly became a familiar friend.

We chatted and laughed and whatever nerves I had were left at the start of the track. Still some apprehension, but nothing that was going to stop me from enjoying my return to the bike and the scenery it revealed.



With the sun on our backs and a light breeze cutting across us, the distance wasn’t an issue, and neither was my fitness, at least for the first part of the ride.

The return trip was a little tougher on the body, but as we decided to stop off for a coffee and cronut with 10kms from the starting point, I had enough sugar in my body to get me over the line.



Could have I completed the my return ride without my bro by my side? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that he would have been by my side whenever I decided to take the plunge back onto the world of cycling.



As miserable as 2017 has been, there were a few happy moments. This was one moment that will stay with me for my remaining days. Not because I got back on the bike, or that i managed to clock up 30 plus kms, but the friendship that helped me get through a dark time for me.


The ride cost nothing, just time spent together. Money can’t buy happiness, but a friendship is worth millions.



Rediscovering Happiness 


Happiness is something different to each and everyone of us. To some it’s the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning, and knowing the taste will be just as good as the scent wafting throughout the house. To others happiness is the feeling of sitting at the departure lounge of an airport, waiting to board their flight and head off to their next holiday vacation. A destination where they will explore, discover and return home with a head full of happy memories and a yearning to start the next adventure.


And then to another group of people, where happiness is defined on the amount of kilometers they clocked up during their last ride. The speed they traveled at and the amount of PBs they cracked along the way. There is also the comradery they shared with the other cyclists during their journey. Some familiar faces, and some new ones added to fray during the ride.


But no matter what makes us happy and how ecstatic we are during, and after the event, how long does that rush really last? A day, a week, a month, or sometimes longer. But then after the euphoria has long left our system, where are we and how do we really feel?


Is there something missing from our lives? Or can we soldier on and continue to relive those memories and continue to be happy? Or do we need more than a cup of freshly brewed coffee, a vacation or even a bike ride to stay happy? That’s something each and everyone of us needs to work out, and keep on that path of happiness.

Many times the key to happiness is not with what we own, what we do or where we go. Our own happiness starts and ends with us, and only us. Even though we may look at others in our lives to help us achieve our true happiness, we need to look deep into our hearts and minds to discover, or in some cases, rediscover what makes us smile and keeps us happy.


We need to search, and find the key that will unlock the treasure trove that holds what makes up truly happy. Not an impossible task, just a tough one for many of us.


But then, this is more often easier said than done, because we are afraid of what we might find in our hearts and minds when we go searching for happiness.

Take the plunge and go on that magical discovery tour for happiness. There is nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Expiry Date


Every time we open the fridge or take a look in our pantry, we find items that are close to or past their expiry date. Milk, yoghurt, pasta and even sugar laced cereal has an expiry date.


All these items hit their end of life date before we had time to make the most of what they had to offer us. We let the opportunity slip through our fingers and then realise we should have made the most of the item before it hit its time was over.

But, as with all food items we can venture down to the local supermarket and replenish the old expired stock with some fresh items. And then we are able to sit down to a breakfast of milk and cereal. Hopefully Coco Pops.


Even after restocking the pantry and fridge with fresh items, there is one item with an expiry date that we should all be concerned about. Our very own end of life. Once we hit our expiry date, there is no trip to the supermarket that will help us in anyway.

So with that expiry period at the forefront of my mind of late, I’ve realised that even the simplest things in life can be the most enjoyable. From sipping a latte at my favourite coffee shop or taking a hike through the hilly terrain of some local tracks.


We never know what tomorrow brings, so when we we wake up every morning we should take every single opportunity to make the most of our lives.

Spending time with family, friends and loved ones is never going to be a waste of their time or yours. It will make our time before our expiry date so much more pleasurable and bring a smile to our faces.


Now that I have the opportunity to look back, I realise my end of life date could have easily been 18 March 2017. But I was fortunate enough to see another day.

And with that second opportunity I want to get out and about and do things that will make me smile and understand there is happiness to be found.


If that involves getting on a plane and travelling the globe or one day getting back on the bike and cycling around to areas I never got to do beforehand, then I will be making the most of second opportunity.


Be sure you make the most before your expiry date us reached.