Be your own champion

While watching a documentary on the band Queen, they spoke about the songs, “We will rock you” and “We are the champions”. Both songs are now used at the end of major sporting events. There will only be one champion. One winner.

But in life, this is not always the case. Being number 1 is not something we all strive for in our lives. It’s not that we want to be at the bottom of the barrel, but we don’t feel the need to prove ourselves to anyone else.

The only person we need to better is ourselves. In sports, or at work, I do my best and that’s what gets me out of bed every morning. On the bike I chase down my PBs and strive to break one every time I get on the track. At work, it’s the same, I strive to do better than I did the day before. Sometimes easier said than done.

The only way to be a winner in life is to be honest with oneself. If we can do this on a daily basis we will continue to move in the right direction. It’s the moment we begin to lie to ourselves that everything is OK, then we head down the rabbit hole and never find our way out.

If we want to be a champion, we need to look deep into our own lives and not try to work out anyone else’s life. Our own life is complicated enough without delving into another’s life.

It’s high time to delve into what we really want, and what will make us a champion of our own life. Don’t wait another moment as tomorrow may never come.

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.

Alone

Most people will tell you they are never alone and always have someone close by or around them in their lives. They think they are not alone. But in reality they are and can’t, or won’t admit it to themselves that at times they are truly alone.

Just because we are in a crowded room, with a group of workmates in the office, on the road with a group of MAMIL, or even at home with family. We can still be very alone. Lost in our own world where we know it’s safe, and a place where we can retreat to in a time of despair, sorrow, anger or even pain.

So where is that special ‘alone’ space we crawl back into? It’s the place we head back to when it all becomes too much and it seems as if no one really gives a fuck. Even if they do, we don’t seem to understand.

That so called ‘alone’ space I crawl back into is one where I not only feel safe. But also alone. Very alone! And letting others into would be similar to lowering the drawbridge and allowing friends, and possibly foes into my private world.

A world where pain and anger can be dealt with in a way in which only I know how to deal with. And if that pain, anger and suffering somehow can’t be dealt with, there is always my road bike and a stretch of road that never seems to end.

So no matter who we are, we all tend to deal with the curve balls life throws at us from time to time. But when we are continually bombarded with one curve ball after another, it gets harder to keep going. And even our own private world begins to crumble before our very eyes.

In these times we need to reach out for help. And knowing very well this is easier said than done, it can he done so we can continue our life journey without the black dog breathing down our necks.

You never miss the life you don’t live.

As I sat at my desk surrounded by a few workmates and discussed what we were having for lunch, one of them jokingly suggested a healthy salad. It didn’t bother me as I already had my tuna and kale salad, packed and ready to be devoured with much gusto.

So during the very heated food discussion, the topic of buying pork crackling from Mr Crackle came up, and very quickly had us all salivating at the mere thought of devouring a bucket load of perfectly fried crackling to accompany our salads.

It was then that the healthy side of my brain crawled out from where it normally hibernates and piped up and said ‘That will take off a few years of our lives’.

The response I got back from one of my colleagues was one that made my head spin. ‘You never miss the life you don’t live’. And it did get me thinking.

We live for the future and what we can do with ourselves down the track. We look forward to our next weekend, our next holiday or our next fishing trip. Some of us even look forward to our next 100km ride (Sad, but true).

But what happens if we don’t get to that weekend, that trip or even that ride? We have no idea what lays install for us in the next moment, let alone in a year’s time.

We need to make the most of the very limited time we have while we are living and breathing. Being six foot under doesn’t count as time well spent on this blue/green planet of ours.

The time we do have is time we need to make the most of. I know I have said it before in my previous blog, Two dates and a dash, but essentially, that’s all our lives will be if we continue to look so far down the beaten track, that we don’t make the most of the time we have now. Not next year, not next month. Not even tomorrow. Now is the time.

If there is ever a time to get up and do something you know will put a smile on your face, make you drool with delight, or even make your heart skip a beat. Just do it. Do it now and don’t hesitate for a single second.

Don’t just make plans for what you want to do later in life. Now is the time.

I’m only human. Flesh and blood

No matter the color of our skin, we are all the same. We are all flesh and blood, skin and bones, muscle and tissue. So in reality, this means we are all prone to the same injuries and illnesses. And is saying that, we are all going to die at some point.

So it doesn’t matter whether we are black or white, or any shade in between, there is good and bad in everyone of us, and the hope that good outshines the bad is something we all want. But in saying this, there are people out there that only want to cause harm and pain to others around them. Some intentional, and other pain, very unintentional. But pain nonetheless.

With knowing that the colour of our skin has no direct impact on what we do in our lives, we are all prone to screwing up and doing one thing that will weigh heavily on our minds. Sometimes for a short while after, or other times that screw-up will stay with us for the remainder of our living years, until we take our last breath. We all make mistakes as our mental programming is similar. None of us can claim to be perfect. No matter what we think of ourselves.

Now knowing we are all programmed in the same way and should be able to forgive others of their discretions. which we do at some point. We also know that the people around us screw up, and we normally manage to forgive them for what they have done. Sometimes the pain takes longer to fade, but it does. And in the end we can forgive. Even if the memory stays firmly lodged in the back of of minds.

So, if we can eventually forgive others for the things they do and say that cause us pain, why can’t we forgive ourselves for the things we do to others? The ones we somehow hurt can eventually forgive us, but we cant let go of what we have done and are unable to cut ourselves some slack and let the past be exactly that. The past.

But sometimes it’s easier said than done. We continue turning over our ‘bad’ deeds in our minds, and don’t let them fade into the deepest part of our memory banks. Not that we should ever forget our mistakes, but they should not control our lives from the moment the mistake was made, until the moment we die.

When we reach the point in our lives where we know we need to let go of a memory, what can we do? We can’t just erase the memory, like they do with memories in the movie Total Recall. If we don’t like the current memories we have, we simply can’t have another one implemented. As good as an idea as that sounds, it’s not going to happen. At least not in my lifetime.

So what do we do? We can ask for forgiveness, but that may have already been given. In the end, we are the only ones who can let go of the memories that are weighing us down. These memories are the ones that are possibly causing more stress, pain and bitterness to others than the actual ‘bad’ deed itself.

Kindness and understanding from the people around us will make a difference. It may take time, but time is all we have.

I’m only human. Flesh and blood

No matter the color of our skin, we are all the same. We are all flesh and blood, skin and bones, muscle and tissue. So in reality, this means we are all prone to the same injuries and illnesses. And is saying that, we are all going to die at some point.

So it doesn’t matter whether we are black or white, or any shade in between, there is good and bad in everyone of us, and the hope that good outshines the bad is something we all want. But in saying this, there are people out there that only want to cause harm and pain to others around them. Some intentional, and other pain, very unintentional. But pain nonetheless.

With knowing that the colour of our skin has no direct impact on what we do in our lives, we are all prone to screwing up and doing one thing that will weigh heavily on our minds. Sometimes for a short while after, or other times that screw-up will stay with us for the remainder of our living years, until we take our last breath. We all make mistakes as our mental programming is similar. None of us can claim to be perfect. No matter what we think of ourselves.

Now knowing we are all programmed in the same way and should be able to forgive others of their discretions. which we do at some point. We also know that the people around us screw up, and we normally manage to forgive them for what they have done. Sometimes the pain takes longer to fade, but it does. And in the end we can forgive. Even if the memory stays firmly lodged in the back of of minds.

So, if we can eventually forgive others for the things they do and say that cause us pain, why can’t we forgive ourselves for the things we do to others? The ones we somehow hurt can eventually forgive us, but we cant let go of what we have done and are unable to cut ourselves some slack and let the past be exactly that. The past.

But sometimes it’s easier said than done. We continue turning over our ‘bad’ deeds in our minds, and don’t let them fade into the deepest part of our memory banks. Not that we should ever forget our mistakes, but they should not control our lives from the moment the mistake was made, until the moment we die.

When we reach the point in our lives where we know we need to let go of a memory, what can we do? We can’t just erase the memory, like they do with memories in the movie Total Recall. If we don’t like the current memories we have, we simply can’t have another one implemented. As good as an idea as that sounds, it’s not going to happen. At least not in my lifetime.

So what do we do? We can ask for forgiveness, but that may have already been given. In the end, we are the only ones who can let go of the memories that are weighing us down. These memories are the ones that are possibly causing more stress, pain and bitterness to others than the actual ‘bad’ deed itself.

Kindness and understanding from the people around us will make a difference. It may take time, but time is all we have.

Never be defined by tragedy. Let it shape you.

When something disastrous happens to us, the very first thing we do is to think, why did this happen to me? What have I done to deserve this?

But in reality, there may have been nothing we could have done to have avoided the situation. Sometimes just being in the wrong place at the wrong time is more than enough for disaster to strike.

So in saying this, I know first hand what it feels like to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just because I wasn’t doing the wrong thing. I still came out second best when a car cut in front of me as I cycled down along the peninsula on a morning ride.

Metal crashing against metal is one of the loudest sounds I can recall. Especially when the action was upon me and not in the distance.

Having survived a serious cycling accident involving a car, I was devastated and very much broken. Not just physically, but mentally. And in many ways, emotionally.

In this time of darkness, I could have taken the easy way out and given up and not pushed through the pain and frustration. I could have stayed in bed, feeling very sad and sorry for myself for the situation which had been thrust upon me.

But I didn’t. I suffered through every single day until I was able to get out of bed on my own and then fend for myself once again. One step at a time. Slowly I wandered out of the house and to the end of the driveway. Then to the end of the street. And finally around the block.

I’m back to a point now that I am able to complete 10km run and not suffer all that much the next day. I still hurt, but its it’s a good hurt.

What did happen to me has changed the way in which I see things, and it has shaped my life in a way I didn’t expect. It changed the way I look at things and the people around me. I see good in people where others don’t see the same thing.

I see a sunrise in ways that some people would say its it’s just another morning. The way in which I see a sunset is also very different now than it was back then.

It’s because I am still able to enjoy those simple pleasures that are taken for granted.

I no longer try to take life so serious as all it does is add to the frustrations I already have to put up with on a daily basis as I continue to recover.

The biggest tragedy would have been if I had given up at the beginning, and not continued with my life journey.

My journey had taken a few detours, and there are more ahead. But I’m happy that I have the opportunity to take on the detours that life throws my way.