With still a long road of rehabilitation ahead, I headed to the pool for another hydrotherapy session. The more the better I guess in this situation. So the physio keeps telling me.
So after an hour of pool work, it was time to hit the showers and grab a coffee before continuing with the day.
Now I would like to take this opportunity for a huge call out to the low life who stole my new ASIC runners from the Croydon AquaHub while I was showering. He also took off with my water bottle. I should be thankful my wallet, phone and watch weren’t stolen.
The other sad part to this story is I then had to get home in a pair of thongs which use in the shower. Not a great look, but they did the job.
This was one guy who an opportunity and ran with it.
Hoping Karma bites him on the arse when he is out running in my shoes.
During one of my rehabilitation sessions at the hydrotherapy pool, I struck up a conversation with an elderly gentleman.
The conversation quickly moved onto the reason why he was at the pool and how he had sustained his injuries.
It’s not always a bike or car accident that can leave a person struggling to be the person they once were.
Situations vary from person to person, and in his case, it was frim having a lung removed so he could continue with life.
The first thing I thought of was either cancer or a smoking related illness. But it was neither. It was all to do with taking very regular flights for business. He suffered a severe blood clot during a flight and the flight was diverted to the closest airport so he could be transferred to hospital for emergency surgery.
The surgery changed his life dramatically, but he never gave up. He would continue to push through the physical and mental pain to get his life back on track. And he did, using yoga and hydrotherapy.
He then said PMA.
The blank expression on my face told him I had no idea what the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) meant.
Positive Mental Attitude.
I nodded and understood.
Physically we can get over many bodily breaks and injuries, but without the right positive mental attitude, we will never fully heal.
Mind over matter is not just a saying, it’s a fact. I know this from experience. But, you need to want to heal. Without that want, the chances of a full recovery are much lower.
Always try to keep a positive attitude, and you will see the difference. Trust me on this one.
As the days, weeks and months all slowly slipped by, my rehabilitation continued to become more intense as did all my exercise sessions.
With each passing week, I found I was able to move a little easier and my days weren’t filled with pain and my body was recovering. Slowly, but nonetheless recovering.
So as I continued my journey to full recovery, I continued to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. But no matter how much I think I had progressed, the tiny pin prick of a light never seemed to get any bigger.
It was then I was told I should look back through the weeks and months and see how far I had really progressed.
So as I looked back over my shoulder, I could see a tiny light, way back in the distance. It was where my rehabilitation journey had begun. It was just as far as the light in front of me, where I was heading.
The hardest part of any journey is the middle part. You are far enough from your starting point, and just as far from your destination. Frustrating, but you know you are heading in the right direction.
It’s times like these where you need to be a ‘bit of a mongrel’ and attack the last part of the journey with guts and determination. It’s going to be the only way to make it through the tunnel and out to the other side.
I know the my own journey still has a long way to go, but I do know what awaits me when I eventually arrive at my destination.
We all need to set our sights on that pin prick of a light at the end of the tunnel. And we can do that with the help and support from the people around us, who want us to get out of the dark tunnel.
As i dropped off my Avanti road bike off to my local bike shop for its six monthly major service, I knew it was going to need a set of new tyres as well as a full service. Not cheap, but very necessary.
And I also knew I would only be off the road for a few days, so i dropped it off early in the week to ensure it would be ready for my weekend rides through the Dandenong hills.
So when I stopped by the bike shop after work on the Friday to pick up my bike, I found Marcus waiting for me to hand it over.
We chatted for a while about the weekend plans and I mentioned the hills I would be descending. And I asked for a new set of brake pads, even though they weren’t worn all the way down. Better safe than sorry I thought when I knew the downhills and corners of the Dandenongs.
He hoisted the bike back onto the rack and slipped my used pads off and was about to replace them with the new set when I heard him say. ‘Damn!’
I walked over to the bike and he pointed out a serious crack in my bike frame. It was well hidden and was only visible when working on the back brakes.
It was then I understood his serious concerns. The next bump I went over with the bike in that condition would have possibly been my last. The frame would have snapped and I would have gone head over heels and caused myself some major injuries.
The bike frame had a 10 year warranty, so it was only a matter of requesting a new frame and waiting for my bike to be re assembled.
So after what seemed an eternity (three weeks) my bike was back together and with a new and updated carbon fiber frame.
The very next weekend I headed up, and back down the Dandenongs without a care in the world.
I do think that was a very lucky break. So sometimes we get lucky, and other times it just doesn’t go out way.
I’m the type of person who gives credit where credit is due. No matter what the situation. And this happened to be the case one morning as I was cycling back home from Sorrento to end off a 100 km cruise.
It was then I saw an elderly gent who must have been pushing 80, and the bike he was riding would have been close to the same vintage. But a great effort I thought the myself.
The only problem with the entire scenario was that he was heading downhill towards me in the bike lane. Heading in the wrong direction at a decent speed.
Not wanting to burst his bubble of riding on such a beautiful morning, I pulled aside and let him continue in his journey. Smiling and waving him past as he nodded in my direction.
All I can hope for is that when I am old and senile and still cycling, the younger generation do the same for me.
Until I have most of my senses, I will ride on the right side of the road. Or at least what i think is the right side.
Cycling through the Dandenongs is tough at the best of times, and heading up The Devils Elbow with a stiff headwind makes the ride harder than it really should be. But it was on my radar for the day and I wasn’t going to let the winds make me change my route.
The warm morning sun was a blessing as the temperature up in the hills make the ride feel much longer as I can’t produce enough speed to keep all my body parts warm.
But as I ground my way up the hill, and kept telling my legs to shut up, I realized I hadn’t ridden this track all that often this year. Not because of the climb itself, but because it’s a bit out of the way to ride to and the round trip can take over three hours. That normally includes a coffee stop of course.
And after two hours of climbing hills and various slopes, I pulled up to a The Fat Badger cafe and ordered a coffee and a very sweet muffin. My treat after a bit of suffering.
So as I sipped in my coffee and happily munched on my warm muffin, it dawned on me that every now and again in our lives, we should take the road less traveled.
Who know where it will lead, and what new adventures await.
This track sums it up nicely. Well worth a listen.
For all of those who think this blog is all about Game of Thrones, prepare to be disappointed.
Winter is just around the corner in Australia. And the further south in this great southern land, the colder it gets.
Life in Melbourne during the long and miserable winter months is not something most people look forward to, and cyclists dread the thought of cold and wet mornings when they are getting ready to head out for a ride.
Not only does it take three times as long to get ready for a ride, with all the extra layers of clothing, and then if it’s raining, the waterproof booties also take an extraordinary amount of precious cycling time away.
But, the worst bit about winter cycling; once I am layered up, my bladder decides it requires one more indoor pitstop before hitting the road.
Once out and about, most of the body warms up except for the face and ears. Depending on the temperature, the fingers may also be frozen solid, making stopping rather difficult and painful.
But, the end goal of a hot coffee, and an even hotter shower is one of the treats that gets me through most of my winter rides. Other times, sheer stupidly pushes me onwards.
Once home, cold, shivering and dripping wet. The next task is one of the most difficult. Getting to the shower without leaving a trail of mud and water across the floors.
Some things for a cyclist are near impossible. This just happens to be one of those things.