Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)

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.

When the going gets tough…

It’s all too easy to give up when the going gets tough. But as the saying goes, the tough get going.

This is always easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean its not possible. With some dedication and lots motivation, there are very few situations that can’t be overcome.

As was the point as I walked through the Alfred hospital trauma centre during my last visit. I noticed a young man walking on crutches, the bottom half of his right leg missing. A car or bike accident perhaps? I don’t know as I didn’t stop him to ask.

By the way he moved, it made me feel he had accepted his injury, and it was not going to stop him from getting on with his life.

This is also the case with many athletes who have overcome major injuries and have continued competing. Perhaps not in the same sport they were in originally, but they have moved on and continued with their lives as best as they can.


So what disappoints me is when I hear other people complain and whinge about how they are hurting from an accident, or from other injuries. These are the people who want to be wrapped in cotton wool and have everything done for them. They want the world to feel sorry for them and want nothing but sympathy.


These are the people who need to dig deep and find the motivation to move forward. It won’t be easy, and there will be hard times. But it will be better than sitting on the couch and moping about their situation.

We are all dealt a hand of cards, it’s up to us to decide how we play them.

No Promises

There are some promises that are easy to keep, such as, I promise to mow the lawns this weekend, or I promise to fix blocked gutters before it rains again.

Then there are other promises that are more difficult to keep, no matter how hard you try.

One of my promises to my wife was that I would ride safe and be careful every time I went out on the road bike. Rain, blowing winds and sunny days, I would tell her the same thing as she lay in bed and I ventured off for my morning rides.


This was one promise I broke sometime in mid March 2017. My intentions were good and my years on the bike made no difference at all on this bright and sunny Saturday morning along the Melbourne peninsula. My lights were flashing and I was wearing my multicoloured cycling outfit. But still, a broken promise.

Having been on the road for close to an hour, I knew my halfway point for my outing. There was a slight headwind as I headed towards Point Nepean, and I was pushing myself harder than normal. It must have been the fantastic conditions, and I was out on my own and nothing but 80s music streaming through my headphones and a clear mind.

In a split second, my entire life was about to take a tumble for the worse. But it could have been far more serious. So I consider myself extremely lucky. And I was given a lifeline. 

A car coming in the opposite direction performed an illegal turn in front of me. Obviously not having seen me. And I’m not what one would consider a small unit.

With less than a split second to do something. I did the obvious. I hit his front side guard at over 30 kilometres per hour.

The first and only thing that went through my mind was, it’s over. Goodbye!

I flipped over his hood, landing on my arse and then ploughed into his windscreen, shattering it into thousands of pieces with my shoulder. And my journey continued I somersaulted over his car, as I watched my glasses and iPhone fly well ahead of me.

Landing on the ground more than 12 feet away from his car, I later discovered I broke my back. My L4 to be exact. And in thst split second, my life had changed. Forever!


Pain filled every fibre of my body, but for some unknown reason, I was still able to move my arms and legs. A positive sign I thought as I screamed in pain as I was surrounded by some very helpful and concerned bystanders.

The ambulance trip to the Frankston hospital was one without all that much pain, but I would have to say the morphine in my system had a lot to do with that fact.

The next few hours with my wife beside me at the Frankston hospital and then at the Alfred hospital trauma centre were good, bad, anxious, concerning, and the scariest hours of my life.

I was eventually told I had a broken back, but signs were positive because I was able to move my arms and legs. No internal or neauralogical damage, so another positive sign.

After leaving the hospital five days later, and in a very uncomfortable back brace I was to wear for the following 12 weeks. In some desperate hope my back would heal on its own and no surgery would be required.

With all the damage I had suffered, I was extremely lucky not to have injured any of my spinal nerves and no other nerves impacted. I only have God to thank for that. And not having died on the side of the road was something I still look back at and wonder why?

The following 12 weeks were filled with some of the lowest points in my life. Not just the pain, but the not knowing how and if I would fully recover. And at the lowest point, if I really wanted to continue. I knew deep down I had to abandon all fear if I was to make it through.

With the help and support of family and friends, I struggled through and continued to make progress. First getting out of bed without assistance, and eventually able to walk to my letterbox.

I have to admit ut did get a little easier the more I moved. I ended up going on 5 kilometre walks as the weeks dragged by. My only outings were visits to surgeons and physiotherapists.

The long road of rehabilitation lays ahead of me, 6-12 months I’ve been told before I’m back to the condition I was in before the accident.

In the end, what got me through was love and friendship. And lots of pain medication.

My Scott carbon fibre bike was written off, but I still have my Avanti, which is patiently waiting for me to decide on my path forward.


As for the path after rehabilitation, do I go back to the one sport I loved with a passion, or do I take up stamp collecting, as suggested by my brother.


Whatever I decide, I have honestly found that love and friendship conquers all, physical and mental pain.

No Promises – Icehouse

Why do bad things happen to good people

There is a saying. ‘Why do bad things happen to good people.’

This was certainly the case when I met an elderly lady in hospital a short while ago. She is 80ish and had a bad fall, breaking her neck and ending up with a full neck brace she would have to wear for up to 12 weeks.

She is one of those elderly ladies that refuses to admit her age and won’t use a walking frame or a walking stick, much to the disappointment of her daughters and her husband. I’m sure her daughters would have pimped up her walking frame, had she asked.

So as she waited to be released from hospital, sitting in her chair and dressed rather smartly, the time slowly ticked by, but still no sign of a doctor to authorise her release forms. And with every passing minute, her husband became more agitated and demanded to know why such a long delay.

The nurse did all she could to settle the family, but the way it was going, the husband was about to blow a gasket, and would have ended up in a hospital bed with a stroke. He had already suffered a stroke, and another one might have been his last.

After a much longer wait, a young doctor arrived, clipboard under his arm and looking very official.

By this point, the husband had obviously reached his limit and was about to give him a serve, and then the doctor began to explain the reason for the long delay.

It was a standard procedure to do a full body scan of patients of her age, for precautionary measures. Pausing for a brief moment, he explained that during the scan, they had discovered a type of cancer in her body.

That certainly took the wind out of the husband’s sails. As he looked at the doctor and back to his wife and family. I was in as much shock as her family.

She took the news in her stride and asked about the next steps as her husband sat there in complete shock. And then asked for the curtains to be closed so she could get back into her nightgown.

Her husband and family left after a while and said they would return another day to pick her up after more tests had been performed.

The fact was, she went into hospital knowing she had one serious problem, and then leaving with another major blow to her overall health made me think how lucky we can be.

When we are handed a second chance to life on a silver platter, we need to make the most of it.

Get out and smell the roses, take in the few rays of sunshine that are still about. Sit and watch the rain fall from the grey skies and see the heavy droplets splatter against the land as they leave their mark.

Tell the people you care about how you feel, as that moment may slip by in a heartbeat and they will never know.

So with Easter a mere bunny hop away, take care of yourselves and the ones who you truly care about. Every day is a blessing.