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.

A year is a long time



A year equals 365 days.

A year equals 8760 hours

A year equals 525600 minutes

A year equals 31,536,000 seconds.

All it took was one of those seconds to change my life forever.

With a long and painful year behind me, I can now begin to look forward and set a few new targets as the last of my operations are done and dusted.

When people discover I had a major incident with a car while cycling, i get the standard response of how lucky I really am.

In some ways this makes sense, I am still able to walk and have full function of all my limbs and only with some pain on a daily basis. But yes, I am alive and have managed to get back on the bike and continue with my life in a way I would have wanted.

But, if I had been really ‘lucky’ I would have never been hit by a motorist who was not paying attention to the roads in front of him. I would have never suffered the effects of a broken back and other painful injuries.

Luck has not been the biggest factor in getting back on my feet and eventually back on the bike. Persistence may have had a huge part to play, and the fact I find it rather difficult to accept help, even when I should was another factor.

Unlucky is probably the best way to describe the situation I ended up in. Broken and feeling very sorry for myself at the best of times. Not that giving up was ever an option, even though I have to admit there were times where it was one step forward and two steps back.

Having to go through two separate procedure, shoulder and then my hand, which I was told was fine. I guess the surgeon got that one wrong. So after 11 months, I had surgery to repair my thumb, and the rehab begins from scratch.

So all I can do from this point forward is look forward to a time where I can be happy with my condition and the joys I have ahead in my life.

A second can sometimes be the longest time in a person’s life.

Make every second count as you may not get the next one

Sliding Doors

We are all aware of the ‘sliding doors’ scenario. As one opportunity is missed, another one takes its place. Sometimes for better, and other times for the worse. But no matter what choices we make, we will end up where we were meant to be.

This was the case on the day of my cycling accident, it could have ended up much differently had I made other choices on my first 25 kms of the ride.

As I headed towards Safety Beach, I slipped in behind another cyclist who was moving a few kms quicker than my normal pace, but I decided i should try and keep up with him for as long as possible and increase my stamina.

Sitting in his slipstream for 5 or so kms, I thought to myself this could be one of my quicker rides of the year. But as we approached a street heading up towards Arthur’s Seat, he turned into the street and I decided to continue with my original plan and do the hill climb of Arthur’s Seat the next day. Had I followed him, it might have been an entirely different ride, and a possibly a very different outcome to my day.

So I continued on solo for a while before turning back and setting my sights on Point Nepean. 60 kms away with a light headwind and the sun shining in the blue sky. A perfect day for a ride I kept telling myself.


As I looked ahead, I saw the set of lights change to amber, and instead of braking hard, I cruised through and continued on my merry way without a problem.

Looking back at the day, either one of those sliding door moments would have made a huge difference to my unhappy ending. Or would they have made no difference at all?

Would I have been injured on another part of my ride that day? Coming back down Arthur’s Seat at a breakneck speed. Or would have I gotten away without an injury? It’s hard to know which would have been the case, but what happened on that day, happened for a reason.

A reason I’m still unsure about, but one that didn’t leave me lying dead on the side of the road that morning. And for that I’m still very thankful. Even though it’s been a long and tough journey to recovery, I am hoping it will worthwhile in the long run, not just for me, but for my family and friends.

In the end, we will be where we are meant to be, no matter the twists, turns and tumbles we take.

Enjoy the journey with friends, family and loved ones. As the destination has been set. Life is too short for regrets.

Looking at the big picture


After not having worked for nearly 5 months due to my accident, it was with relief and trepidation that I would return to my old team and the project I was forced to leave.

Heading back in for my first day was something of a relief, but as the train neared my city station. The butterflies in my stomach began their war dance the nerves and jitters hit home.


Not that I should have had any concerns about what my role was and If I was still capable of processing all the information which would be dumped in my lap over the coming weeks. It was more if my mind would be able to cope with the social part of the job.

Friendship and caffeine got me through the day, only just. I was so exhausted on the trip home and struggled to stay awake, hoping I wouldn’t fall asleep and miss my station.

I have been back a few days now and it’s getting easier. And it will eventually be a normality for me in the coming weeks.

My life has become much busier now that I’m back at work. I still need to continue with all my rehabilitation exercises, get to hydrotherapy and see the physio a few times a week.


Busy weeks ahead, but at least I’m moving in the right direction. And that forward direction will continue. Going backwards is not an option. Not now. Not ever.

As my physio said. ‘You broke your back in a cycling accident less than 5 months ago. And you’re going back to work. Don’t be so hard on yourself.’

As much as his words made perfect sense, it’s still tough at times to see the big picture. And that’s something we all need to do.

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.

Light at the end of the tunnel 


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.

Missed opportunities 


Some things slip through our fingers when we least expect them. It’s after the event we realise how much of a missed opportunity it really was.


We can’t go back and relive what we missed out on, but we can make amends by having another go at the opportunity which slid past us at a rapid rate of knots.

Some of the missed opportunities we can only blame ourselves for, while others are taken away, leaving us with a longing for what we missed.


This was the case earlier this year for me, a trip to Europe, starting in France and then through to Italy to visit family. But, due to a negligent driver, my trip was cancelled due to injuries incurred, and so were my dreams of sipping coffee and eating freshly made croissants in the very heart of Paris.


Just because I missed out on this opportunity, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. All that’s needed is some spare time and holiday planning.

So when an opportunity is missed, it’s not the end of the world. Get up and have another shot at it. We only live once and deserve to be happy, and to make the most of every moment.


Don’t wait, enjoy life, it may be taken away in the blink of an eye.