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.

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.



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.

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.