Afternoon folks, lovely day here in sunny Spain, the type that makes you feel good to be alive…
And I can say that with meaning, as last Friday at around 5pm, a car pulled out in front of me as I was coming down a hill, and sent both me and my bike flying… I have memories of seeing the car start to move out, shouting at it, realising I can’t do anything about it, then a crunch and what seemed a ridiculously long time airborne (which in reality was just a second or two) while watching colours and wondering where I would land, then the impact followed by a series of floating heads peering at me and telling me not to move as others gabbled and made noises around me.
According to witnesses I was pushed sideways then flew straight up in the air and landed straight back down again, and despite all the initial fears and after the police, the ambulances, the hospitals and the x-rays, I basically walked away unharmed. A few cuts and bruises, an arm in a sling and a bit of road rash, plus the feeling of being run over by a truck, but otherwise I’m fine!! (Although they will never read this, I want to say thanks to some very kind people who wrapped me in their jackets and blankets until ambulance arrived, and the very calm and efficient emergency services at the scene and in hospital who took care of me!)
So after the weekend recovering, I was lying in bed feeling sorry for myself and contemplating what to do until I can start training properly again, and then it struck me how lucky I was. If either me or the car had been going faster, if I had been a second earlier or later, if another car had been coming from behind, if another car had been coming the other way, if I had landed differently … it’s quite possible life would have ended or at least changed drastically out there on the road.
So with that cheerful thought in mind, I decided I need to live everyday like it’s my last… yeah, I know, we all say that, and we very rarely do it, but little episodes like last weekend really remind you of what’s important.. and no that isn’t the best bike split, or the fastest run or beating the guy in the next lane at the pool (especially when he doesn’t know he is racing you…). It’s about enjoying being alive, and while training hard is part of that, it’s also easy to lose sight of the bigger picture in our eagerness to hit our goals.
And I proved that to myself yesterday, as I got so fed up with sitting on my arse for so long I took out my “town bike” and went on a one-armed pootle around the countryside for 90 minutes. No plan, no minimum speed, distance or elevation, just riding for the fun of it, taking in the views and enjoying being outdoors in the spring sunshine… and I really REALLY enjoyed it, I seriously had forgotten the simple joy of riding a bike in my eagerness to train and improve.
I’m not going to get all philosophical now, I have said enough, each to their own but life really is short and it can end any day at any time, so time for me to relax a little, take the time to smell the roses and enjoy my training rather than it becoming a chore.
Maybe we should all try that every now and then….