For years all i'd ever done was live life with an intense passion for going mental in the great outdoors, a passion that developed me into a full on control freak, pushing my own skills every time i left the house. To me, it was (and still is) what life is about, if you dont check out your boundaries of your own existence once in a while then how would you know what you could ever accomplish. As you evlove in crazy sports you sort of end up taking life for granted, the longer you go without injury, the less injury becomes a concern.. On the other hand you have a crash, and instantly think someone will put you back together again in 10 minutes and you'll be back in action by morning. I suppose in a way pushing the envelope for so long leads to complacency and increases the odds of an accident that will result in a permanent legacy.
For me, it all happened a week before Christmas in 2005 when i was on the final bike run out of the year. It was a mild night, well above freezing so i stuck the lights on my bike and headed off on a short 15mile route stacked with climbs and intermittent tarmac sections. As i came in to a local village i decided to carry my speed and sweep right at a T-junction and head up a small incline. The road was was quiet, not a single car just a couple of locals revelling in the pre-Christmas festivities. All of a sudden the front wheel dived, and sent me airbourne. I remember life for a split second becoming stationary, really strange feeling then all of a sudden i hit the tarmac and just kept going and going and going, each tumble ripping off more and more flesh. Finally i stopped about 10m from the where it all began, with the bike lying on its side some distance away. All i could think about was jumping to my feet and running to grab my bike and pull it out of the way of potential oncoming traffic, life preservation was not even on the agenda. I could hardly stand up, the road was covered in diesel, you could see the multi-coloured film of oil glittering beneath the street lights..
From out of the shadows came a few locals to check i was ok. At this point my body was fused with a combination of numbness, pain and instant swelling. My cycle top and baggy shorts were destroyed and my legs, hips, arms, back and shoulders tingling as the cotton fabric brushed against the open wounds. I honestly and truthfully thought i'd got away with it, i even began looking at the bike thinking i could jump on the seat, cycle back home, apply a bit of antiseptic and i'd be back to normal by morning. How wrong can you be.....
All of a sudden i started feeling a bit light headed and then i realised that my left hand was pointing in the opposite direction to the right. There was a lump, right in the middle of the forearm that seemed to appear then disappear as i attempted to restore the hand to its rightful position. It was only then that i realised it was actually the radius bone protruding through the skin. Thats the incredible thing with an adrenaline rush, its numbs all your senses. I wasnt cycling anywhere.
An hour later i was in A&E and after hours of X-rays, tests etc i was diagnosed with a mid-fracture of the radius bone, chipped wrist bones and severe gravel rash. I remember thinking .. i'll be put in plaster, sent home, and 6 weekes later i'll be biking again.. Next thing i knew, i was booked in to have invasive surgery to fit a 10cm plate and 6 or 7 screws. I had no choice. I just wanted the thing plastered up so at least i could continue hiking but i was informed without an operation i'd only get 2-5% movement back (and with the operation 80% plus).
The operation went smoothly and just under 4 hours later i was back in the ward (and 16 hours after that i'd managed to get a rapid discharge). No way i was staying in there for 3 days, i wanted out, so freakin bored...
6 Months Post Op
The next 12 weeks were the worst ever. I ended up doing my own physio after getting zero feedback from the hospital and all i kept thinking about was not being able to climb, scramble or bike properly. So many people kept saying, "you'll just have to find another hobby".. What the hell was all that about.. find a hobby.. this is my freakin life, its a passion, its an existence.. On top of this i contracted chicken pox which resulted in 1000's blisters and a combination of pain and itching like i'd never experienced.. .
So whats the script with my life now... Its going well as you can tell by the blogs.. After the pox i quickly regained a positive attitude and i'm now back in full force.. the biking is going well, in fact, i'm probably quicker than before, and the rest of the active brits posse are hitting life as hard as ever.. The arm still feels weird, gets cold in the winter. It will never will be the same, but i'm getting on with it and determined to build the muscle bulk back up so i can resume the climbing again.. I'll never get the grades back but that not important, its being back in control that matters..
Moral to the story.. if negative karma stands in your way.. look at it straight in its eyes then go kick its teeth in..
(Note: click pics to make them larger :o)