A year ago today, I had my bike accident. For some reason, I thought of this a few days ago and contemplated walking to the station today. But, I didn’t want it to become one of those annual superstitions. Plus, Sod’s Law said I would have tripped over my own shoe if I’d done that and head-butted a lamp post; Or something equally as embarrassing and painful.
Last year really shocked me. It shocked me in a few ways. Firstly, it made me realise how blase I had been about my bike maintenance; It is likely the accident would have happened anyway, but when a bike failure was at the heart, you can’t help but wonder if a bit more care could have avoided it.
Secondly, it made me realise how fragile the human body is, but also how resilient. I was physically and mentally drained for quite some time after the accident. My arm felt limp for several days, just as a result of the shock from the trauma. But, within a week I was able to try using it again and, with some care and attention, it was well on the road to recovery within weeks.
Finally, it made me realise that there is some pleasure to be had from not rowing and training every night and every weekend. I enjoyed having a couple of mornings where I could do stuff at home. Weekends suddenly felt very long. Sure, I was keen to get back to it as soon as I could because it proved I was recovered. But, as the winter wore on and my feelings towards rowing changed, it was that time after my bike accident that made me realise my life wouldn’t fall apart if I stepped back a bit. Which I did and which I am enjoying.
So, a year on, my arm still aches a bit when it’s cold (joining my ankle after a severe break when I was 8). I’m still cycling (albeit a bit more nervy of fast downward runs) but more diligent at looking after my bike (or at least getting Sam to check it over!). But on that note, it’s time to go jump on the cycle trainer!