When choosing the name of my website, The Odyssey, I had no idea that, what I perceived to be an already transformational journey, would be nothing compared to the next challenge to be overcome.
On June 29th 2019, while being on a social ride with friends as part of my Kona 2019 base build preparation, faith threw another curveball.
I was surveying for oncoming traffic, while navigating a roundabout, leading a few fellow riders/friends. In doing so, I didn’t see a large pothole in the road... I went over my handlebars, had the instinct to tuck my head and tumble turn, yet took the full brunt of the hit on my right shoulder. While tumbling, my black beauty still attached to my cleats, smacked the ground hard and was catapulted away from me. Instantly I knew this was a major hit for my bike… and probably even worse for me. I took a loud scream.... FUUUUuuuuuu..... Shook my head, moved my body to check its state limb by limb. All was good, considering the hard crash. All ... but the right shoulder. I could see a bone sticking out from my shoulder through my skin tight fire-red DT Swiss bike-kit.
Within minutes, with some aid from my friend, I was put in a taxi and on my way to the hospital scrunching at even the slightest bump in the road. By 8am I entered ER and was being examined, X-rayed soon thereafter, followed by a doctor's consultation. He was clear about the situation and I was scheduled for surgery later that afternoon. Luckily he understood that I am a competitive (amateur) athlete and confirmed that he would go above the norm to ensure I can get back to full strength and mobility... over time.
Prior to surgery, I felt blessed, I had friends swing by the hospital. Not the sad type of visit, yet the happy talk, life chats, and was eagerly listening to some of their epic next steps in their endurance journey. Yes you guessed it, most my friends are fellow crazy athletes, dream chasers and dream makers.
A few of them I’d like to highlight.
So what now?
The good news is that there are micro gains and micro progress. Since Tuesday, I have started physiotherapy. Since Sunday, yes 12hours post-surgery, I was encouraged, to start doing mobility exercises, and having been doing these diligently with small gains along the way. Some base mobility is coming back. I’ve also been briefly on the indoor trainer in the past 2 days, working with my physio, coach and doctor on what I can do, versus what I can’t do. The latter list is, of course, still the longest for a while. I also manage to put on a shirt sub 1 minute while this took me 20 minutes just a mere few days ago. Micro-goals and micro-gains… I take anything I can get and am celebrating those mini victories.
Some less good news on Black Beauty, the initial feedback from my experts at my bike shop @t3bicycle indicate that black beauty could still work in the stable on an indoor trainer, yet outdoor riding is not safe anymore. I’ll learn more when I go visit them in the next few days. After seeing pictures my my bike frame, I realise how hard the crash must have been. The component damage, which there is plenty of, is the easier replaceable part.
As for work, theoretical, I am on medical leave, yet have been working as normal this week, just taking all meetings from home this week, as things do take a bit more time. This helps me stay focussed, and stay sane. As of next week, I will be back in the office as normal.
In the meantime, I have spent some time to reset some of my goals, say them out loud, and write them out.
Allow me to share with you where I landed them so far:
Before I close off this first post on my #roadtorecovery, I’d like to thank all of you. From all over the world, you have reached out over the past few days. Thank you for your kind words of support. Even more so, sharing some inspirational thoughts, like Tim Don’s and Frodo’s comeback (boy, mine are nothing compared to their challenges) . And in some cases, even more special, You have shared your very own personal stories of adversity.
I feel blessed, I feel energised, I feel inspired and ready to move onwards...