I thought it would be about time I gave everyone (my fans, my sponsors and any professional teams) who has been keeping up to date with my progress and give everyone a run down of where I am at, currently and where I believe I will be. It’s been a few months since I wrote “The Struggle of REHAB” and a lot has changed in that time. I was in a pretty bad and emotional stage back then, but now, I am at a place I would never have imagined four months ago! My recovery has yet again taken a massive upward trajectory and the pieces are really starting to fall into place!
Lets start off with the news that most of you probably already know. In the last 2 weeks I’ve discovered I no longer need surgery on my bicep, which was a major concern as I could have lost strength or movement in my fingers, which pretty much could have ended any hopes of a career in cycling. Then a few days later, two days before Le Race, I found out I was no longer needed to keep my heart rate restricted to 145BPM. This to me was the biggy I needed clearance of if I really want to make a comeback in cycling. So yes, the stars are finally starting to align! But what does this mean for the future?
Okay, this is largely aimed at any professional teams that may or may not be thinking about helping me out with an epic career resurrection story but also to the fans and sponsors who have supported me from day one and believed in me all the way! Who would also like to see me reach my goals and ambitions! Let me start off by saying that every ambition and goal I’ve ever had, is UNALTERED! I will continue to try my best, work my hardest, to win the likes of the TDF (and stages), Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, Ardennes Classics and more. My sights are still set on the stars and I know for a fact there will be doubters reading this, which is perfectly acceptable. I mean, the goals I’ve set are higher standards than most professionals, who haven’t been to hell and back, who have failed themselves. How on earth would the likes of a kid, who partially paralyzed his right arm, severed nerves and arteries come from a death bed and go on to achieving at the highest level of the sport? I’ll tell you how… A level of self belief, dedication and a new love for life that very few people who roam this earth possess… That’s how. It’s not every day you get a second chance at life… and with that second chance comes the realization of how fragile life is, that realization shifts a paradigm in ones-self that nothing in this world comes easy, but the toughest journeys have the best rewards. So the hard work becomes “easier” as mentally you are thinking with the end goal in mind. That end goal helps iron out the crinkles of self doubt and uncertainty and relinquishes the negative opinions of others. One important thing I’ve learnt in this process is that you can’t listen to the people that question your goals and ambitions, they have every right to doubt you… but when push comes to shove, you know what you are made of and I guess people soon learn what you are capable of when they see it for themselves.
Personally I’ve had a lot of doubt in my journey thus far. Initially I was supposed to be dead, then brain dead, then wheelchair bound, then I’d live but probably wouldn’t have a normal life, then I wouldn’t ride a bike, then I would never race a bike… I feel like those are some pretty massive assumptions that I’ve proved wrong thus far, so why not prove a few more wrong? I know this isn’t going to be easy but I keep thinking to myself, “How many peoples lives could I change in a positive way if I make it back to the pro peloton? ; How many people will start believing in themselves?” I believe I can push myself so much further now that I’m doing what I love with a bigger and more influential purpose! Everyone loves a winner but not everyone can relate to winning… EVERYONE can relate to set backs and failure! And I’d love to be the person that shows, no matter how bad your set back is, with the right frame of mind and the right people around you, you can achieve any goal you set your mind to!
Now you know my mentality, so physically where am I at? Well, Saturday at Le Race was the first time I was allowed to go full gas since my accident. I had absolutely no idea how my body would react to going deep in the red! I started off the race going the hardest I’ve gone since my accident, by going racing the first 20km up a hill… now, I thought as my body wasn’t used to going so hard I’d be absolutely trashed after that effort. to my amazement I was able to continue making similar power at the end of the race which also happened to be in the mountains. I can only take positives out of this effort. My body is adapting rapidly with the load of training, and the best part is, I’ve been taking it “easy”. I’m hoping with a few more hard efforts in training and lifted FTP (Functional Threshold Power) I’ll start to see larger leaps in my performance! I followed Le Race up with a Time Trial two days later… I averaged 305w for 23m03s which is about a 20w jump from the last effort I did and about 10w more than I did in Le Race two days prior, in the hills.
Physically I am coming back faster than I or anyone could have expected. I’m now starting to race the Elite Series in New Zealand and hoping by next year to make the Commonwealth Games selection (YES, I’m not kidding)! I initially gave myself 2 – 3 years to get back to the level I once was at, but now I’m not sure if it’ll take that long anymore. I have a long way to go but I know what is required of me, I’ll get there… the question is… Are you a doubter, or a believer? 😉