Life is full of challenges

I think this may be the longest I’ve gone without blogging… and I’m terrible at it at the best of times.

The last few months have been incredibly busy, but not so much with training. I had my off-season, then just as i was starting to get back into training, I had a spot of bad luck.

A few months back I bought a motorbike and started commuting to work. It was economical and fun. After a few months of this, the bad luck struck. While driving through a town on my way to work, a car pulled put in front of me from a side street.. I had always heard that the biggest risk with motorbikes is other drivers and its very true. The driver just drove out directly in front of me. I was lucky in that i was probably only doing about 10-15mph when I impacted… But I hurt my wrist.

A visit to the hospital revealed that it was broken. The bad luck continued in that it wasn’t a clean or simple break… So they dosed me up with morphine and something that removes your memory and did things to my wrist to try and set it right.

A week later some more X-rays meant more bad luck.. The bone wasn’t setting right and I needed surgery. I am hugely impressed time and time again by the British National Health System. I was called in for surgery the nest day.

The surgery happened, I got a plate put in my arm and spent the night in hospital.

I’m not dwelling on details, and this is not a desire for pity of any kind… but its probably worth noting that I have a few little phobias about medical procedures… particularly needles. Surgery is something Ive always been terrified of, so it wasn’t really a fun experience inside my head. Plus, the pain afterwards was pretty damn intense.

Its now 2 weeks post surgery. The pain is getting better, although I’m still popping painkillers 3-6 times a day. I’m due for a review appointment tomorrow morning, so please send good wishes and positive thoughts my way that everything is healing well!

Anyway.. there is a point to all this, and its not meant to be just a blog post of complaining. I haven’t done any exercise in nearly a month now. Over the last few weeks I’ve been endlessly frustrated by only having one functional arm. The frustration isn’t helped by having little sleep… but the thing is, its really hard to function with one arm. Simple things become lengthy and arduous tasks… things like picking up the baby, changing her diaper, buttoning a shirt, typing, putting on Zane’s shoes, tying shoelaces etc etc. Some of these things seem damn near impossible with one hand… Seriously.. how do you tie shoelaces with one hand? If it wasnt for my awesome, wonderful wife I don’t know what I would have done.

Through all this, through the pain and the frustration, I’ve found one thing often popping into my head… A guy called Jason Lester, here’s a little part of Jason’s story from his wiki page

Lester grew up playing baseball and football. When he was twelve years old, he was hit while on his bicycle by a woman driving 70 mph who ran a red light. He was left for dead with 21 broken bones and a collapsed lung. Lester lost the use of his right arm, which became partially paralyzed as a result of the accident. During the next several months he began a lengthy hospital recovery. While he was still in the hospital recovering, his father, and sole guardian, died of a heart attack.

Jason is now an endurance athlete. In 2008 he became the first physically challenged athlete ever to complete the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii finishing the ultra-distance triathlon where he swam 6.2 miles, biked 261.4 miles and ran 52.4 miles to the finish line.

In 2009 he won the ESPY award for best male with a disability.

Last year, himself and Rich Roll did the “Epic 5”. 5 Ironman races in 5 days on the 5 islands of Hawaii

My accident was small by comparison. I wasn’t going that fast and only broke one bone. However, on a personal perspective Ive had a horrible few weeks. I cant even imagine what Jason Lester went through. Ive had a few weeks of being frustrated about not being able to dress myself or my kids. Jason has done the Ultraman race with one arm.

This whole experience has really highlighted to me how much of a challenge disabled athletes face. My temporary disability has shown me how hard everyday life can be.. never mind training or competing.

So…. pop over to Jason’s website maybe consider donating to the charity he runs and most importantly…. Just take a few minutes to just appreciate what you have in life. If you’ve got 2 functioning arms, legs, ears, eyes etc then be glad you do. And if you’ve been slipping on the training because its too dark or too cold? Get off your ass and go do a few miles for me please… I’m missing it.