Sunday, June 19, 2011

Journey to Ironhood: Week 23

Week 23 (13-19 Jun):

First mistake: Riding against the traffic of a one-way street.
Second mistake: Speeding.

With these 2 mistakes set up against me, it was inevitable the obvious happened - an oncoming car approached my speeding bike, and in a state of panic, I squeezed my brakes and crashed to the ground, landing on my back and hitting my head hard against the road.

As I lay on the road, I was more angry than in pain. A second fall in just 3 weeks! How could I be so careless? Why do I keep crashing when I've only weeks to race day?

Questions, questions, questions. I'm not sure what cracked my helmet - the impact of the fall, or the bursting questions in my head.

Soon, help came - my riding friends, the driver and her passengers. I was helped up, my bike laid on the grass next to an ant-infested area, and I was made sure I hadn't broken any bones. All I sustained was some abrasions on my back and elbow.

A trained nurse on the way to a family day event, the driver brought a fully packed first aid kit, and very quickly got round to dressing my wounds. She was so very kind and friendly, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

Now, what are falls if not to learn lessons from? Here are the lessons learnt:

1. Can any man be an island? No way. We live and grow in a community; we struggle and shrivel alone.

2. Falling makes me human; and realized I am no almighty speeding demon. Not that I attempt to be one, but in my bid to improve my speed and ride faster, I lose the sense of clarity and focus sometimes - and what a price I have to pay for that!

3. Be thankful, always, every time. Our lives are wrapped in a bubble of protection because we have a destiny ahead of us, awaiting fulfillment. I know I am preserved from harm and danger for a cause, a very big cause.

4. IronMan training is more than just physical; it's also mental and emotional. I'm only just beginning to grasp this fact, 7 weeks into race day.

Apart from the agonizing fact that I have to endure long periods away from the family and a familiar weekend routine of breakfast and pockets of quality time, it's absolutely essential to train up a strong mind and heart - sometimes we fumble and tumble, sometimes we crash and burn; but which journey to greatness isn't filled with frequent obstacles and the occasional road blocks?

So, 'nuff said - failure is not fatal; giving up is. With that, I'll keep going, keep training; and keep TRI-ing.


Hui Koon said...

Its a good learning point isnt it? I have crashed many times myself. And fortunately, nothing much happened to me except for bruises and dented ego.

Learn to ride safe and NEVER speed when there are side roads as well. I have had several near misses myself and almost got my friend into trouble when he was cycling behind me and I beat a red light. From then on, I never beat red light any more.

Now, quickly nurse your abrasions and keep them dry as much as possible. Use water proof plasters when you swim. If they keep getting wet, they will take forever to heal and time is not quite on your side for your inaugural ironman. Perhaps give up swimming for a week and let the wounds dry up. That could be better?

Lastly, train safe! Slow is the new fast, I have also learnt. Better be able to ride more and often than fast and sustain injury. Applies to all aspects of training I would say?

Angeline Tan said...

Indeed! Am sick and tired of falling and am gonna go slower and safer next time round. Irony is, I usually go rather slowly, and on a rare ride where I do go fast, I crash. Lesson learnt indeed!

Haha slow is the new fast - what an amazing catch line! Will bear that in mind.

Am putting on water proof plasters and should resume swimming soon enough as the wounds are healing rather quickly.

Thanks for your pointers Hui Koon!

Matty Wong said...

Time to replace that helmet, in fact you should have done so after your first fall. Its a safety protocol for accidents especially yours are the more acrobatic type of accidents...

Train safe, its the only way to get us to the start line. No training is worth risking for, no race is worth dying for.

See you soon.

cheewee said...

Failure is NOT an option!

Ride safe, and TRI-on!

Linda Lua said...

Be more conservative, Angie dear. The closer you are to a race, the more reckless and emotional you'll be. This is the time to take it easy. Often times, the only time you are something out of the ordinary is the time you hurt yourself. Learned that aplenty while snowboarding, the very last aggressive run is always when I get hurt. Lesson learned - I stop before my emotion tells me "One last run". Beating time in a race is optional, finishing it is mandatory. Good luck!!! I'm rooting for you!