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.