Sunday, August 04, 2013

Lessons of Life on Wheels

I am not sure if I am writing this because I have been stuck in a hospital room for 4 days feeling a bit closed in by the walls or I actually mean it. Either way it’s made it on to my blog.

I was reading a book to do with the psychology of winners in the lead up to the Andorra World Cup however it wasn’t the typical style of book you might be thinking of. I’ve read the book 2 times before. This third time the book made more sense. I took a lot from it, applying it at the race. After a great qualifying run I was confused and demoralized on the time gap to the top, I was determined to fix it Sunday. On race day I felt free and was racing for the moment. No thoughts of past or future. This was the now.

I can remember racing bikes since day 1. It’s all I’ve ever really been into. At school I was determined, worked hard and got the marks I needed to qualify for University, that’s what you did after secondary school right? I still felt bikes pulled me their way more than anything else. Opportunities popped up in bike racing more than anything else in my late teens and I took every one of them and chased it. One led to another and another. Where am I now? Flat out in a Hospital bed. Broken back, teeth, sore neck, cuts and bruises all over my face. Que thoughts from the “normal” people in society, ones that know no passion or drive for something. “Oh mountain biking, you guys are crazy, right?” “What are you going to do now with your life?” “That will put you off” all the usual stuff. If you are even a little like me you will have heard this stuff before.

Sitting staring at the ceiling, nothing else to do I flicked my I Pod on and hit play on the last song I used to get me going for my final run. Music helps me relax and focus in on what I want to happen when I ride. The feeling from it transfers into the feeling on the bike. I hit the play button. All the thoughts and memories from Sunday came flooding back, not that they had disappeared, how could they in my new situation but it was a fresh take on it. I’d not thought much about the day I had at the racetrack. I tried to forget about it mostly. At the time it seemed like a horrible day to be me. Lying on the side of the track as the rest of the boys raced past, so many thoughts roll through your head. “Dude this isn’t good you can’t move. Will I ever ride a bike again? What does this mean? Why me, now?“ These thoughts pass through your head until the injury is confirmed. I’d been here before but not like this. 4 days on I feel it was one of my best days in my career. I felt amazing on the track no thought crossed my mind on the bike that day. Free and easy but focused and loving all of it. I have struggled this World Cup season to find my feet and where I belong maybe lost who I really am at times which didn’t help my racing. I have fought so hard over the last 10 months to get to the very top. Perhaps I have forced the issue to do well too much, focusing on out come and not the processes to get there. I have been so close before but something always seems to deny me the top step. Lesson are learnt, time to move on.


“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

11 comments:

Mother to my mother said...

Cam, you sound strong. Great Blog, keep it coming. Janet

Mother to my mother said...

Great Blog Cam, you sound strong. Keep it coming.

german said...

Get well man! Great view on how to focus, now it's time to apply it into getting strong again and you'll be back faster and more determined than ever.

Dan Jesse said...

Keep the blog coming, it's a great read. Bad stuff happens and it sucks, but it's how we survive that makes us who we are!

Jeff Robinson said...

That was a mother fucker of a crash bro, glad to see your focusing on the big picture and what was working for you rather than that one moment. reminds me of the mind set Dan Atherton obtained after breaking his neck. Its the Kiwi spirit! Stay strong mate.

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Malcy J said...

I am not flash dude biking, but am sitting on the couch nursing a shoulder that's busted pretty bad. I so hear what you say with the "Que thoughts from the “normal” people in society" bit. I'm a few years older than you, but feel a pile younger (though maybe not right now...)

I hope that was a cathartic process writing and I wish you a speedy recovery fella!

Subsy McStubsy said...

Heal well dude, inspirational words.

brad Earl said...

A great piece of writing, this mindset shows why you ARE at the top mixing it with the best. Keep thinking like this and and you will succeed. Cam, your crash was one of those crashes that was horrible to watch. That over the bars feeling that just goes on and on until the inevitable and you pile in, but at the end of the day sometimes shit happens, that’s racing and riding. You’ll come back stronger and more determined than ever. Good luck in your recovery!

Mae Latham said...

Cameron, my name is Mae, and I can really relate to what you are writing here right now. I'm 21 now and like you, thought uni was the next step after secondary school. My grades were super and I thought going into law would make everyone happy. After only a few months of that.. I said to myself f*** that, and went in the opposite direction.. something I loved. I became a ski instructor then worked for a season. It was amazing. This year I am on an awesome outdoor course at Tai Poutini Polytechnic and enjoying every minute of it. Last Thursday though, on our mountaineering week up Temple Basin, the snow cave collapsed on me. I was dug out then helicoptered away after an excruciating four hour wait. Diagnosed with fractures in L1 and L2 i'm out - only allowed to walk for six week. Out for seven day sea kayak, and for my holiday plans practising my kayaking, climbing, rafting and skiing. Pretty much out for the rest of the year. Moving at the moment is so painful and exhausting and i'm napping constantly.. feel like such a nana! It's a huge blow but I wouldn't change it or my choices in life for the world. I will be back. I will get strong again and keep continuing in these pursuits which are my passion. Stay strong man, awesome to read this blog post of yours x

ashab said...

Get well soon mister, I believe you gave a great insight into how you feel and what you will do in the future. Good luck.