I finally got this blog up and running in August, after deliberating and putting it off for much longer than I’d care to admit. I worked myself into somewhat of a routine, and it was difficult but rewarding to push myself to write consistently.
Forming habits and consistency can be difficult for me. It’s something I’m trying to conquer with the blog itself, one of my key motivations for starting it. But out of nowhere, I suddenly stopped.
On the morning of October 20th, on my commute to work, I was involved in a bike accident. I was coming through a downhill stretch entering a two-block long section of flat terrain, with two green lights allowing me to gain momentum into a subsequent uphill stretch. I know the light timings on my commute down to the second, and on this particular stretch, those two green lights are waiting for me every day. Just as planned, they were waiting for me on October 20th.
As I approached and entered the first intersection, an oncoming car drifted into the intersection to turn left. The car entered the intersection very tentatively, and thinking that the driver saw me, I made the split-second decision to proceed as I had the right-of-way coming straight. I quickly learned that the driver did not see me. I had another split-second to swerve out of the way, while slamming on my brakes. My forward momentum carried me head first over my handlebars. I broke my fall with my wrist and elbow, on opposite arms, and both were fractured badly. Surgery was performed on October 23rd; I now have plates and screws in my left elbow and right wrist.
I spent a month out of work recovering, and everything else going on in my life came to a halt with it. In that month, I spent lots of time reflecting and just being still. I watched Netflix and HBO GO, I read blogs and books, I played video games. I quickly chose to embrace the downtime and complete lack of any daily responsibilities and obligations. It can be easy to take the opposite path and allow frustration to take hold, I’ve been there before with previous injuries. I was miserable and angry, always upset about what I couldn’t do. I refused to let that happen again this time around.
In my normal day-to-day life, I have lots of nervous energy. I like to give myself a hard time if I don’t run, if I don’t write, if I don’t make daily progress towards my goals. It is great to want to do these things, and there is definitely a drive required to do them. But I put lots of unnecessary pressure on myself, which turns out being counterproductive.
My accident forced me to take a vacation from this grind I impose on myself, and it was much needed. It allowed me to re-evaluate my priorities and re-center myself.
The accident could have been much worse. The car came within inches of running me over. My last thought before flying off my bike was just that – “I’m getting hit!”. I could have landed on my neck and sustained much more serious injuries. In the grand scheme of things, a few broken bones and impaired mobility for a few months is nothing. A blip on the radar.
I don’t mean to diminish what happened to me, but I like to keep it in perspective. There are definitely lots of positives to take away from my experience.
I’ve been a bike commuter since 2008, and have loved every second of it. I’ve learned lots about general safety and bicycle etiquitte in that time, but I’ve also become quite confident riding with traffic on busy city streets. Perhaps a little too confident. I certainly am not egregious, but there are times when I could be more cautious. When I get on my bike again, you can rest assured that I’m going to be much more of just that.
So, I’m back on the horse now. I returned to work last week before Thanksgiving, and am feeling more and more like myself every day. I am planning to pick up the writing again, and will start publishing articles in the upcoming week.
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have not abandoned this as quickly as I started it. Not a chance! I’m looking forward to getting back to it, right where I left off. There’s lots still to be done here, like build out this website so it isn’t just a giant wall of text. Lots of shiny things I want to put here. All in due time! For now, more writing, growing that text wall before I build it out into a house.
It will be a few months still before I’m fully recovered, with lots of physical therapy. I’m looking forward to a low-key winter full of hot chocolate, coffee, tea, cozy cafes, and continuing to write and grow!