Today it's exactly two years since the accident. Two years ago today I was on ventilation in the Intensive Care Unit of Lancaster hospital. In some ways it seems like a very long time ago now, seems like a long time since I rode my bike or walked without crutches. Like the Queen I have two birthdays now, although I guess this one, June 21, will only be celebrated by me and those closest to me who know just how close it was to being the day I died.
But, I said at the time that I thought that in the end this experience would have a positive effect on me. We're not there yet, still some recovering to do, but hopefully at some point within the next 12 months this episode will start to be in the past rather than the present.
Since the last x-ray, in the last month, I have started thinking more about how much it will be different when I can walk/ride again, and less about if I will ever walk/ride again. I know it's going to hurt, probably for good, especially my ankle, but I can live with and manage that. My leg feels more normal mechanically now, and in the last two weeks I have started to realise that I will be able to walk again, I'm just not sure how painful or awkward it's going to be.
I had my first session with a psychotherapist this last week. This is to help me explore and deal with any negative emotions and/or psychological effects resulting from the accident, like post-traumatic stress. I am curious to see what the effects of going to the sessions will be. He already paid me a massive compliment by remarking that I had harnessed my resilience I use in my outdoor activities and put it to effect in dealing with my current situation. I have realised this myself before now, but I liked it that someone else noticed. One thing that's almost guaranteed to make me cry is when I think that I thought I was training hard to be fit enough to do really well in a race or a sportive, but really I guess I was training for this.
A conversation on Twitter today made me think about my Pennine Way adventure, which was almost four years ago now. I always meant to write up my little diary from that and put some pictures together, so I plan to do it on my blog on the appropriate days, starting therefore on June 24 which was the day in 2008 that I set out from home. Doing the Pennine Way was without question the hardest physical thing I've ever done, including what's been going on at the moment - although I suspect there are more challenges ahead in that respect. I'd love to do the PW again, so that is now getting added to the ever-growing list of 'things I'm going to do when I've recovered'.
In that vein, the same conversation also made me think about the CVMBC, the Kielder 100 and riding and mountain biking in general, not that it's ever that far from my thoughts. Maybe the CVMBC 2013 (May) is going to be pushing it still, but maybe in autumn 2013 or spring 2014 I may be able to return to competitive action.
So in the end it might be a 3-4 year hiatus. At this point I'll take that, not that I have a choice, you just have to get on with it. Persistence is everything.