4 years ago at this time I was fighting for my life. I know how difficult it is to try and remember that every day is a gift so I wanted to share this with you. At least today tell your loved ones how much you love them, try to be present with them and remember that every moment you have here is precious and it is up to you to decide what to do with your gift.
My heart is with all the souls out there that are fighting for their dear life right now. God bless us all.
Your ever well wisher
The seed of life is in everything around us. take a break and appreciate it. You never know what the next moment will bring your way.
Humbled by Jason Pires coverage of my story on CTV NEWS. I am without words. Thankful for my amazing supporters without which I couldn't pursue this dream. My training with Innovative Fitness and Meyrick Jones and Keith Sharman, impulse sports, peacemaker film works, Scott Hedlund from Russell prosthetics, and so many others - thank you. Now I have 14 months and lots of training to make it happen
The front wheel of the bike crashes against the eroded river bank, the rocks and sand crumble under impact and within a second I’m buried under the bike. The screeching noise of titanium, rocks and metal tells me that my prosthetic leg is involved. I take a big breath in as I hit the ground. Soft landing on river sand – thank you! As I lay under the bike I realize that my prosthesis is jammed between the bike frame and a large rock – sh*t, I yell in my helmet, what the hell am I doing here, this is insanity. I can’t get my leg out as the front part is stuck in a 90 degree angle between the frame and the rock. I struggle for a minute, wiggle my entire body, sweat pours into my eyes as I realize there’s no way I can slide under the bike. I rest my head down, take another big breath and look at the grand clear blue skies above – I stopped fighting.
I signed up for a weekend of Rally navigation skills with RMS (Rally Management Services from California). This weekend was my testing ground to see if I can ride a rally bike for long hours over technical terrain while navigating at the same time. To be honest I wasn't sure how I would cope with it and how my leg would react to the constant weight bearing, vibrations, heat and desert conditions. At that point I knew that if I can’t finish this weekend in one piece and walking it will indicate that I have a serious problem and perhaps my dream to race Dakar was too big. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Well, this weekend will show me where I am.
“Relax man”, I tell myself, this is part of it all, look at where you are – in the middle of nowhere in the Nevada desert, surrounded by majestic mountains, endless wadies and magnificent weird shaped Joshua trees. I love the desert, it feels like a second home to me.
I have never navigated with a roadbook. This is a unique navigation method used in rally raids and a skill I had to master in order to participate and do well in desert rally racing so once again the purpose of this weekend was to see if I can get a hang of it and learn how to use it and try not to get lost or make too many mistakes.
OK now what… I try to push the bike with my good leg but I don’t have enough room to move it. Plan B – reach out to the air valve on my socket (the part that joins the residual limb to the prosthesis) and disconnect my leg all together. Yes it worked! I was able to leave my stuck prosthesis under the bike and wiggle my way around. Now I can hoped on one leg, move the bike, get my stuck leg unstuck, put it on, lift the bike and off I go! Sometimes it’s good to have detachable body parts :-)
Navigation with a roadbook is an amazing challenge – you have to engage your brain, body and bike all at the same time and all the time. As soon as you lose concentration you either make a navigation mistake and get lost or crash the bike. It takes lots of practice to ride fast while reading and interpreting a roadbook and for me just to get my head around doing it all at once was challenging enough, so I took it easy, stopped at junctions to verify compass heading and correct mileage and just enjoy the process.
Next week I will share with you additional experiences I had over this weekend including the heartbreaking situation where I was out in the desert while my sweet 10 years old daughter ended up in emergency and how I learned to value what life has to offer on a day to day basis.
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see you soon
Your ever well wisher