My life in the military has seen me in many dangerous spots. I gave up counting my ‘lives’ when I passed nine! What I do know is that when you plan for the worst, it rarely happens, but when it does, you are prepared and you can roll with it. Simply put, I don’t believe in luck!
Recently I found myself in hospital having been hit by a car whilst commuting to work. I broke bones in six places in my upper left chest having instinctively taken the fall on my should
er rather than head plant the car. Thankfully my helmet and protective gear did their job.
The ambulance crew were efficient and full of morale and the A&E staff sorted me out in double quick time. I spent the time in an opiate haze drifting in and out of sleep. It was actually all very comfortable and my wife Sally was a constant supporting companion and a steady stream of friends called and visited keeping my morale high with their banter.
3 weeks on I find myself reflecting on the experience. I remember vividly seeing the car pull out without any indication, into my path and me having no place to go. I know my speed was 65kph as I had just checked it and my mirrors. I knew I had traffic coming up behind me and to my left. My next memory is waking on the tarmac, rain pattering on my face, visor gone, helmet supporting my head and the feeling of blood trickling down my face and into my mouth. All I could see were feet; feet of passers by offering help and feet of policemen keeping the traffic away.
I was immobilised and frozen in place lying in the foetal position on my right arm, which was going numb whilst I did my self-triage to determine what the damage was to the rest of me. I determined early on that my ribs and clavicle were bust and that my lungs were in jeopardy. The ambulance crew confirmed this and I was taken to hospital to be treated.
A number of people have told me I was lucky. I disagree. I think those of us who ride bikes, scooters and motorbikes see it differently. When I get on my bike, every other road user is a potential threat to be mitigated. Anticipation and early action to buffer threats is a constant and self-talk gets used as a commentary to survival. It’s what you do and it’s actually enjoyable. I am not put off riding; I anticipate this sort of thing happening on every commute and plan my reaction accordingly. I am convinced that is why I pulled the bike down and took the hit on my shoulder rather than head-on into the car.
Good luck or good planning? I’m going with the latter!
What do you think?
We only have one life – live it!