Life Lessons From a Bike Crash
Sara Black’s discoveries after a devastating hip fracture
Photos courtesy of Sara Black
Just six weeks after I fractured my hip in a nasty bike crash, I can finally say I’m healed. It’s been a roller coaster of hills and valleys, many little and big struggles, mental demons that had to be slayed, with laughter, hugs, and tears, but in the end when I do the math, I can honestly say I am grateful for every second of this experience.
After six weeks of rehab and building myself back up physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I was finally ready to get back on the bike. It was a whirlwind of emotions, I didn’t know if I wanted to be excited or scared. I asked my good friend Bubbles Paraiso, who I train with, to come and hold my hand on my first ride. First time out I decided I wanted to ride in cross trainers first before cleats to get a feel of the bike. Then when I felt comfortable enough, I put on my cleats and everything was fine! So many exercises in caution. Seems silly but I may have to sit with this fear for a little bit until I can transform it into courage. No rush.
The moment I got on the bike though I remembered exactly why I love to do this sport in the first place: the wind in my hair, that gliding exhilaration of my spirit that is free. This is the stuff I live for, so I’m getting right back on the horse. I signed up for a sprint in November. It may be a really short distance but at the fitness level I am in now, it feels like I’m preparing for a 70.3. I love it.
Bubbles and I were asking ourselves the question after my first ride yesterday: why do we do this sport that takes such an incredible amount of dedication and tenacity? And the answer is really simple: because we can. Here are the five things that put me on the fast track to a full recovery:
Be positive. If you think you are sick then you will be sick, if you think that you are well then you will be well. Your thoughts are powerful, choose wisely.
It takes a village. Accepting help, love, and encouragement from everyone around me made it easier for me to be well. Get a good rehab coach, like Francis Diano of Pace Prehab and Recovery, to help you get back on track.
Yoga. This is a great low-impact workout that lets you regain your sense of body while feeding your spirit with self-compassion.
Connect with the other things you love. Since I couldn’t train, I revisited other things that I love to do to help me feel whole like beach trips, lazy boat rides, and snorkeling with friends. The point is don’t mope at home, get out there and do other things.
One day at a time. Set small achievable swim, bike, and run goals on a daily basis and aim for those. Soon enough you’ll be ready for the bigger ones. Live in the moment and let the future unfold for itself.