This has been an interesting week for me. It’s not often that I can report to you that I was hit by a car while riding my bike. Thankfully, aside from a few stitches and bruises, I survived and I am here to tell you about my experience.
I was riding with a client in Southampton, we came to an intersection with a four way stop and I saw that there was a car a substantial distance away. So as I normally do, I slowly went through the stop and told my client that they could come too. Within seconds, I saw the car was still heading towards me. My immediate reaction was to veer to the side. The car swiped my side as I tried to move out of the way. It happened to be raining at the time so my bike slipped out of the way more than it probably would have had the roads been dry. Being locked into my bike kept me from getting thrown very far and I just slid along the road with the bicycle. Immediately after the accident, I was taken to the Southampton hospital where I received excellent care. They gave me something for the pain and cleaned me up right away. I left the hospital with a few bandages and decided I would go teach swimming. I didn’t actually go swimming, but standing on the side, coaching my client helped relieve the shock a bit and I was able to pull myself together enough to play golf later that afternoon.
I have been trying to stay positive about the accident, as many things could have gone much worse. Sometimes, when I stay local and go on easy bike rides, I don’t wear a helmet but, luckily, this time I had decided to wear one.
One of the main things I learned from my experience is that it does pay to pick yourself up and get back onto your horse. The next day, I forced myself to get back onto the bike and to take the same route where I had been in the accident. It not only helped with blood flow to be moving but it really helped with the fear of getting back on a bike.
This morning, I went on another bike ride with a client and the entire time I was thinking about how much more careful I must be. I will never again assume that someone will stop for me. The accident taught me that I can not go out there and think that I am invincible. I am realizing that this applies to many areas in my life. I need to make changes, but like so many other people with type A personalities, I have trouble doing this. After my knee injury and this accident, people have been telling me to slow down. However, I feel that if I slow down I am going to come to a standstill. People also tell me to sleep more and my first response is, “I will sleep when I’m dead.” For some reason when people tell me these things it just doesn’t seem that important to me. I don’t feel like mentally and physically I need to. But with the things that have been happening lately I realize that it might just be time.
This brings me to some other very unfortunate news. A few days ago, my best friend’s mother passed away and I was surprised by the impact her death had on me. I think it has to do with the fact that when my own father passed away, I didn’t allow myself to grieve. I just carried on as if it had been nothing. When I saw my friend, and the relationship he had with his mother, it brought me to tears. I thought about how lucky he is and it reminded of what I don’t have. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, but I’m taking this as a lesson. There are people in my life that I care about and I need to make more of an effort in our relationships. I know that I must work a bit. I even look at my ex husband and his relationship with his mother just before she passed away. I’m sure a lot of the time leading up to her passing, and the effort he put into his relationship with her, helped him move forward after her death. I see with my friend, the wonderful, rare relationship he had with his mother and how it brings him so much joy to talk about her. It makes him feel good to think about what they had and what a wonderful son he was to her. He said that on his gravestone, he’d like to have written that he was just like his mother. For myself, there are many things I’d like to do and many people I’d like to be like, but I need to make some changes in order to do this. I must make more of an effort to take care of myself, and work on building my relationships with others. I am going to try to slow down and I am going to try to sleep more. All day I listen to my clients say “Yes, I need to eat better. Yes, I need to leave the office earlier. Yes, I need to prioritize myself.” I must start to tell myself these same things. In doing so, I hope that I will be able to help others make beneficial changes in their lives as well.