Tackling some fears after 20 years

Today seemed like any other, a plan to go riding in the mountains. Bags packed for the weekend away, staying with family, spare parts and all the gear for a good ride. 

However, there is trepidation in the air. We load up the car and head up into the mountains. We’re off the Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains. We pass the national park entry and pay our fees. As we approach Thredbo, I realise that it’s more than trepidation. It’s fear.

20 odd years ago, it was at Thredbo that I had a significant crash on my mountain bike. I have not taken to the mountains at Thredbo since. The day of the crash was like any other, an excellent day for a ride. It was not too hot with mostly clear weather and smack in the middle of summer in the mountains. I was young, naïve, lacking all fear, and (let’s be honest) not a strong rider riding an average bike. My brother in law came riding with me (Thanks mate), and we made the morning training with staff before going up the chair lift for a few rides. No one was allowed to ride Thredbo (The only run was the Cannonball in those days) without doing the training. 

On the second run of the day, around the first few bends, the front of the bike became unstable as I approached a contour bank. The front wheel got stuck, and over the handlebars, I go. Landing headfirst with a mouth full of gravel (Despite a full-face helmet), the bike was destroyed; I blacked out and was lying by the trail. There were plenty of people around, and help was there quickly and was getting medical care. I walked away that day thankful, and it looked like I would be a bit sore, but everything was working. 

In retrospect, this was probably the crucial event that would become a long battle (And will be for the rest of my life) with chronic pain and nerve issues that progressively have become worse.

Let’s get back to today

It’s now been five years since major surgery on my spinal cord (and a few other surgeries). I’ve lost 41Kgs, and am not on blood pressure medication. My health is better than ever. However, I’ve been back on the bike, getting fitter and stronger for these last five years. I’ve become a more mature rider and far more competent than ever. 

As I stand in queue with my bike, geared up ready to ride, I wonder to myself, should I be doing this? I’ve been excited for weeks now, but here I am about to try again. I get onto the gondola that will take me to the top. Let’s do it (Despite a few shakes). I can’t go back now.

I started the day on a green run, and very quickly, it’s not like any green run that I’ve ridden before, with a few quirky sections that might be on the scale of blue. I stopped a few times on this run to walk corners I did not feel confident on. I needed to trust my training and skills and the gear. It was a moment to focus and trust, and before I knew it, I was at the bottom. Back on the lift I go.

By the end of the day and five lifts/runs, I did not stop on the runs and could ride the entire length. Confidence building and an excellent opportunity to see the skills and training shine brighter than ever over the last five years.

After 20 odd years, I’ve conquered 

A few tears of joy, a moment to reflect and enjoy those special moments in life. A day that became more emotional than I expected or thought. I am so excited and proud of myself in this moment.

Change and Christmas

Christmas day is upon me. Family is all around, several generations altogether, we take a moment to remember what it is to be grace-filled, modest, and humble as we place gifts at the base of the Christmas tree as we prepare to give them to others. As Christians, we also take a moment to remember Jesus; we believe that God became one like a man and walked among us. There are noises everywhere with excitement brewing among the little ones as they gaze at wrapped gifts. Uncle Mike needs more work (That’s me), some better wrapped than others, and they are laid out ready to be distributed. Names on little cards indicate who is to receive each. 

This year though a change…….

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I wrote a paper

And it’s cool.

It’s taken me a while to release this, I had been waiting for certain ducks to line up, some have aligned, however while the rest are waiting, it’s time to be a bit excited and share it.

I also had to stop my wife from stealing my keyboard, for some reason she is really annoying today, but also very cute and sexy.

Honestly the paper is a little boring in that it’s all about the way we use technology, the way that’s changes over time and that for some organisations the catch up is slow.

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Welcome to the collaboration era

The demand and importance on uploads in the post browsing internet era.

The internet rose as a great universal platform for sharing information simply. A paper, a video or an image could be hosted and then browsed/downloaded and be enjoyed from a far. For many of us the idea of browsing online is a common idea. We’ve been given assignment, we’ve researched through online browsing, written assignments and so on. We’ve jumped onto the news and read the daily headlines. We’ve jumped onto Netflix and binged on all kinds of TV series.

To many of us to date this is the reality of the internet; it is asynchronous, that is we receive a majority of the content and contribute little back the other way. Since the adoption of broadband and this typical use, it is no surprise that most connections to the internet are also asynchronous. We often see internet providers offering ADSL 20/1, perhaps cable 100/5 and so on. (download = first number/upload = second number)

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Am I that one?

This past week has been inspiring for many as we witnessed Lady Gaga win the Oscar for Best Original song. She won the award for her popular song ‘Shallow’. Throughout the media the fanfare has seen coverage of the award reach all over the world. Further, this excitement has been celebrated that much more due to her speech which many feel to be even more inspiring, epic, encouraging, and hopeful. 

One notable part of her acceptance speech resonated with one and all.

 “And if you are at home, and you’re sitting on your couch and you’re watching this right now, all I have to say is that this is hard work. I’ve worked hard for a long time, and it’s not about, you know…it’s not about winning. But what it’s about is not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There’s a discipline for passion. And it’s not about how many times you get rejected or you fall down, or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many times you stand up and are brave and you keep on going. Thank you!”

Just listening to these words, seeing the media coverage and celebration, I want in and with such words being said…. I can be like that too!! And the secret as Lady Gaga has revealed to us all, we have to work hard and not give up. 

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