Fighting the crash demons Part II
The war's not over but I'm winning the battle
Carl suggested I blog my post crash experience as it may be useful for others to see how I coped with the aftermath of my crash a couple of weeks ago. So here goes...
I don't exactly know why I was so badly affected by this crash. Apart from the usual aches and pains, bruises and grazes and a cracked helmet I wasn't really hurt too much. And I have "crashed" at DISC twice before. But those two were easily explained. Too slow on the banks, wrong tyres and not concentrating are a sure recipe for slipping off.
But this one wasn't so easy to explain. I still don't know exactly what happened. I haven't got closure so to speak and maybe that's what has freaked me out so much. The fact I was traveling at 50kph at the time (HRM verified!) and the very distinct and memorable thud as my head hit the boards has also haunted me.
There were a lot of mixed emotions in the following two weeks. There's a lot of pressure to be a "proper tough guy". (It's only a flesh wound...). After all we supposed to be testosterone filled he-men even if we do shave our legs and wear lycra. However in my case I felt it was important to admit to my fears and my hurt. Call me a sook if you want to, but I've always tended to wear my heart on my sleeve.
Advice from the people around me was conflicting. On the one hand there were those who subscribed to the "Get straight back on the horse" theory. Then there were those who said "Don't rush it. Wait until you're ready"
So it was with a huge amount of trepidation that I returned to racing DISC last Thursday exactly two weeks after the crash. I left home not sure whether I'd be brave enough to race. The plan was to warm up and see how I felt before I donated my $10. I got there early while only a few riders were on the track. That was important I think. It gave me time to do my own thing for a while. I was very nervous but bit the bullet and raced.
And I raced OK. I finished all the races, even winning the first sprint of the points score. But I was never assertive or aggressive and left a lot of room around me. I let some gaps open up here and there when I sensed danger and never did I try to force my way into half gaps. From a race tactics point of view it was bad but hey....So I'll be back this Thursday still somewhat apprehensive but with renewed confidence. The crash demons haven't completely gone but I think I can beat them.