The European Track Championships, it's safe to say, didn't go as planned.
If you read my last blog post, you will know that last Wednesday was supposed to be a hopefully routine qualifying stage that turned into disaster for reasons that I still can’t explain.
Everything was going as normal. I had done everything right. I’d eaten what I was supposed to, drank what I was supposed to, warmed up in the usual way, and our qualifying run was going pretty much according to plan.
We were about to set one of the best times of the day as we came into the last lap. I heard the bell and the next thing I remembered I was on the deck and, because one of our team had already dropped out as per our scheduled plan, it meant we did not finish and failed to advance to the medal rides.
My fall last week adds to the long and winding list of setbacks that I’ve had in my life and career. It fits just nicely somewhere between the virus I had at the start of last year which wrecked my plans for the Worlds and my obese childhood!
So I’m no stranger to that sort of adversity and I also know how lucky I am and how blessed I’ve been with the opportunities I’ve had so you won’t hear me moaning about it.
In fact, the only people I felt bad for were my team mates who were eliminated through no fault of their own. The point is, it was no fault of mine either and I think they accepted that. They were certainly incredibly understanding and decent about it to me.
I literally had no recollection of what happened and what caused me to blackout in that way. There was a nice photo on the back of my home paper, the Wolverhampton Express & Star, of me sliding down the track and out of the Euros - not exactly the sort of publicity I was looking for!
It’s never happened before and, after an hour of medical attention in the track centre and loads of tests from doctors in Berlin the next day, we’re still none the wiser as to why this dizziness came over me. Not surprisingly, I was packed off home and scratched from the individual pursuit and Madison which I was meant to be riding later in the week.
The legacy of the crash were the usual bumps, bruises and lost skin but also a pretty nasty concussion. I’ll talk about that at a later time because, until this happened to me, I’d never really appreciated what a dangerous and debilitating injury it can be for sportsmen.
For now, I’m just focusing on trying to be fit and ready for the Manchester World Cup in early November.
It’s back in Manchester for the first time since 2013, which doesn’t sound that long ago, but I forget it’s nearly 2018. So, it shows how fast time flies - seize the day type of attitude has kicked in, as long as I’m cleared to start back in full training soon.
I had a meeting on Monday with my long-term friend Paul from Ride Staffs and we discussed some exciting things that are ahead locally, so I’m trying to get back to positive thinking and forward planning!
Hopefully see some of you in Manchester soon