Hopefully those of you following my blog will have shared some of my anticipation, and maybe even nerves, about the appointment I had with the specialist yesterday. The topic was : Would I be fit to travel to New York this Monday, setting in motion the series of events that would lead to the eventual start of this expedition. The answer? No.
Never mind. Otherwise, the consultation was good - the operation seems to have been a success, and the muscles are healing well. It's just a case of more rest needed, and doctors order's are to remain in the UK for another 4 weeks so I can get some physio and they can monitor me. It was one of those classic situations of the worst actually happening...and then things not seeming so bad. Okay, so its really annoying. I'm 100% eager and raring to get going as soon as possible, but I know I'm not ready for it at the present time ( I can still only use one arm really, and I can forsee a few problems trying to ride a bike like that to be honest.) Plus the film work I'm doing in NYC won't be affected, AND it means I'll get to spend Christmas with my family. Other unexpected bonuses are that I'll see a lot more of my girlfriend before I go, and I'll be able to organise a few expedition related events in the UK. This is pretty exciting, as it means a potential launch party this side of the Atlantic, sometime in December. Watch this space.
So all my expected dates will shift about 1 month down the line - I'll post the final departure and arrival dates for the various countries at the end of this week. I'm returning to Canterbury tomorrow, which I guess is about the closest thing I've got to a permanent base at the minute. The reason you need to know this is because my film equipment is there, so I will finally have a video blog uploaded onto the site by Friday! You can hold me to that - I've got no job, I can't do any training...what else am I gonna do with my time!
Thats pretty much all the news for now. Summary I guess is that the news was not what I wanted to hear, but there's a lot of positives that can come out of the situation and the end result should mean that I arrive in New York fitter, stronger and better prepared than I would have been otherwise.
Roll on January!
Also, on a final note, thanks for the supportive messages I received from many of you- definitely helping my recovery!
So it's come to this - sitting in my house, mindlessly fidgeting and counting down the minutes. Till what? Well, tomorrow at 2.30pm I have my meeting with the specialist who operated on me, and he'll be the one who tells me whether or not I'm fit to travel to NYC on the 30th November. There's an awful lot resting on that one little meeting, and I'm finding it very hard to put out of my head.
In truth it's been a pretty crazy couple of weeks. First, the operation itself, proving that sometimes pushing yourself to the limit maybe isn't always best. Then a week of complete agony (which was actually okay because I was pretty drugged up so it just kinda passed me by) and since then a week and a half at my family home in Ireland. I've been gradually feeling better and stronger, but it's been hard to know what to do. After months of complaining that I was always too busy with never a minute to spare, I suddenly have all the free time in the world to catch up on my reading, writing and planning. For some reason though, motivation was distinctly lacking and lethargy took control. I really didn't make the most of being laid up at home which is quite disappointing. But hey, at least I've been getting a lot (a LOT) of rest, and in the last couple of days I've been feeling all the enthusiasm flood back into my system. It's like rediscovering the trip all over again, and perhaps what I needed what a couple of weeks away from the daily grind of preparation. That's the optomistic view I'm going to take anyway (but I'm still disappointed I didn't get more done.)
So anyway, now I'm on the road to recovery, whatever the specialist says tomorrow. Life feels good again. I got to thinking though, what if something like this happened when I'm on the road? Well, firstly, I'd be screwed. Straight up stuffed. It also brought into doubt the wisdom of attempting this on my own. I have numerous reasons for wanted to do this alone. Hopefully none of those reasons are just that I've got no mates! The main drive however is that this is MY personal trip - it's the route I want to do, the film I want to make, the charity I want to fundraise for and the goals I hope to achieve from it (I've blogged on this before, so I won't drag it out.) It also feels like a good old fashioned adventure, and for whatever reason I feel the need to test myself against all the challenges and obstacles that this sort of trip throws up. I think it will give me experiences I can draw on in later life to postive effect. I also harbour a (slightly idealistic) notion that the film I make will be so good it will catapult me into my dream career of expedition videographer. Who knows, but you gotta at least hope for these things, right?! So, after all that I decided that if this trip is worth doing, which of course it is, then it's worth doing on my own. Decision made - I will remain a loner!
Anyway, that said, it's always nice to have company, and I'm definitely not adverse to the idea of being joined by people for some sections of the journey. A couple of people have already expressed interest in doing just this, and even my Dad is considering cycling some of New Zealand with me! But I'd like to now extend an open invite to any of you who like the idea - come ride with me! If there's somewhere in particular along my route you really like the idea of cycling, just get in touch and maybe we can work something out. Some of the sections I'm most excited about are the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island, some of the Canadian Rockies sections around Banff, and basically anywhere along the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to LA - any of those would be good for someone to join up.
So let me know what you think on the travelling along versus with a companion debate, and do feel free to email me if you want to join in the cycling fun.
More news on when I can go to NYC tomorrow - fingers crossing time...