I hope you are well and that 2014 has gotten off to a great start. It's been a while since I've written, but now I have more time than I ever expected ...
What was supposed to be a fun family ski holiday in South Tyrol, Italy turned to be a bit different than what was planned. The whole Bruyneel family got sick with fever on day 2. On day 3 I felt better and decided to go back on the slopes. At the end of the morning, while following my instructor, I had an unlucky crash. I've crashed many times on the bike, but this time it felt entirely different. I knew immediately that it was going to be serious.
The pain was excruciating. The visual was not pretty either. My right lower leg was completely twisted and my foot was basically pointing 180 degrees to the wrong side. I was brought down the mountain with the snow mobile ambulance and then rushed to the Trauma Center of Plan de Corones. The doctors confirmed the bad news - Multiple fractures in the tibia, the fibula and worst of all in the tibial plateau. Needless to say this required immediate surgery, which was successfully done in the Dolomiti Sport clinic of Val Gardena. Before I go any further, I want to thank the many nurses, doctors, ambulance transporters and especially my friend Francisco from Madrid. All cared for me as if I was their son, father or best friend. I will be forever grateful to these people who don't get the appreciation or recognition they deserve.
I'm not writing this blog because I want people to feel bad for me. Please don't. It was a freak accident. I'm writing this blog to remind my friends and fans that the mind is our source of greatest power. Though in pain, I made the decision that I wasn't going to complain about my misfortune. I knew that there would be a way to fix it and though I would have a long road of rehab (3-4 months), the work of the doctors combined with my mental determination would see back on the ski slopes next winter. I also couldn't help, but think of the many people I admire in this world. My friend Noel, who had a terrible bike accident 2 years ago and is working each and every day to improve on the road to recovery (read story here). Marc Herremans, another good friend, whose story you can read here. Michael Schumacher's terrible accident and what he will have to endure. And most recently, the tragic fatal accident of Kristof Goddaert weighed on my mind.
Of course laying in a hospital bed is not fun, but it could have been much, much, much worse. I AM A lucky person. At the end of the day, I have my health and I am surrounded by my beautiful wife and wonderful children. When you have that, everything else is a distance second.
Life has taught me many lessons. And probably the most important - In every bad situation, there are always positives. That is my mindset. For me, the glass is always half full. I am a happier person because of this mindset and I'd like to think I'm a more complete person.
So if you're having a bad day, just stop and think about the positives. Because I can guarantee - there's at least one and often times, many more.
So what's another positive of my situation. The doctor has ordered my rehab to be mainly cycling. So after taking time away from the bike, I'll reconnect with my love of riding.
Until next time, I wish you a healthy body, but more importantly a healthy mind.