Johan Bruyneel's Blog
18 August 2012 at 07:00

Putting Life in Perspective


This is a different type of blog than what I normally write.  I plan to update you soon about the team, but this blog is very personal and I want to share my thoughts with you.
The last couple weeks have been tough.  REAL TOUGH.  I departed Mallorca - an annual Bruyneel family summer vacation spot - feeling good.  I had a great couple weeks with my family and dear friends, the team was having a solid summer results-wise and I felt rested and rejuvenated.  But when I landed in London, I received a call.  What I thought was a "checking to make sure we arrived safely" was actually a call that to this day I am still trying to process.  We were informed that my best friend was involved in a horrific crash while on the bike.  I found myself back on the plane to Mallorca.  Those feelings of excitement quickly disappeared and the flight from London back to Mallorca felt as if I were traveling to Australia.  Upon arrival, I rushed to the hospital to discover my friend in bed with a bunch of broken bones, but even worse several broken vertebrae.  Ironically, it was the same vertebrae I broke back in the day, except I was able to walk and ride again.  My friend, at this very moment, does not have the same luck I did.  I say "at this very moment" because I still hope and pray that with medical and technological advancements that he'll be able to walk again.  He is now at one of the best facilities in the world to treat paralysis.
I sat in the hospital room every day - sad, in disbelief, shocked, angry, but all the while trying to remain strong.  I had conversations with my friend about life. Real life.  Not about wins or losses, his successful business, the Tour de France, or allegations.  But what is truly important in life.  It's unfortunate that it took an incident like this for us to have had this type of conversation.  But for the first time in our friendship - we discussed topics we never had before.  Out of respect, I won't go into specifics. I hope you understand that I want to keep that between me and my friend.
But I do hope that as you read this, you stop, if only for a second and realize how truly precious life is.  In the past couple weeks, some of the trivial things that I thought mattered in life,  don't seem to matter as much anymore.  A simple thing like getting out of bed is just one of many things we take for granted.  So just take a moment - close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let some of the trivial things you worry about go.  Think about the positives and how lucky you are.  Now open your eyes and love life.  It's too short not to.
P.S. - For the cyclists out there -  a friendly reminder - have fun, but please be safe on the bike.  Wear your helmet, carry identification/wear an ID bracelet, be mindful of traffic and maintain a speed where you are always in control.  

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