Sarvesh Sangarya diary: we’ll return after this short break

Sarvesh Sangarya’s second diary entry here at Cycling iQ is a little overdue though, as he writes, it’s not without good reason. In his latest installment, Sarvesh describes the fallout from an encounter with a car in his home city of Bangalore.

This is probably what my face would have looked like if I could've seen it.

This is probably what my face would have looked like if I could’ve seen it.

Words: Sarvesh Sangarya

Hello there! Sorry for the long radio silence. Since my last post came out, I was running around trying to get everything sorted and saying (temporary) sayonaras to my loved ones. While in this hurry, on 29 July, I got rear-ended by a car while driving my motor-scooter. I was thrown off my vehicle and onto the pavement, landing on my left shoulder. Result: broken collarbone – the third one in 15 months. Fortunately I had my helmet on and remain as handsome as ever…

Thanks to the traffic here in Bangalore, I reached the hospital  – a mere 1.5 kilometers away – in 40 short minutes.

An X-ray revealed that the bone had broken in the same junction where I’d broken it the first time (March 2015). I opted for the non-surgical treatment which involved wearing a clavicle brace and an arm sling to keep my collarbone as still as possible. Six weeks of rest and recovery was what the doctor prescribed to allow the bone to heal, but he did not have a brace or pill to address the disappointment I was feeling that this happened so close to my European racing stint.

When I got back home, I was confused on how I would cope with the recovery all over again. With the great support of family and friends, I had much better clarity of thought. I realised that I had a choice to make: I could wallow in my misery and pity myself through recovery, constantly asking “Why me?” as I failed to gain any understanding of this crazy world, or I could recognise how blessed I am that I fought the pavement single-handedly and basically walked away with a broken bone. That I walked away consciously itself seems like a miracle. It was a BIG Car.

I’m pretty sure that an alternate universe exists where Sarvesh Sangarya makes the former choice, quits racing, goes back to the cola-burger diet and enters a long-term relationship with the TV remote.

The first few days were slightly overwhelming because of the great support I received from all those I know. Ten days after the crash, I decided to get on the trainer and spin as much as I could. Prior to that, I was spending over 16 hours a day lying on the bed and no more than 10 minutes sitting upright at a stretch. The 45 minutes I spent spinning that day were mentally and physically taxing because I was having to wearing the clavicle brace and arm sling all the while. I was struggling to hold endurance pace but I was just glad to be pushing the pedals again.

I did an hour the next day. One and a half the day after. At this rate, mathematically I figured I would be able to ride the Milan-Sanremo in four days’ time. By day 13, I was reminded to take it easy as I was struggling for breath just 15 minutes into the ride. After a well deserved rest day, my coach and I decided to split the sessions into twice-daily workouts so as to allow my body to recover at a comfortable pace. In the meantime, I rescheduled my trip to Europe and decided to head there on 03 August.

Over the next couple of weeks, I was able to log more hours on the bike and slowly ramp up the intensity. As the bone started healing well, I returned to a much more positive state of mind, all the time feeling grateful for the support of my near and dear ones. Of course, as I got stronger I was progressively given more chores to do at home. C’est la vie.

As I write this [CiQ: 02 August, it took a few days to get this post up due to my own ‘adventures’], I am 10 hours and 35 minutes from boarding my flight to Europe. I am still wearing the clavicle brace. I am weaker physically than I was last year. I might not achieve the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this season. I might not be as strong in the races as I wanted to. I might go into a Belgian Kermesse as the weakest rider in history to have done so (the thought of which makes me nearly soil my pants), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over three near death accidents and 17 accumulated weeks of recovery and 117 TED talks, it’s that giving it 100% is all that matters. This will be the only thought in mind when I line up for all the upcoming races with the first one this Friday (05 August).

Well, that and the thought there will always be chores waiting for me back home. Until next time!

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