Saturday, December 18, 2010

The year in review.

While it is probably a little early to be reviewing a year in some circles, in my life the pace is still up and before I know it the year will be gone. I have been considering this post for a while now and trying to reconcile my compulsive need to put everything in order and chronologically correct when it is not the "when" that is important, it is just the fact that these things happened. So I have decided to put the moments in my life down here in no order other than the way they come out of my mind and depending on what the previous moment prompts to the front of my memory.
If you have read my ravings at any time during it's existence you will know the main themes. Life revolves around my family and riding bikes. I like to keep it simple if I can. I am not smart enough to live a complicated life and I certainly don't have the time or energy spare to have to "try" and live a life. My family is the thing in life I am proudest of, bikes keep me sane.
Bikes this year have been exceptional. I trained hard for the first part of the year and managed a finishers medal from the Terra Australis. Truly a highlight of my life in the sense it was never a given and I persisted. Thats all I did, persisted. Along came the Merida 24 Hour and an attempt at qualifying for the Worlds later in the year. Not my finest moment but still not bad given the circumstances. It was that race where I proved I could do it, if I wanted it. Next year I want it. Then came the Boonah Marathon. Fun but tough with some issues along the way. Having Alison and Jack as my pit crew will rate as my favourite moment for 2010. Jack yelling out the number of competitors  that were passing me and changing over my bottles and giving me the gee up was gold. In a few years he will make an awesome pit chief for me, if he's not out there handing his old man his arse! To top off all of these things somehow I managed to score a deal with Cyc'd for Bikes and Giant and now get to ride around on what could be my ultimate bike. I pinch myself every time I go for a ride. So bikes, they're way cool....
When you love something and you are passionate about it quite often it will cross over into your personal life. I have made some awesome friends through riding and now sadly lost one too. This year a great guy lost his battle with cancer and left a little hole in the lives of all the people he touched. Pete was a true gentleman. I just hope the trails are fast where ever he is and that I think of him often.
I thanked all the mates and riding buddies earlier in the year after a particularly torrid time personally as they always find a way to snap me out of it. Nothing has changed there. Another month of being a hermit due to work and yet I still get calls to go for a ride. They haven't given up on me even if some days I have. I will pay them all back somehow one day. I tell you what though, I am going to be really busy doing so.
Spencer gets a special mention here though. He started as my mechanic for bike stuff, quickly became a friend and riding buddy and has stayed that way. He said yes to the Terra and in doing so helped me find out a lot about my self and I think learnt a lot about himself too. What is not common knowledge is that Spencer also set up my deal with Giant. Yep I owe him for that one! I probably owe him more for the pain and suffering I put him through on the Terra.
My best friend in life is still my wife. We have been together 13 years (give or take!), married for 3 years and parents to two wonderful boys. I can't ask for more than she gives, I can't want more than I get. If it hadn't been for her support and love through my battle with depression and anxiety I don't know where I would be now. I have the reality check I that's crucial for the times I can't see the danger coming. She has allowed and even encouraged me to do the racing I have done this year right up to giving me 10 days to go to Victoria and race. She is my strength.
 The boys are growing up so fast it scares me some days. Jack is bright beyond belief and Rohan is developing into quite the people person. I am so proud of how they are growing up and I look forward to the adventures I am sure will come along with them as part of my life. This years highlights include the camping trip with Jack's best friends and his family, and watching Rohan sing a solo at his choir concert late in the year. Both boys have learnt to ride bikes as well. If that doesn't make a bike tragic dad proud, nothing will. I love them. They make me laugh and they sometimes make me cry. I guess that is parenting though.
On the personal side the year has been exhausting. I haven't made any secret of my battles with mental health and this year my goal was to get off my medication and deal with my demons head on with honesty and by revealing my true feelings and fears. It's no picnic admitting that you have a problem in the first place but deciding that it's time to take on life without a safety net so to speak is simply the most scary thing I have dealt with  after the possibility of losing my son at 3 months old. There are no guarantees. Without my family and friends it is a dead certainty that I would have gone back to the medicated state and been reliant on that for a further period of time. I am lucky  though. One safety net, the drugs, has been replaced by the realisation that I have another in the form of family and friends. Natural, unadulterated love and affection.

I have come out of 2010 a much stronger person. Thanks for reading and have a Merry Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous New Year.

Happy trails......


  1. You go girl!....Sorry...Geezer!


  2. Great blog - you write very well Graham - you could always take up a second career as an author! I hope 2011 is a good year for you and yours.


  3. Keep doing what you do, Graham. You're an inspiration.

    All the best for 2011.


  4. Thanks for sharing the year with us Graham. It was huge and heres to an even better one in '11.