A couple of weeks ago I was in a car crash. On a gloriously sunny Monday morning I ploughed right into another driver, crumpling my little car and prompting every airbag to inflate around me. Seconds after realising what had happened I crawled out of the drivers’ side, checked that the occupants of the other vehicle were OK (which, thankfully, they were) and immediately started the process of having my car recovered and informing my insurance provider. I had little concern over my physical or emotional wellbeing. I was immediately in the process of ‘DOING STUFF TO GET IT SORTED’. Needless to say I was frustrated. At the situation, and at myself. Why did the car in front pull suddenly into that lay by? Why didn’t I drive the alternative route home?
I was asked this week whether I believe that things happen for a reason. My response was yes, with every fibre of my being. Being in a car accident sucks, but on this occasion it served to jolt me back to earth. For all of the logistical and financial stress of ‘GETTING IT SORTED’ (yep, I’m still a tad frustrated) here’s why the car crash was one of the best things to have happened to me:
1. It served as a wonderful reminder of just how lucky I am to have good friends. One came and sat with me at the side of the road while I waited three hours for the recovery truck to arrive. Another friend came over to my house that evening with a cocktail of painkillers to help ease my whiplash (I don’t usually ‘do’ pain relief, so didn’t have a paracetamol to my name). Another friend, who has helped me considerably over the years, kindly leant me his car until a replacement arrived. These small gestures make me so thankful.
2. It made me miss my family. Heart wrenchingly so. I have lived away from ‘home’ for thirteen years, and yet that evening when I eventually got to my ‘house’ all I wanted was a hug from my mum and for to be looked after. It pains me to admit, because I have always been something of a tough cookie, entirely independent and self sufficient. Even when I was physically weak through Anorexia I still believed myself to be mentally strong. But the accident reminded me that all of us, regardless of age, gender or social status, sometimes need the support of those who love us and whom we love. It made me realise that it might, after thirteen years, be time for me to go home.
3. The above deep appreciation of my friends and family made me reassess what is important in my life, and who I should invest my time in. A wonderful thing about life is that each and every one of us are different, and we meet so many people on our journey. Some of these people nourish your soul; you simply feel it from the moment you are with them, even if no words are spoken. Other relationships only serve to drain you of time and energy, and draw you further away from being your authentic self. The experience made me open my eyes, to commit to having a healthy relationship with myself first and foremost. Following that, with my family and a small network of people. Facebook is really not important. Fuckboys who only want you for one thing are not important. Friends who only want you for free Personal Training, likewise. I’m a huge believer that when we no longer indulge in these soul draining activities we open ourselves up to happier experiences, spend more time building good relationships and put ourselves in the best position to meet people who see our true worth.
4. It made me get back on the path of practising mindfulness. I admit, I had fallen off the wagon. I had built up a daily practice over the years, which was embedded into my 9-5 lifestyle and routine. However, having recently come out of the ‘day job’ I suddenly had less structure to my days, and found myself frequently collapsing into bed at 11pm with the realisation that I hadn’t committed any time to my meditation practice. During the car crash itself I simply wasn’t present in the moment. It served as a literal reminder of my need to slow down, to be present and to notice my surroundings. Since the accident I have therefore gone back to basics, and have been working my way through an online “28 days of mindfulness” course devised by my wonderful friend, client and acupuncturist Mita. http://www.mitamistry.co.uk/go/thepowerofmindfulness/
5. It means that I get a shiny new car… Just don’t ask about my insurance premium!
So, when I’m not causing havoc out on the roads I am now well into my off season and am enjoying training hard, eating harder and enjoying the odd Gin and Tonic. Having realised since the accident that I am still guilty of neglecting self care in favour of being ‘productive’, I have decided to make some small changes. I am choosing to take a more flexible approach to my diet this off season, because it’s what my mind and body are crying out for. I spent enough years locked into a restrictive pattern of food and exercise, and I am lucky to have come through the other side. Now I am in a muscle building phase I am in the best position to try new diet and training protocols and see how my body responds, all of which are topics for a future blog post.
In the meantime, for Personal Training, Nutrition Consultations and Life Coaching please feel free to contact me via email – BimsWinter.BespokePT@gmail.com.