"You should be dead" - by Nigel Moore

I'm a member of Lyme Racing Club and I race cross country mountain bike races. On the morning of October 4th 2012 I told my wife Alison that I was nipping out for a quick training ride and I would be back in a couple of hours and, as it was a nice day, we could nip to Blackpool for a fish and chip supper … but I never made it home. 
     
Halfway round the ride there's a ledge, with a 60ft drop to the left, that I needed to negotiate. Just as I arrived there was a squirrel on the trail so I decided to stop, still clipped in, and lean on a post to wait for the squirrel to move. When it did I pushed off but with too much force and then my world started to go very wrong.
 
I began to fall down the cliff, I hit a tree half way down thinking, “If I live I'm going to be paralysed,” then I smashed into the ground between two big rocks. My first thought was, “Thirty seconds of intense pain then it'll be all over,” so I said “Love you Ali, bye,” but nothing happened, so I gingerly wiggled my toes and realised I wasn't paralysed. However I knew from the pain I was in serious trouble so I searched for my phone, which was in an inside pocket, in my jacket and that's when I realised I couldn't see my left arm … It was behind my back. 
     
To cut a long story short, I managed to phone emergency services who airlifted me to hospital where I was told the extent of my injuries - which were life threatening. I had nine broken ribs, both lungs were punctured and my left one had collapsed - and my left arm was dislocated coming to rest behind my back. The whole extent of my injuries were summed up by a surgeon a week later,  “Sit down Mr Moore, I want to shake your hand.” “Why's that doctor?” I replied … to which he said “I’ve just read your notes; you should be dead.”
    
I was told I'd spend five weeks in hospital and I would have six months off work and even longer off the bike. However, I didn't see that as an option. So after five days I asked my surgeon to take my chest drain out so I could go home. He said that my fitness and my resilience to pain would allow me to go home just so long as I followed his advice completely and carried on taking my morphine. Not taking the morphine wasn't an option; the pain was excruciating. I could hardly walk, I couldn't wash myself, I couldn't even go to the toilet on my own and I had little or no sleep for three weeks, but I was determined to get back to training as soon as possible so I endured all the hardships knowing that my wife and I had booked a training holiday - for the end of February - before I had my accident.
    
Come February we went away and I started training and amazingly my physical fitness wasn't as dire as I thought it might be but my psychological fitness was in a very bad place and what worried me more was I was on a road bike not a mountain bike. However, I shrugged it off and continued training: I had a Nationals at Margam Park to train for. 
    
My fitness improved and come the day of the Nationals I felt confident. Foolishly I decided not to do a recon lap, so when the gun went on the start I raced up the first climb reaching the top of the first descent in 5th place but then my world imploded. I was totally overwhelmed by fear, reduced to tears and unable to complete even one lap. Back home my wife and I sat down and reviewed my progress to date and what I wanted to do and the conclusion my awesome wife came to was that I needed to “grow a pair.” 
 
Nearly four years on I'm still a work in progress, but I'm actually a better, more skilled, fitter rider still trying to regain my previous results and I'm convinced at some point I will be rewarded for all my hard work, though it would be nice to have a better bike so I didn't have to work quite so hard.