What is life about?

Listen to this amazing story:

Opportunity – Opportunities

Life is about opportunities; creating them and embracing them and for me that was the Olympic dream. That’s what defined me. That was my bliss.

A Training Bike Ride

As a cross country skier and member of the Australian ski team headed towards the Winter Olympics, I was on a training bike ride with my fellow team-mates.

The Perfect Autumn Day

As we made our way up the spectacular Blue Mountains west of Sydney, it was the perfect Autumn day. Sunshine, the smell of eucalypts and a dream. Life was good.

The Part that I Loved

We had been on our bikes for around five and a half hours when we got to the part that I loved and that was the hills because I love the hills and I got off the seat of my bike and I started pumping my legs and as I sucked in the cold mountain air, I could feel it burning my lungs. And I looked up to see the sun shining in my face.

Black – Blackness

And then everything went black. Where was I? What was happening? My body was consumed by pain.

Past Perfect Tense – Passive Voice

I had been hit by a speeding utility truck with only ten minutes to go on the bike ride.

A Rescue Helicopter – Passive Voice

I was air-lifted from the scene of the accident by a rescue helicopter to a large spinal unit in Sydney.

Extensive Injuries – Life-threatening Injuries

I had extensive and life threatening injuries. I had broken my neck and my back in six places. I broke five ribs on my left side. I broke my right arm. I broke my collar bone. I broke some bones in my feet. My whole right side was ripped open and filled with gravel.

My head was cut open across the front and lifted back exposing the skull underneath.

I had head injuries. I had internal injuries. I had massive blood loss. In fact I lost about five litres of blood which is all someone my size would actually hold.

A Really Bad Day

By the time the helicopter arrived at Prince Henry Hospital in Sydney, my blood pressure was forty over nothing. I was having a really bad day.

Two Dimensions

For over ten days I drifted between two dimensions. I had an awareness of being in my body but also being out of my body somewhere else watching from above as if it was happening to somebody else. Why would I want to go back to a body that was so broken?

A Voice

But this voice kept calling me.
Come on stay with me.
It’s too hard.
Come on, this is our opportunity.
No. That body is broken. It can no longer serve me.
Come on. Stay with me. We can do it. We can do it together.

A Crossroads – A Metaphor

I was at a crossroads I knew if I didn’t return to my body I would have to leave this world forever. It was the fight of my life. After ten days I made the decision to return to my body and the internal bleeding stopped.

Paralysis – Being Paralysed

The next concern was whether I would walk again because I was paralysed from the waist down.

The Rest of the Talk

Can you get the rest? It doesn’t matter if you miss some. Just focus on what you can understand.


Make a list of body parts and anatomical terms. It is better to learn anatomical terms in the context of a narrative than to learn them as a list.

Link to An Anatomy Lesson

Link to a Career in Medical Research