If I thought actually qualifying for Kona was hard, I’ve suddenly hit a whole new level of reality…and just as I started to hit my straps for the Big Dance. An unfortunate incident on an early Tuesday morning training ride a couple of weeks ago has not only changed my Kona prep, but it has also forced me to change my race goals. Coming back from injury is never easy, but coming back with only 7 weeks until my ‘A’ race is going to require a whole lot of commitment and determination. But I’m getting ahead of myself here…..let me take you back to that fateful morning…

Tuesday mornings are generally a loop through the back blocks and taking in some hills, but a change of plan saw the boys decide to ride the coastal route. I took off from home in the dark at 5am and met up with the other 4 lads down the road from home. I was sitting second wheel and we were on a great bit of road with a fairly wide shoulder / bike lane when we went around a semi-tight left hand bend. The boys at the front couldn’t see the kangaroo lying lifeless across the road’s shoulder into the dark until the last minute and it was then that they only just got around him. With no time to yell shit, F8ck, lookout or anything…. Boom!! I hit the roo right in the middle of his back.

I remember being launched over the handlebars of my bike and then hitting the deck flush on my right elbow. I think I hit my head on the road too, and then my mate Benny hit the ground right beside me. I could feel that my back was all wet and I jumped up thinking that it was roo blood only to discover that one of my water bottles had burst open and I was lying in a pool of Infinit. Holy moly - how did that happen? At that stage, I think I was in shock. My mate Fitzy asked me how I was and I told him my shoulder was a bit sore but otherwise I was ok. I had a feel around my right shoulder and there was a huge lump where it should not be. Hey Fitz can you have a look at this?? Fitzy reckoned something was broken, but I was good to get back on the bike.

The nicest guy turned up in a ute and asked how we were. He asked if I wanted a lift home. No mate. I'll ride home. Fitzy said that I’d been in a crash and I was getting a lift home. Yeah righto Fitz, I can’t find my bike anyway. I didn’t realise at the time, but my bike had bounced off the roo and over the guard rail into the low lying drain. By the time Fitzy started to walk me to the ute, I started to get really dizzy really quickly. What a legend taking me home to Rach who was in tears, and a call to the Ambo's.

Geez Ambo's are nice guys!! They started to take the piss out of me straight away and I told them that I liked them. Then they gave me the green whistle……whoooaaaa, my new best mate. That thing was epic!! Off to the hospital to see the doc and an X-ray. You’ve broken your collarbone Jase, here’s a bandaid for your elbow and a sling for your arm. Here are some drugs and catch ya later. Hey doc can I have a copy of the X-ray? Thank you. The whole process actually took a while, but that was my hospital visit in a nutshell.

Apparently the sling was going to fix me, but after speaking with Rach Paxton (physio) and forwarding her the X-ray, my only hope of getting to Kona was via the operating table. A referral to Kate Gazzard (sports doctor) confirmed Rach’s initial thoughts and I was forwarded on to Brett Collins (surgeon). Within 10 minutes I was booked in for surgery in Brisbane on Friday. Game on!!!!

I have never had an operation before, and to say that I was nervous was an understatement. I was shitting my pants and the sooner they knocked me out the better. I don't think the nurses at Brisbane Private will let me back into the hospital ever again though. I’m a shit of a patient and as soon as I was out of recovery I had ants in my pants and wanted to get moving. After I’d pressed every button on the bedside remote and nobody came to help me out, I managed the trip to the toilet myself. Then I decided to wander up the hall to the Nurses Station where I showed them the aftermath of me attempting the toilet journey solo and requested to exchange my wet dress for my own clothes. I think the nurses really got annoyed when I refused the wheelchair on the way to x-ray and then kind of left without seeing the doctor, but no way was I going to stay the night. I'm not staying in here Rach - lets high tail it out of this joint. Rach took me to the Cake shop for recovery.

As soon as I broke my collarbone I had such mixed messages from people. My Physio, Sports Doc, Surgeon and Pro Athletes or fast athletes all said the same thing, that I have heaps of time to get it right for Kona. It seemed that the slower the athlete, the more that they tell me that Kona is out of the picture. I don't know how breaking a collarbone 7 weeks from Kona is going to work out with whether I can race or not, but I am going to give it everything that I can to make it happen. True, I’m no longer a sure thing for the Age Group title, but I’ve reassessed my goals and I’m going to give my all to make sure I’m there to toe the line on race day.

Why? Why try and race Kona? It never entered my head that I wouldn’t race Kona. I don't know why. I didn’t think about it. I am paid up and I'm going. I can’t get it out of my head. I have got a cousin Charlie who has got Leukemia and has just had 8 months of Chemo and my mate Jayson Searle who fell of his bike a month ago and is still fighting in a Coma. I can’t imagine telling either of these blokes that I'm not going to race Kona because I have a sore shoulder; when they are lying in bed with bigger issues going on and fighting their guts out. I know they’d tell me to HTFU and get on with it. I don't know if I will make it, but there won't be any should have, could have, would have bullshit when race day rolls around in October.

Thanks for all of the support. It has been amazing and I really appreciate it.

Ps. If you tell me that my Kona race is done and I get a bit funny, don’t take offence if I go a bit strange.

Jase.