I talked to a mate of mine yesterday on the phone. I hadn’t seen him since I was Best Man at my other buddy’s wedding ( me pre injury ). We raced together in the Andes and the Himalayas once upon a time. I called him Harold Shipman because he was involved in nursing homes, where there is ‘ quite a large turnover of customers ‘.

The wedding we met at last was 7 years ago and he was well, his wife was pregnant with their first child and general optimism prevailed for sure.

He was upbeat on the phone, as he always was, but I was surprised by just how much had happened to him in 7 years. For sure he could most definitely say the same for me.

They had a daughter, and his wife fell pregnant again. Their second little girl wasn’t so straightforward. She has lots that isn’t normal, from bladder and Bowels to kidney defects. She was on dialysis every day from birth almost. His wife donated a kidney, which was a success, though it will only last til his little girl is 13, as the match wasn’t exact enough. My buddy’s mum died suddenly 2 years ago, and then his sister’s horse threw her off, and she died from her injuries. He got into conflict with his business partner and is in an unpleasant situation where he will be leaving the business he started. An incredibly fit and athletic man, he has recently had to have both hips replaced ( in his 40’s ) and said I’d now really laugh at the way he walks. I probably wouldn’t, as it’s a damn sight better than not walking at all, but it made me laugh anyway.

If there is someone that can relate to his life challenges, it’s myself. After he had told me what had happened to him, I almost found myself saying ‘ you wanna think yourself lucky mate!’ But I stopped myself..

We were both laughing a lot on the phone, and that at least was the same as it always was.

As they say a lot in Wales ( where I’m from ) and up North ( where he’s from ) – as long as you keep your sense of humour and can laugh, you’ll be alright.

Too right.

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