An update from Down Under

Hey all,

To begin with, I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone. Especially our amazing healthcare workers who have been on the frontline dealing with this pandemic. You are all awesome and the world is in good hands!

A LOT has happened since my last blog. There is no way that anyone could have foreseen what is now our new norm. This blog is just a little update for you all on what I’ve been up to in these unusual times.

I’m currently at home in Brisbane, Australia. Very grateful to be healthy and surrounded by my amazing friends and family. We’ve been greeted by some beautiful Autumn weather, which has been a treat.

I would be lying if I told you that this isolation period has all been smooth sailing, like everyone worldwide there has been many a bump along the journey. Australia started to see a large increase of cases daily, with the government implementing various measures to keep us safe. I did my part and stayed home, however the government began to plea for nurses. Being a newly graduated registered nurse and watching my former colleagues prepare for the worst, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly guilty.

Fortunately, things have not eventuated in Australia, I am hopeful this continues, with nearly no active cases left on our big island!

Outdoor exercise has always been permitted in Australia throughout the entire lockdown period, though we have had restrictions on who and how many people we could ride with. I was doing a fair bit of indoor riding on Zwift, however on one particular day I chose to stay close to home and head out on the road for a bit of sunlight. After 11 years of cycling on the road, I was unlucky enough to be hit by a car. The car U-turned straight in front of me, leaving me with nowhere to go but down. I’m not going to lie, I was scared. After many near misses, I was now a casualty of these big metal boxes. Lying on the ground, flashbacks of when I first broke my jaw in 2016 came back. My neck felt so weak and I struggled to find the strength to lift my head off the road without support.  A gash to my chin and unfortunately my second broken jaw. I am very lucky to only have such minor injuries, as a bike never wins when it verses a car.

The first few days were the worst. Pureed food, not sleeping well, pain, combined with the guilt. I had wasted the time of our incredible healthcare workers, a guilty feeling that still has not gone away. Luckily, I had Zwift to get me moving again. While healing broken bone, Zwift has given me peace of mind that I am safe.

Zwift also has been a way to connect with such a wonderful community that would have not otherwise been possible (some epic group rides have been had!). It has also allowed me to achieve cool goals – like completing a 200km ride on Zwift – which are not only good physically but mentally. And finally, it has provided me with some form of normality in my life.

I recently raced with my Canyon Sram teammates in the Pro Tour For All. Having to cater to all time zones, this saw me racing at 1am. The time was a little bit of a challenge, but it was awesome to connect with my teammates and experience some awesome racing. Without Zwift this would not have been possible!

I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, even if that be 4 weeks’ worth of pumpkin soup and smoothies. I am stronger person and now understand more about myself than I did beforehand.

A nice surprise over the last few weeks has been seeing people falling in love with riding bikes again! I didn’t realise how much joy it brings me to see so many amazing humans out on bikes. Just seeing the smiles on people’s faces has been incredible. It reminds me of the very epic 10km beach rides I would do with my dad when I was young – mid ride bakery stops were essential! I really hope this new Aussie trend continues!

I’ve also been baking a lot, trying new recipes and re-inventing old ones. A daily dose of yoga and reading usually rounds out my day. Completing online courses has kept my brain active, which is key for me as I crave learning. But most of all I’ve been lucky to spend time with my loved ones. As things begin returning, I’ve been lucky enough to explore some new local roads on my bike with my boyfriend, sister and dad. These days are the best days, creating memories I will cherish forever.

Overall, I have been doing my best to focus on the positives. It’s going to be ok! Live in the present, be thankful and keep smiling!

Thanks for reading! I hope I didn’t bore anyone… Until next time!

Jess Pratt

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