MONTHS of gym work have paid off for me in terms of my walking and not living in daily pain.

Returning from Jamaica, however, has not been straightforward. 

I guess there just seams to be a few more bumps when you’re paralysed. 

I sat watching Penguin Bloom, the incredible Sam Bloom movie on Netflix about a family that go through hell when Sam falls off a roof and breaks her back at T12. If you didn’t give up your Netflix subscription it is a recommended watch.

Sam was a former surfer and someone who loved to move her body, and the movie takes you on her journey as a mum, a wife and a human tries to come to terms of been paralysed. 

After watching Sam find purpose, I decided to send her a message.

This is one plus of social mediA and it was nice to hear first hand that she also shares my thoughts that this spinal cord injury stuff sucks, especially for active people. 

Feeling inspired and celebrating turning 44, I promised myself a decent few hours on the bike. 

I have never missed training on my birthday apart from the one year I spent it lying in hospital. 

I see it as a massive blessing to reach 44 after 12 years of tumours, so to live aligned with some of the values that have kept me going over the years, a good few hours is a must on the bike. 

With the sun shining, I put both feet on the floor and said thanks for life and that I can stand. 

Watching Sam in the movie dragging herself out of bed into her wheelchair made me see how lucky I am to stand. 

Bundling my bike into the car I found myself in Richmond park within 30 minutes clipped in and ready to go. 

I had no expectations, just a few steady hours. It was a strong wind which makes holding onto the bike a bit more challenging when paralysed. 

One of the perks of the park is the limited cars but also toilets. 

For someone living with paralysis a toilet close by is important. 

Sixty km later I found myself back at my car and I felt good.

Even if life since coming back from Jamaica has been one of constant pain, I have got stronger - which gives me a boost of confidence for the racing season. 

As I know that my legs will probably be slightly shaky after my first long ride since last year, I decided to cycle to the toilet. 

It is here I am met with the question that Rutger Bregman presented in his book Humankind - are all humans are good people?

His book shares an ambitious view that human beings, human nature, is kinder, friendlier, more decent, than we are given credit for. 

“Could you watch my bike for two minutes please” 

Fully expecting my fellow human and bike rider to say yes, I start to get off my bike, to only hear the words ‘no, I don’t have two minutes for you’. 

Once it was clear I was disabled I heard the words saying ‘god ok, I WILL watch it’. 

“It’s ok, don’t worry about it,” I reply.

As I reach back to my car, my body shaken and struggling I hear a voice saying ‘I am sorry I wasn’t thinking, I didn’t know you were disabled’.

Should I need to be disabled to have a fellow human watch my bike in a high theft area for two minutes? 

Maybe Bregman needs to hang out in London more to research his view. 

What do you think? Are we humans kinder than we are given credit for? 

Back into my car and there was the proud moment that I made another year.

Here I was in the sun.

And even if I had just encountered a not-so-nice human, I am blessed that most people I meet are very kind.