Keagan Girdlestone has outlined his plans for the future as he continues his recovery from the crash that almost ended his life. The remarkable recovery has continued to progress for Girdlestone with some major milestones being accomplished and he continues to target world, Olympic & Tour success.
Over the last fortnight the good news in Keagan’s recovery has continued. In a recent blog post Girdlestone said, “In the last 2 weeks I’ve discovered I no longer need surgery on my bicep, which was a major concern as I could have lost strength or movement in my fingers, which pretty much could have ended any hopes of a career in cycling. Then a few days later, two days before Le Race, I found out I was no longer needed to keep my heart rate restricted to 145BPM. This to me was the biggy I needed clearance of if I really want to make a comeback in cycling.”
This major stepping stone has finally given Keagan the freedom to make his intentions for the future crystal clear. The post that he released was by his own admission targeted at ‘any professional teams that may or may not be thinking about helping me out with an epic career resurrection story’; although Girdlestone most certainly gives credit to the people, sponsors and fans who have supported him throughout the journey. His words are simple, clear but packed full of ambition.
“Let me start off by saying that every ambition and goal I’ve ever had, is UNALTERED! I will continue to try my best, work my hardest, to win the likes of the TDF [Tour de France] (and stages), Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, Ardennes Classics and more. My sights are still set on the stars and I know for a fact there will be doubters reading this, which is perfectly acceptable. I mean, the goals I’ve set are higher standards than most professionals, who haven’t been to hell and back, who have failed themselves. How on earth would the likes of a kid, who partially paralyzed his right arm, severed nerves and arteries come from a death bed and go on to achieving at the highest level of the sport? I’ll tell you how… A level of self belief, dedication and a new love for life that very few people who roam this earth possess… That’s how.”
The timeline that Keagan had given himself to get back to his pre-crash fitness level was 2-3 years, but with the leaps and bounds that he has come on that timeline has come down remarkably, with the 19 year old now set to take on the Calder Stewart Elite Series, with an eye on events beyond that! “I’m now starting to race the Elite Series in New Zealand and hoping by next year to make the Commonwealth Games selection (YES, I’m not kidding)!” Keagan said.
Keagan will line up at this weekend’s Armstrong Prestige Dunedin Classic racing for the Moore Stephens Markhams Canterbury Development Team alongside Simon Anderson, Liam Morrison, Reon Nolan, Bailey O’Donnell and Campbell Pithie. Time will tell to see how Keagan keeps progressing as he embarks on this incredible journey to continue becoming one of the world’s best, but when it comes to dealing with doubts he’s certainly done more than most; and we would certainly be fools to write off the chances of the sight of him in a yellow jersey.
“Initially I was supposed to be dead, then brain dead, then wheelchair bound, then I’d live but probably wouldn’t have a normal life, then I wouldn’t ride a bike, then I would never race a bike… I feel like those are some pretty massive assumptions that I’ve proved wrong thus far, so why not prove a few more wrong?”
To read Keagan’s full blog post click here.