Places of Healing

It was a joy to greet Paige Paterson again at Queenstown Airport. She had agreed to visit for a weekend of photography and bikes and had brought along Danyela Van der Sande as her bike buddy and training partner. We loaded up their bikes onto the Land rover and started immediately making plans for the shoots and what had been found out by a keen Danyela on Strava.

I first met Paige in 2016 up in Auckland at the Rapha Club Ride, organised by Ambassador Liam Friary, Director of NZ Cycling Journal and now also NZ Mountain Biker. It was our regular in the dark at six am Thursday morning ride up Mt Eden. She had recently returned to study at the University of Auckland following her nasty Cambridge Avantidrome crash at 70km/hr coming off a bend in 2013. Paige is a NZ Track Cycling World and National Junior Champion.

I had crashed in 2015 on my road bike on North Head, Devonport, Auckland hit by a speeding 4WD. There we were both enjoying venturing back onto our bikes and working through the ongoing effects of concussion and traumatic brain injury.

Back to 2018 and I’m writing a Professional Photography Portfolio with the primary shoot to capture ‘Places of Healing’. I am interviewing and shooting three riders with histories of bike crashes resulting in ongoing symptoms of TBI. Paige is perfect as my first shoot. Her enthusiasm is just so inspiring mixed with a massive dose of lets do this.

After a hard few months off and spending time in a halo for three fractures to her vertebrae, Paige set the goal of a 12 new sports challenge every month. Resulting in an all round strengthening programme and just as importantly a participation in sport again for a girl that hasn’t had to sit still much in her life at all.

Now with her here in the south, for Paige I chose the Skippers Road, Bush Creek and the sunshine on the hills of Dalefield here at home; wind, water and sunlight.

I hope you enjoy seeing the shots as much we did taking them.

If you have been affected from a bike crash or concussion take a note and discover that out in nature theres a resonance which resets the brain and allows healing to happen. The sound of water flowing, the feel of the wind on your face, the smell and sounds of the bush. Its all there just take your time. Find your happy place. And slowly slowly you will return to your bike. Keep on keeping on. There is a balance to be found and followed. Listening to how your body is feeling tells you how much you can do and how much you need to rest. To find that sound you need time out in nature. Then you can hear.

The resting place of the mind is in the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise ...and all it wants is quietude. The only please the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. Thats where you need to go.