Sunday, July 6, 2014

Training & Life: Starting the Next Chapter

Some might say that it wasn't supposed to be this way, but I can't live thinking that way.  Life changes, the script doesn't always go the way you thought it would.  April 6th, 2014 my world changed.  Sure I know it is selfish of me to think this way but it will always be a landmark day in my own little part of this grand world.  I was doing the norm, something I'd done multiple hundreds of times previously.  Nothing fancy, nothing crazy, just the norm. In the middle of a 60 mile ride that day. Prepping for the 140.6 mile journey I was planning to take in Chattanooga this September, in my own personal way.  In the blink of an eye, I'd crashed my bike, going from 25 mph to zero in a fraction of a second.  I slammed hard into the uphill asphalt of Bradshaw Road on the small rolling hill I was just starting to climb. My front wheel wobbling uncontrollably as I rocketed over the aerobars on my well used Cervelo.  Me on the ground repeating words that my mom wouldn't be proud of, yet telling my training buddy John repeatedly, "I'm okay, I'm okay" as he stood with a concerned look over me.

A few minutes pass and we're figuring out a way to get me back on my bike.  Sure I'm painfully battered, bloody and swollen, but we did need to get back home somehow.  For better or worse, I slowly covered five more miles of hilly terrain until John rode ahead and later picked me up in his truck.  At home I contemplated the injuries and chose to allow a few days of quiet, recovery time before sheepishly hobbling with one crutch into Dr. Amy's office on day number three.  After a series of xrays and being told to wait right there for a wheel chair, I recognized the page had turned, life had changed. I felt a thud in the gut when told that I'd fractured not only my heavily swollen elbow, but also my hip (at the neck of my femur). No one need tell me that this was not good for a multiple time marathoner and 25+ year triathlon junkie.

As I told my athletes at the time, it really is a small price to pay for the athletic life I have lived for my entire 51 years.  MANY have far worse problems and I try hard to not feel sorry for myself.  In reality I am a bit embarrassed that I lost control of my bike for some unknown reason.  I am also extremely sorry to have affected my family and my athletes during my extended injury and recovery period. 

Now at 3 months post-wreck I am becoming more and more confident that I will bounce back.  That said, I'm still not sure exactly what that means, but I am patient and totally at ease with seeing what the Good Lord has in mind for this new chapter in my life.  The long term health of my hip joint is my primary concern though my "stuck" (contractured) elbow is the most challenging current issue.  That said, I do live a happy and very blessed life here in Blacksburg and my support system (family and friends) is deep and strong. I will be forever grateful for that!

Again I say this with all sincerity, please do not worry about me. I am in good spirits and I have a strong body and I am wrapped in love here at home.  Also, do know that I would MUCH rather be dealing with this than to be dealing with some form of couch potato disease.  As you may/may not know, until this point, I have kept this story off of Facebook and such, as I've been learning and dealing with the change of life with my family, close friends and immediate community here in Blacksburg.  I am now ready to move forward a bit and share my experiences with others.  Thus my sharing of this blog.

So lets go train, go race, go win, go conquer, go work hard, go have fun, go kick butt and go tell the ones important to you that you love them!  I challenge you to continue to follow your passion and work to become the best you possible!  I will aim to do the same.

With love and passion for an active lifestyle!  


(below are a few pictures that you may find helpful in understanding this new chapter of mine)

New/permanent hardware for hip
Screw in elbow, NOT permanent

Left arm pre surgery
2 surgeries down...1? to go

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