Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Highs And Lows

There exists a tradition in my family called “The Highs and Lows”.  Every year around New Years we are each responsible for listing what we’d consider our “highs” for the previous year, as well as our “lows”.  It’s a good way to reflect on the year and I’m always interested in hearing what my family members perceive as their best and worst moments.  The year I was 2nd at Ironman Wisconsin, my father listed one of his “highs” as watching me cross the finish line.  It was one of the most touching things anyone has ever said to me.

I must admit, most years I struggle to come up with my list of lows.  Because my life is very, very good and, well, I just haven’t suffered a ton of lows along the way.  This is what I was thinking, last night, when I was sitting on a bench in The Woodlands, TX, eating ice cream.  I had just heard back from the doctor that my MRI showed a fracture in my humerus and that I couldn’t race IM Texas.  I decided I needed calcium to heal my bone and the best way to get it was ice cream.  So I got a big dish of it, sat on a bench on a beautiful Friday night, and thought “well, at least I won’t have trouble coming up with lows for this year’s “Highs and Lows” game.”

Life seems to be kicking me in the teeth lately.  A foot injury in Jan/Feb kept me out of IM South Africa in March.  Some ongoing personal issues have left me heartbroken for most of the winter/spring.  Some personal health issues kept me up at night for most of March and April.  I came down to Texas torn and unsure if I even wanted to race but then I did the Galveston 70.3 and surprised myself with a strong performance.  I was 6th in a tough field and rode better than I had every ridden before.  A high!  Finally!  Galveston got me hugely excited to race IM Texas and really give it a go.  I felt like I had some momentum and positivity for the first time in a while.  But then, two days later, I was riding my bike on the IMTX course and crashed.  Everything felt okay but my shoulder.  I thought (hoped!) it was just really bruised up, but an MRI on Friday showed a fracture in the humerus.  No activity for 3 weeks.  A sling.  And definitely no IMTX. 

To say I’m disappointed is a huge understatement.  But you know what?  Life goes on.  And ultimately, my “problems” are of little significance in the grand scheme of things. 
If there is one (huge) positive that has come from the disappointments I’ve had over the past several months, it is this: I’ve noticed now more than ever how many kind and generous people there are in this world.  I’ve relied largely on this generosity and kindness to get me through my tough spots and I want to point out just a few. 

To the Yorks (Aeri, Skip, Stuart, Charles and Sonja): you were absolutely amazing to me and I so appreciate your kindness.  I very much regret not being able to stay and race but I am DETERMINED to do IMTX so keep my room ready for next year!  Thank you for your hospitality.  It was second to none.

To Amy, the good Samaritan who stopped (and ultimately took me & my banged up bike home) after I crashed: thank you for reminding me that there are VERY good people in this world!

To Dr. Keith Johnson and his staff at Sterling Ridge Orthopedics: WOW – JUST WOW!!  I am truly amazed and so, so grateful for what you did for me.  Within a day of calling his office I was in for a visit, saw a physical therapist, had an MRI, a diagnosis and a treatment plan.  All at no cost.  It happened so fast, I’m not even sure what happened!  You likely saved my season by setting me on a path to recovery faster than I could even say “humerus”!  And I will never be able to repay your generosity.  Go kick some ass at IMTX on May 16th.  I, for one, will be tracking and cheering for you all day!  You have a lifelong fan, for sure.

To QR: your bikes are awesome.  But your service and the way you treat your athletes is even better.  Thanks for over-nighting a new stem so that I could get my beautiful PRsix ride-ready again!  Unfortunately my shoulder had other ideas.  But once that puppy heals, I’ll be back on task and ready to rock!  THANK YOU for doing everything you possibly could to get me on the start line in TX.

To Bike Lane of Houston: HUGE thanks for putting me on the top of your priority list and getting my bike ready to go!  So grateful for your service and generosity.

To my QT2 family, most especially Kait, Matt, and Pat: you guys rock.  All there is to it.  Thanks for keeping me laughing and for making memories with me.  Special thanks to Pat, who was with me when I crashed, for sitting in the ER with me, taking my bike to the shop, and wiping away a ton of tears.

To my own family: oy vey!  You put up with a lot.  Sorry for all the worry.  I’ll get my act together here soon, I promise!!  Thanks for loving me, no matter what.

And finally to the Snow family: I simply have no words.  No words for what you have done for me.  Know that your kindness will never, ever be forgotten.  And know also the huge impact you've had on me and my life. 

I’m getting a bit teary eyed thinking of all the wonderful people in my life.  Even just this morning, as I struggled to get a huge bike box, a wheel bag, 2 suitcases and a backpack through the airport with a broken shoulder in a sling, I can’t even recount how many kind strangers offered to help me.  This world has a lot of really good people!!!  And right now, that’s my take away from all that is happening in my own little world.  Despite the struggle I feel, there are people who care and who will help.  And when I’m finally in the position to be of help to someone else, it will be at the top of my priority list. 

So three weeks of no activity and this @@#V$ sling (that I already hate and have sworn at relentlessly) – here we go!  Oh, and lots of ice cream.  You know, for the calcium...!!

Just a TEENY bit of road rash - not bad!  But the real trouble is the cracked wing...

I really need to stop hanging out in ERs.

Happy days in Galveston!  Two @couersports gals and one honorary @couersports guy!