Rewind to September 15th, pre-riding the Valmont CX course. The day my season ended. I have no idea how I crashed on a small roller that a novice probably could have ridden a road bike on. I knew the second I fell that my season was done and was confident my collarbone was broken. When Doug finally saw I was on the ground he rushed back to me and I quickly proceeded to take a little shock induced nap. I tried to convince him we should just go home and see if I would get better all the while knowing I needed to go to the ER because I could not move my arm. I sat on a bench with 3 small children looking at me with great concern while Doug drove home to get the car. When we got to the ER I refused pain meds until they were going to move my arm a little for Xrays, then I was all over those pills. So, here's the damage:
Why did this happen to me? Why at the peak of my season one week before Nationals and 6 weeks before Worlds? I was having one of my best late season performances since I started racing Xterra. I was confident I could not only again be the top American at Worlds but I knew I could climb up on the box at Nationals and Worlds. I spent time being depressed and angry at the situation. All those 5:15 am wakeup calls to train and the effort it takes to balance it all taken away from me in an instant. I've cried about not being able to run and ride in the gorgeous Fall colors, laughed that I had to ask my husband to shave my good armpit and tried to take away something positive. All my training is much more than training, it is my fun, my therapy, my heart disease prevention, and racing comes secondary, it is all worth it even if I can't race the rest of year.
The 2 biggest lessons I've learned are to 1) slow down and 2) ask for help. I spend my days rushing around trying to be the best at all I do, yes even perfectionistic at times. I'm learning to slow down, I have no choice really. Life goes on even if there are piles of laundry and the house is dirtier than I like. It took an injury for me to learn to accept that I don't have to do it all. The second lesson is asking for help. I've always been independent and strong willed, never asking for much help. Out of necessity I've had to ask for help in many ways and feel blessed how many wonderful people I have in my life that graciously go out of their way to lend a hand. A huge thanks to Doug! I knew I married a kind man but oh my, this has shown me just how big his heart is. The first 4 days were miserable for me and he was there at 3am getting me out of bed, making sure I took pain killers, putting my hair in a ponytail and feeding me whatever I requested. I really put that in sickness and health thing to the test right from the start.
Since everything was already booked we decided to still travel to Maui and have a real vacation for once. It may be hard to watch the race but I think there will be some satisfaction in heckling all my fellow competitors and friends with a mai tai in hand while they suffer in the hot, hot sun. I will for once come back from Hawaii with normal tan lines not a number sunburned on my arm and other horrible lines from my racing suit. And this sling just might get us upgraded on the plane. I can't wait to enjoy this view from our condo:
I'll be back but for now I can be found with the old people at the gym killing it on the recumbent bike or supporting Doug at his cross races. Thanks to all my sponsors who have been very understanding and kind during this unexpected end of my season!