Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Reason or Excuse?
My thoughts are spinning today, like wet clothes in a dryer. This weekend's crash has made me rethink so many things, the first one being, 'Is this worth it?' I mean, maybe I should take up knitting.
But as I rode, swam and biked alone this week, instead of in a group setting, I knew that yes, it IS worth it. There is something about the bubbles that tickle your legs as you dive into a pool. I enjoy running in the dark hours of the morning as the sun turns the sky from black, to purple, to pink and then to blue. And packing Clif bloks and Accelerade as I prepare for the five hour ride is not something I dread, but something I look forward to each training day.
However - the best part of doing what I do - is doing it with friends. There is no better way to get to know someone than by spending hours next to them on a long run. Saving stories for the 20 miler is typical Runnin' Ladies' style. We hash out teenage issues by sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions. Then rally together as friends as one of us deals with a tragedy.
In three of the races I completed in 2008, there were deaths during the event. Spudman, Tour de Phoenix, and the Santa Barbara Triathlon all left family members in shock as their loved one, physically fit and healthy, started a race they would not finish. And no one thought that Saturday's 1000 Warriors Race would leave one of our own in the hospital with broken facial bones and breathing with a respirator.
Yet we count ourselves "lucky". Lucky that Dave Collins is alive and stable and will most likely make it out of this okay. Lucky that we are strong enough to compete and fit enough to consider doing something beyond the limits of our physical capabilities. Lucky to have friends that stand by us and bring us out of the darkness that at one time or another creeps into all our lives. Haha, it's all kind of screwed up if you think about it. But we don't do this alone. We do it together. Lucky for us.
So I will continue to race. Because I am one of the lucky ones. Yet I still wonder if I am a ticking time bomb and my time is coming soon. It has now escalated to "several" friends who have found themselves in situations just like Dave -- giving the thumbs up and winking an eye to let doctors know 'I'm still in here.' Miraculously the body heals. And the memory forgets. And we get back on the bike. So for today, the accident becomes the reason to continue and not the excuse. Let's hope that is the right decision.
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