Thursday, August 23, 2012

Out but not down

I may have been out of the race scene for six weeks after TSE, but I wasn’t down.  Well to be honest my initial reactions to being out of action were filled with why me’s and why now’s. Well it turned out not to be dreadful.  It was pretty much the most pleasant summer I have had in years.  The rest did me wonders and now I am back at it fresher than ever.  Following is a short top ten list of my time back in the saddle:

          10.       Southern Michaux trail rides with cupcakes to get the skills back.
9.      My S works epic.  It helped soften the ride.
8.      TNW rides to get the top end running
7.      Curse of Dark Hollow, Michaux PA 1st place.  Great test of how my injury would respond to the demands of technical riding.  Thank goodness for my specialized epic.  It was a grand day of riding and hanging with friends.
6.     Wilderness 101, Coburn, PA 1st place.  Yikes, that was hard.  Again my bike was the bomb and my body responded well to the distance.
5.     Houseboats and the Allegripis Trail system.  Pure fun and enjoyment. 
4.     Rattling Creek 50, Lykens, PA 1st place.  Super fun, fast, and techy.  Best prize swag which included Toasted Head Wine. 
3.     Bear Creek, PA 1st place  PA state champion
      2.     New Hampshire 100.  Old School raw trail system, great venue, perfect B&B, a race weekend turned holiday.
      1.     Planning my trip to Fools Gold.  Cheryl Sornson - WINNER - Fresh for the EPIC battle

Monday, August 13, 2012


Some are small, chewable and manageable; others are sized for a horse and hard to swallow.  Injuries are similar to pills. This season I was given a horse pill injury to swallow.  The kind that takes awhile to fully accept how traumatic it really is.  The kind that hurts so deeply it reminds you how old you are and leaves you wondering if you’ll have to live with the pain forever.  Ok, I am exaggerating just a bit.  I did not need surgery and I wasn’t immobilized with a cast or anything, however when movement, breathing, sleeping, and a beating heart hurt it sucks.

I was in a race and went to pass a rider, however the rider turned into me rather than giving trail.  I ended up off trail to avoid collision.  Once off trail my pedal hit something and I hit the ground harder than I ever have.  It was weird because it definitely was not high speed or anything.  My head hit first and fortunately my helmet did its job but sustained life ending damage.  Next up my shoulder, upper back and hip hit the ground as I tried to roll out the fall.  As I hit all my body weight compressed and I heard this horrible CRACK.  All the oxygen left my body and could not be replaced for what seemed liked forever. 

This all happened the weekend summer officially started for me.  What a disappointing welcome I initially thought.  It turns out that it wasn’t such an unwelcome entrance. Despite my pain and worry that it wouldn’t go away, I began to feel thankful things weren’t worse.  There are far worse injuries amongst our ranks that others are dealing with or have dealt with.  Yes I would miss some key races, but it gave me the freedom to relax and enjoy the beauty of my home along with the pleasant company of my family and friends without any expectations or pressures.  I swallowed the pill, let go and allowed myself to heal in more ways than I knew I needed.