If you’re playing along at home, you know that my parents left last night and that I was pretty tired. I knew that today (Sunday) I had the opportunity to go to a cookout at one of the Train-This member’s homes, but I wasn’t sure whether I’d have the energy to go. I slept like a log, for about 9 hours, and was pretty groggy when I finally got up. But after a cup of coffee and some breakfast, I felt pretty good. Decided to give my PT exercises a go, and did a little more than an hour, accompanied by my favorite Pandora radio station. Michael went out on a bike ride for both of us. 🙂
And I still felt good! Took a shower – standing up the whole time! – and made Michael round up some non-workout clothes. Even though this group wouldn’t even blink at my showing up in running shorts; but I kind of felt like looking like a regular person. Not dressed up – I wore cutoffs – but I guess I’m just celebrating the fact that I don’t NEED elastic waistbands any more.
So we trucked over, and it was so great to see everyone. Got to chat about their upcoming races, my recovery, and their crash stories. It’s fantastic to hear about how people have recovered – and are recovering right now – while keeping their enthusiasm for training and racing. I’m learning that really, injuries are part of the game. We push ourselves, we take some (hopefully calculated) risks, and we find the limits of our bodies and minds. At some level, we’re all at this because we like finding the limits, pushing them a little farther, and then doing it again. It’s such a tangible reminder that progress is possible.
And sometimes, in the midst of all that pushing, we run headlong into the limit of our bodies, minds, the laws of physics, or luck. The resulting broken bones, torn muscles, road rash, and bruised confidence are startling. They remind you just how amazing it is when a human body functions fully. They remind you of the little things you take for granted – being able to carry something while walking or just climb a couple of patio steps – and challenge you to re-learn those things. And they give you time to consider whether you want to keep finding your limits.
I know that I absolutely do. Living scared isn’t living. I didn’t take an unreasonable risk on the day of my crash. I was absolutely aware of my surroundings. I was literally reciting to myself where the people were on either side of the road, scanning for cars backing out of driveways. I couldn’t have seen that dog any sooner than I did; he just wasn’t visible. I’m not going to relegate myself to the indoor trainer or ride my bike with a belly full of nerves just because one person was irresponsible with their dog. If I’m going to do that, I might as well stock up on canned goods and bolt the doors, because every time I get into my car or take my dogs for a walk, there are plenty of drivers out there who could just as easily obliterate me while yakking on their cell phones. The world isn’t safe; people make stupid choices, and sometimes others bear the brunt.
The day of my crash, I was riding strong, mentally clear, and aware. I want that feeling again, and it’s so exciting to know it’s out there. Can’t wait for the chance to go find it!