Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lesson Learned

Oooh...2 posts in one week! Exciting times. I was originally going to entitle this post "When It Rains, It Pours" but I decided on "Lesson Learned" because there was a lesson from today and I think upon reflection that I may have grasped it.
Today was the first day since my CL RR that I wasn't feeling crummy about my race performance. This morning, I officially let it go and moved on from my poor showing in my hometown. Today I had short prologue-esque TT intervals scheduled in the morning and a mid-week crit in the evening. As I rolled down the hill from my house this morning and stopped at the first stoplight, there was a person holding a sign on the corner (as there is everyday at that corner). I'm sure you've seen this scene: a person writes some sort of message that is supposed to illicit pity, guilt, or a laugh with the ultimate goal of scoring a few bucks from people stopped at the corner. Today's person had a sign that read "Appreciate what you have and don't take it for granted." I immediately thought, "Ya dude, you should appreciate that you're healthy enough to be out here enjoying this beautiful day and by the looks of it you're not starving or anything." Little to zero empathy or sympathy from this guy (thumbs pointed inward) when I saw this person this morning. And certainly no inward reflection about the message on his sign.
So, I continued on my ride and I could tell right away that it was going to be good day. I wondered not if, but by how much I would smash my 5' TT power records today. I was engulfed in this train of thought when I noticed my turn was coming up and so took a quick glance over my shoulder and then started to make the left turn going a little faster than usual. Well, there was about a foot wide strip of deep gravel on the edge of the left turn lane that I failed to notice in my daydreaming and my tire slid out immediately when I hit it. I slid to a stop in the middle of the road, cursing before I was even finished sliding. I untangled myself from my bike and my next action was to hurl my bottle at the nearest inanimate object. I just kept saying "I can't believe this" in between expletives. I thought I had wrecked my chances at doing well at Cascade. A nice older gentleman named Ken came to my aid and brought me a first aid kit and water from his car, because by this time I was dripping blood from several different locations. I knew I hadn't broken my collarbone so my attention immediately went to my ribs and hips, two of the initial contact points along with my elbow/forearm. I took a deep breath with no shooting pain so I was pretty certain that I hadn't broken ribs again. I was walking around so the hip couldn't be too bad. But I chose not to appreciate this relative good fortune. All that I could think about was the missed workouts and the possibly hindered state that I would be starting in next week. I changed my tube (sliding along the pavement wore through the sidewall and blew the tube as I was coming to a halt), thanked Ken for caring enough to spring into action to help me, and gingerly climbed aboard my wounded TT bike. As I was limping home, trying to avoid touching the handlebars with the open wounds on my hands, I thought again of the message on the sign at the corner "Appreciate what you have..." I thought about how foolish it was for me to be so upset about not winning my hometown race. After having so many friends and family come to support me and see what I love to do, I chose to focus on my failures rather than how blessed I am to have so many great people in my life. In this, the year of racing that wasn't even supposed to exist for me due to a suspension, I chose to feel angry and wronged somehow by the tactics that were played out 'against' me. Really? This whole friggin season is a gift! I have no right to pout about some lack of result when I was never even planning on pinning a number on this year. Yes, I can be disappointed about not winning and about crashing stupidly on a training ride but I better recognize and acknowledge the good fortune with the bad, otherwise I cross the line and enter into "whiny, self-pity" territory. And there's far too much good going on in my life right now to be hanging out over there.
Oh, and just analyzed my power file: 44.7 kph when I hit the deck. Boy, I forgot how much I missed cleaning wounds in the shower! Where's a bottle of percocet (or scotch) when you need it??

8 comments:

baker family :) said...

tom--we couldn't be more proud of you and your race in clear lake! hope your wounds heal fast! god bless!

thek2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

That's what makes life the most amazing journey of all...when we start to really live in the moment, no one is perfect, all we can do is make sure to do our best, to love, laugh, and suck all of the marrow out of each day. Yes, Scotch can also help. ;) k2

North Iowa SPIN said...

Tom - Was great having you back here in Clear Lake for our race! Everyone I talked really enjoyed seeing you r race and was so amazed at the racing action and the strategies that plays out during the Crit.

Cheers,
T-

otis said...

Looks like you need some knee pads for your rides....just like old Curt Cash did for X-country hill training!

Anonymous said...

We always love to watch you race. By the way, you look great in the Jamis ad in the latest Velo News mag.

Don H.

Ian Stanford said...

I have a good 12yr sitting on my counter at home!

Anonymous said...

Uncle chopper says "HTFU".