Tuesday, April 23, 2013

GROUNDED!

Its funny how quickly attitudes can change. My last post was about me feeling sorry for myself and about feeling like I let the team down in a couple races. And while its true, they were disappointing results, in the grand scheme of things, I was still racing my bike, even if I wasn't riding well. I've always said that any ride on my bike is a good ride, but I'd lost sight of that recently and started taking it too seriously.  I had forgotten that riding is just a distraction from all the bad things that happen in life, and shouldn't add to all the negativity.  And I was reminded of that, this past Wednesday, after racing at the oval. 

After the race, Amber, Mackdiddle, and a friend from work went down to Primanti's for a post race meal. I was STARVED, and looking forward to crushing a ribeye sandwich and a brownie sundae. Turns out, I wasn't the only one who loves sundaes!
"Give me that spoon back!"--not at all happy I wasn't sharing that spoon of  ice cream with her!
Then we headed home to get ready for bed as our 5AM wakeup comes all too early. By 1030, Amber had just put the baby down for the night when her phone rang and it was her aunt with some bad news about Amber's dad. He was riding home on his motorcycle on Rt 51 at the interchange for I-376, a driver of a car in the left hand lane decided she needed to get off at that exit, and cut across his lane to do so. Without ever stopping, she forced him to dump the bike and hit the pavement.  He was rushed to Mercy Hospital, and Amber, Mackenzie and I were back out the door and on our way to Mercy as well, moments after receiving the news.  Turns out, he was OK. He was banged up and had some minor road rash, but nothing was broken or severely/permanently damaged. The gouges on his helmet are proof that the helmet kept things from being a lot worse than it was. Shortly after 130AM, he was walking out of the hospital, albeit gingerly, but walking on his own none-the-less. (thanks for everyone who read my facebook post and said a prayer on his behalf). 

As a result of the unexpected late night/early morning hours activity, I decided to take the day off from work. Since Amber is only part time and can't earn sickdays, she was to take the morning off but was going to try to work the afternoon shift so she wouldn't lose the whole day's pay. I was hoping to sleep in a little, but Mackdiddle, despite not ever falling back asleep until well after 2AM, was ready to get her day going at her usual time of 530. So I got up with her, changed her, and gave her a bottle. In an effort to let Amber get a little more sleep, I grabbed the "new" stroller I purchased at Red White and Blue second hand store the day before and went for a walk.  ** As a side note, PROGOLD products are perfect for more than just bicycles. I used ProGold Towels to wipe the down the frame and wheels. Then I used the ProGold Helmet Cleaner and Deodorizer to clean the seat area. Finally, I put a few drop of ProGold Extreme Lube on the bearings of the three wheels and the Baby Jogger II was looking like new and ready to rock and roll!

Hangin' on for the test drive!
It was bright and sunny but still a little on the cool side as Mackdiddle and I went out the door. I wasn't sure how things were going to go since she had never been "off roading" before. I took her down to the Chartiers Creek Watershed access road and then the fun began. As we first turned off the pavement onto the bumpy gravel road, she was quiet and holding on to the frame as she bounced and bumped down the trail. After about 5 minutes, she had relaxed and was giggling and talking up a storm. We waved at the trees, we waved at the squirrel, we waved at the El Beebee's (L.B.B or little brown birds), we waved at the trees, we even waved at JR's Wood Duck!   All told, we walked a little over 3 miles and bought Amber and extra hour of sleep.    But more important than that, I was refocused on what is REALLY important in life.

Hi Mr Wood Duck!
(far and away her favorite stretch of bouncy trail)
While racing for the Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team powered by Pathfinder is a very important part of my life, its not the most important part. Thanks to an unexpected day off, I was reminded of what IS important and what I should be focusing on rather than better results.  Thanks Amber. Thanks Mackenzie. Thanks to everyone in the team area for making racing fun! And most importantly, thanks to God for helping me get grounded in reality again.  Every ride on my bike is a good ride...