It has been a long time since I’ve posted on my blog and there are a plethora of reasons why, but I wanted to give everyone an update on what’s going on and what I’ve been up to over the last year or so. If you have read this blog in the past, you are aware that last year I was pursuing a goal of finishing a half-ironman 70.3. Along the way, I was going to participate in other triathlons and my first full marathon. I came extremely close to my goal of completing the 70.3…just about 10 days away to be exact!
After competing in the Great Snake River Triathlon sprint distance (my first river swim race which was awesome) and having a decent race (in which I placed 3rd in my age group), I settled back into my half-ironman training. That fateful morning August 6th, 2013 is a day I won’t ever forget.
That morning, I woke up early to go on about a 75 minute hill ride. As I left my driveway, my chain fell off my bike (which had never happened before) and I nearly ran into my mailbox. I fixed the chain, cleaned my hands and went on my merry way. It was a chilly morning and I nearly turned back twice to get a jacket but decided against it. Less than 1.5 miles from my home, after taking a drink from my water bottle, I was getting back to my normal riding speed before something happened…
I remember distinctly hearing the sound of a crunch behind me like two cars getting in an accident. My initial reaction was to look behind me and before I could do that, I remember being propelled forward. At this point, I have conflicting memories of what happened…but the next thing I know I was on the side of the road sliding gravel very fast. I ended up rolling into some grass along the side of the road and laying on my stomach. My first reaction was to look up and see what had just happened. I saw a car stopping which gave me some comfort. I then laid my head on the grass and came to realization of how much pain I was experiencing. My mind was racing and all I could think was “I was just hit by a car, I was just hit by a car, I was just hit by a car” over and over and over again.
It took a minute for the individual who hit me to get over to me. When she came over, she asked if I was ok and my response was “I don’t know.” She asked if I could stand up and I repeated “I don’t know.” I was probably more rough with her than I should’ve been but in my defense I was dealing with a pretty serious incident and the beginnings of shock. After feeling that all my limbs were still intact, I slowly got back on my feet. My left ankle was really tight but I was able to walk on it…kinda. I really didn’t lose it until, I hobbled over and saw my bike…
Seeing my bike sent a flurry of emotions through me that made me realize that the training I had been going through for the last 10 months was not going to come to fruition. It was very hard for me, and at that point, I couldn’t fight off the tears anymore. I called my wife and told her what had happened and I called a friend to come pick me up. By the time my good friend arrived, I was in a state of shock, shaking almost uncontrollably. He got me and my bike home, and with the help of my neighbor got me in the house. A little bit later, I was having x-rays on my ankle revealing that it was broken. After that, the road rash which compromised a large portion of the left side of my body was cleaned, which was very, very painful.
Two days later, I underwent surgery (which a few months later would end up in a second surgery) to insert two screws into my left ankle to put it back together. The surgery really took me out of commission for awhile both physically and emotionally. I was really in a funk for a period of time because of all I had put into getting ready for a race that wouldn’t be able to attend. I was fortunate to have good friends and family to be so caring and compassionate to me and my family. My faith played a big part in me being positive about the whole situation. I made it a point to attend church the Sunday after my surgery because I really felt it necessary to show gratitude that the situation wasn’t worse.
I have started and stopped writing this post many times and debated about putting it out there. In the end, I’ve decided that I wanted to share my story because it does have a happy ending which I intend to share in coming posts. This is the first of many to come.
Bikers, be careful out there. Motorists, be careful out there. It is important for me to say that I have no ill feelings towards the individual that hit me. I know there are lessons that I have and will learn from this and I’m sure the same goes for her. My intention is to share more about this incident as time goes forward because I have some lofty goals. In the end, life is good and it is our job not to forget that!