Sunday, May 2, 2010

What I learned during a week on crutches...

For the past 6 days I've been in a cast that I expect to be removed tomorrow morning when I see Dr. Mendel. I expected to have lots of pain when the initial local anesthesia wore off but it never came. I stopped taking my pain medication on Wednesday night because it was making me very sleepy and I wasn't feeling any pain. I was falling asleep in the middle of some awesome shows on the History Channel and I knew that had to be due to the pain medication...I mean who would fall asleep while watching the history channel otherwise? I learned some things this week that was spent mostly on the couch elevating my leg. I learned that wood floors do not go well with crutches. The rubber thing at the end of the crutch worked as a suction cup on the wood floors about 7 times nearly leading to fatal accidents. I was trying to figure out if Jen would be able to sue the crutch company if I died due to those things suctioning to the floor. I also learned that Jen really doesn't know the word sympathy. She was pretty easy on me the first two days as I laid on the couch 24/7 while she took care of two kids...3 counting me. A huge thanks to my mom for helping out Tuesday-Friday with getting the kids to and from daycare while Jen was at work. The only way I could have gotten them to the car is to crawl on my knees which I did learn was very useful while on crutches. By the weekend Jen was expecting a little more from with dinner, bedtime...and then at 12:30 a.m. when Owen started crying Jen asked if I could do a feeding so I grabbed the crutches, hobbled out to the fridge to warm some milk, hobbled back to Owen's room to feed him, picked him up from my knees so I could burp him and get him back to sleep. I shouldn't say I learned this sympathy thing about Jen. She's always been super tough and would have done the same had she been the one who was injured. It reminded me of when I was out of shape and we raced the Bix 3 years ago. At the turnaround of the 7 mile race I was hurting and looked back to see Jen smiling only about 20 seconds down to me. I knew she would have no second thoughts of going right by me and she did that at the 5 mile mark. I let her go and made a desperate attempt to outkick her but she beat me by 5 seconds on her way to running 43:15. The next week I wanted revenge and challenged her to a 5k. I switched strategies and decided I would try to sit on her the entire race and outkick her at the end. Just after the halfway point she dropped me and went on to run 17:45. I was 18:00. She's tough and expects me to be that way also so there was no sympathy with my condition this week.

To put my competitive spirit at ease this week I challenged our daughter Payton (who will turn 2 on June 1) to some races down the hall. Payton beat me 8 straight times. I could go about the same speed as her once I got up to speed on the crutches but she accelerated much faster than I could. She also cheated a couple times and left the starting line before she said go. She says she is training for the Junior Bix...I'm betting she walks it again this year because she doesn't handle pressure of a crowd very well.
On Saturday I got a really exciting call from my oldest brother Jason who had just completed a sprint triathlon in Newton, IA. Jason had gastric bypass surgery about 5 years ago and has made a committment to living a healthy and active lifestyle over the past year. Last year at this race his time was 2 hours 22 minutes. This year he was 1 hour 49 minutes! What an incredible drop in time! He is signed up for the Hy-Vee Olympic distance triathlon in mid-June and I can't wait to see how much more fit he is by then. These are the kind of stories that inspire me. I hope my own journey can inspire others to try to reach their own goals. It is what makes me believe I can go from losing to my wife in road races just 3 years ago to dreaming about being one of the top long course triathletes in the U.S. I watched the entire Ironman St. George race online Saturday live from Utah and during it I couldn't help but picture myself in the field fighting for a top 5 podium spot. I believe I can and will do that down the road. I have a long way to go...I'm excited to begin the rehab and start working towards my goals once again.
I want to invite anyone who is interested to a triathlon transition clinic I'll be putting on next Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf, IA. No need to bring anything. I'll be going over some of the things I do to speed from the swim to bike leg and then from the bike to run leg. Transitions are something I value and I hope others can learn a thing or two about if they attend. There is no cost for the clinic. I hope to see you there. Contact me if you want any more details. I think some of the Team Tri-Fit members are planning to run afterwards although I don't think I'll have the green light to chase after them quite yet. They would welcome anyone on the run whether you are a member or not. I'll post a quick update of what the doctor says either tomorrow or Tuesday. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

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