I seem to have fallen into the rhythm of a social commentary or introspective thoughts every 5 or 6 posts.... I suspect that makes it time for one of them.
All I remember is the grill of the car seemed HUGE as I was catapulted over my bars and onto the ground... I vaguely, through a cloud of pain and cognitive disorientation, recall an off duty fireman and doctor stopping to help. As the sounds of the ambulance siren grew nearer, I heard them both agreeing I seemed to be pretty lucky.
One second earlier and I would be around to write this post.
One second later and I wouldn't even think to write this post.
"A second here, a second there..." I heard them say to each other, referring to the difference in timing of the car nicking me and taking me completely out.
This weekend is Ironman Arizona - meaning this time last year I was swimming my way through 2000 other racers in 2.4 miles of murky, windswept waters; biking 112 miles through 30mph headwinds, tailwinds and sidewinds (while avoiding the odd tumbleweed); and running my way over 26.2 miles of hot, cactus sprinkled desert. While I didn't set a personal best or hit my race plan of a 12.5 hour finish time, I still held my own and was able to walk back to the hotel with my gear in had and pack for my flight the next day. A relative success in my books.
As I wrote a few months ago, I am still hanging out with physiotherapists and other rehab specialists a few times a week. However, last week an informal milestone came - they gave me the OK to try and ride my bike again. To say I was totally stoked was an understatement. I unpacked my dust covered gear and headed out the next day for a 25 minute ride on the sunny, scenic roads. With wind sweeping over my body and the ground passing under me with a sub-sonic speed averaging 10kph below my accustomed race pace, I finished completely exhausted, in pain and in need of serious physical therapy ... but for those 25 minutes the worries of life melted away, making it all worthwhile.
The culmination of Ironman happening this weekend and my first ride since my accident made me ponder both what a difference a second makes, and what an impact it makes in the direction of one's year. I think if I had have know what was in store at that last Ironman I would have savored the moment a little more. I would have thanked a few extra volunteers. I would have chalked a few extra signs onto the roadways. I would have taken more time to enjoy the SPAM that my friend Chris put in my special needs bag. You know, the little things.
In fact, one year later the SPAM is still sitting in my gear bag.
A second here, a second there.
I think I'll dig the SPAM out and have a celebratory dinner for being on the right side of that second. Then I'm going to go tune up my Cervelo P3 for the coming summer days... Biking and SPAM, who'd ever thought.