LIVE A LITTLE, DREAM, IT IS POSSIBLE… CERTAINLY NOT EASY, BUT POSSIBLE, and you never know who may be watching.
I’ve certainly heard a lot of negative buzz around me as well as some of my friends and runners lately. "Why bother finishing." "Why even try." "You have a daughter don't you think mountain biking is a little dangerous for a mom."
I’ll tell you what I told them, those bleak people live in fear. They are the ones who gave up on their dreams, their goals, they settled and have nothing better to do than put down others who are hunting down their dreams. They stopped growing, they make excuses, and I bet, they will never truly be happy.
So for those of us who like to take the bull by the horns, let’s continue our drive, and maybe we can inspire some others along the way.
April 2017- just a few weeks after I completed my first mountain bike race and broke some barriers running 40 miles with my busted hips, I was entered into the pro division of Whiskey Row MTB Prescott AZ. I typically don’t get nervous, but fighting a cold as an inexperienced pro was going to be tough. The field was stacked more than any race I’ve ever run. World and National Champions, Olympians, you name it, they were there. The first day was a pro criteria ride. One where you change out your mtb tires for road tires and ride crazy fast in circles for a few miles. Expectedly, I kind of got my butt kicked, but I didn’t finish last! 5th from last to be exact which wasn’t too bad in that high caliber of a field. I only hoped that would be the case for the 50 miles of mtb too!
Nervously approaching the starting line, I made the biggest rookie mistake ever…I forgot I was clipped in and fell over. Oh yeah, in front of EVERYONE!!! I could only laugh at myself 😊 Got back up and went out like a rock star with all the talented ladies. The course was unforgiving as I rode with too much air pressure in my tires (this can be a tricky thing for those of you who don’t know, it changes with courses so sometimes it’s hard to lock in!). Staying ahead of several ladies, I tried to regain composure. Just when I thought I was there, I went up a steep, short, technical climb, only to realize I didn’t make it all the way up and I was laying on the ground off the side of a cliff with my handle bar stuck in my chest. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk, the pain was intense, and I wasn’t really sure what the heck just happened. A few riders stopped in a panic not knowing what to do. They wouldn’t leave me and were about to yell for help but with one good gasp I shouted “NO!… I’m good, or at least I will be, just go ahead, really, go!”
As their tires sailed up and over rocks and roots, I regained poise and put myself back on my bike. Damn, I thought, Maggie (a friend) is never going to believe this! Stupid bad luck, I’m injured again. Well, maybe I can ride it out, I’m not turning around, I’m making it to Maya and Wyatt (the half way point at least!). Barely able to grasp my left handle bar, I made my way slowly over some descending stairs, into a rocky ravine, and pushed through 10 more miles.
I could tell by Wyatt’s body language that he was not sure what to expect. I mumbled “I think I broke my ribs,” as I slowly unzipped my jersey. Yup there they were, red, swollen, and black and blue (I refrained from looking earlier for fear one would be totally sticking out of my skin!). Shoot, “well” I said to the aid station, “am I in last? I must be, it seems like I was moving pretty slow.” Nope, you actually have a few ladies behind you… “really?!” I exclaimed, do you think I could keep going?
Ummm No. said the course official. Once medical gets here and they clear you than maybe, but those don’t look good and you could have punctured and organ. My heart sank, I didn’t even think that it could be that serious. Just some broken ribs! Medical soon arrived with no hope to let me continue and I was off to the emergency room.
3 broken ribs, almost complete breaks showed up on the x-ray back at home 3 weeks later. Why the delay, well we did go to the ER, apparently the doctor there needs to go back to school. She couldn’t’ find some of my organs, couldn’t read the x-ray and most of her results were inconclusive. So of course I went to my guys up at CU Boulder (shout out to Dr. Glowney who confirmed and very easily showed me how evident the broken ribs were as well as double checked my organs 😊)
It only took a day of being back home for me to realize my adventurous spirit isn’t just for me. I picked my 2 year old daughter up from daycare school and walked in as she was telling her class how I fell off my bike, hurt myself, but got back up and rode some more. A lesson she voiced several times after that too. So if it took 3 broken ribs for my daughter to learn to get back up if you fall down at the early age of 2, then it was totally worth it!
Fast forward to now. In the past few months, coaching, some training and bike racing, home improvements, vacation, and family fun have kept me slammed. Although sick again with a sinus infection (yeah really again :(!!!) I was able to ride my way to 7th place at the Bailey Hundo Mtb. I ultimately enjoyed the Bailey Hundo (despite the ridiculous amount of snot coming out my nose!)… and would recommend it to anyone!
GO TIME!!! Although I’m still struggling with hip pain, I’m giving RRR 100 a go. I will make one stop in Leadville for the 100 mile mtb race along the way as well as enjoy some time with campers at Rugged Running The Camp! Bunnies Beware!
Live a little!
Major thanks too:
My sponsors- Ultimate Direction, Eldorado Springs Water, Icespike, Raw Revolution Bars, Juliana Bikes.
CU Boulder Sports Medicine Peeps
Jing- Massage to Health
Dr. Rodgers – Colorado Spine and Sport
Dr. Mark- Back and Joint Clinic