Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Game Changer

Since the accident I've struggled to ride my bike. It's been for a variety of reasons, from available time, to heat, to "fear"... I hate to use the word fear because I'm not really afraid of anything. But in this case, fear is my friend. Someone I've recently spoken to, who races, said to me that an accident is a "game changer" for anyone who races or rides seriously. He was right... but my accident wasn't just some bumps and bruises, it was a head injury and sustained eye damage.

As someone who lives alone and supports myself I have to be realistic... a word I like to swap for fear. I live in Dallas, TX... one of the most cycling unfriendly places in the US. A co-worker had a serious accident recently and needed care-flight to the hospital for a broken femur. You know what she said? "I'm just glad I didn't have a head injury"... and she's already back to work limping. What caused her accident? A guy who saw a garage sale sign and was so excited he turned right into her crossing an intersection.

I've been seriously searching for jobs outside of Dallas and will likely get an offer within 6 months. I'm hoping that wherever I go I can bike to work and feel "safer" biking in general. Cycling had become important to me and when people speak to me they say my passion is obvious and serious... so why am I struggling to get on the bike and go anywhere? Why am I finding any excuse not to ride?

This weekend is of particular heartache for me, it's the HHH event... I did the event for the last couple of years and planned on doing the 60 mile to time myself and enjoy the beers. Instead, I lost my host family and didn't get any training in. Mostly due to injuries and my head and eyes... it still pains me to see other's posting about it and I didn't go.

Many people have had accidents and I believe all of us deal with them differently. Another friend was taken out by a runner on a trail (who didn't even stop) and broke his hip. He told me "I wouldn't have made it if it wasn't for her"... his significant other who took care of him. That's another issue for me, I'm alone. I had to have my groceries delivered and couldn't leave the house, how lucky was I to have that option?

What does one do when their surroundings provides a near miss on a regular basis? How do you move past the worry that you'll end up dead.. or worse (yes worse). I have to be more cautious now because of the number of head injuries I've suffered. Not to mention the 10 lbs I put on and how completely out of shape I am!

I have some time off coming and it looks like temps will still be around 100, but I'm going to toss the bike in the car and try to find a place I feel safer to ride... Fort Worth has some amazing trails I'd love to explore... During weekdays they should be empty? I feel like a schizophrenic the way my mind fights with itself, all the various voices telling me to ride, or don't ride... I'm hoping a change of scenery will help push those voices away.

I'm hoping I can move past this and put it all behind me. It's been 7 months now and it still seems to fresh in my mind... clearly he was right, a serious accident is a Game Changer...