Saturday, January 28, 2006

Set back or Opportunity

Every set back is an opportunity in disguise right? That’s what I always say, that’s what I preach to my clients, and that’s what I practice. Always. However sitting here the day after surgery on a hernia I am finding the “opportunity” is difficult to find. However I will find it and I will be sure to let you know. Lets back up. Yes I had a Hernia. Not a bad one. It didn’t really hurt. But I could tell what it was and that it wasn’t good. It got worse, slowly. But it was enough for me to make some quick doctor apt. to confirm my condition. I saw the surgeon, he answered my questions. Then asked me.” So, when would you like to do this?” “ I’m free right now.” I said. I wanted this over with. Its almost Feb. and I have no time to be laid up on pain killers. So 3 days later I was lying on a table in a very scary room with 3 doctors and 1 surgeon. “hey eric, what do you do for work? so have you done that caner fund raising ride in blah blah?” have you blah blah blah…” ”hey” I say with confusion, “ did you already put some medicine in my IV?” “yup I did Eric how are y&^%$*” the next thing I know I am sitting up right with my mother and the surgeon talking about something irrelevant, feeling like I just got kicked in the gut 100 times. I tock it upon my self to shave before surgery. Hope they liked that? They say a hernia operation is as minor and routine as you can get. Well I say putting drugs directly into your blood stream that one make you black out immediately, not feel needles of Novocain being pumped into your leg and abs and make you not remember anything, even when I was supposedly wide awake! Not minor. Not routine. Basically some woman who I don’t even know had my life literally at her finger tips. Forget to carry the 1 in her equation, done. Sweat dreams EK. Ok enough drama I’m soar, I passed out this morning walking around the house. I’ll live. The nurse asked me if I was nervous or scared. I paused long. Looked up and said “a friend of mine is beating breast cancer right now. She had months of chemo, 2 surgery’s and radiation. I have no right to be either!”
My training: I needed a rest anyway. Last week was solid. The weekend long and I felt strong. I figure I could use 4 days off or so to begin with. I am hoping I can starting riding, EASY, on the trainer after 7-9 days. After that I will have to be conservative and build into it. I am hoping to heal fast. I’m fit I’m young, I can do it. Stay posted. For now the training journal will be filled with stuff like 10’ walk! Gona try and knock one of those out now.
stay strong.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


I love Vermont. Its a great place. Every time I have been there the weather has been perfect, good food and great people seem to follow me around. I love it there. This weekend was no different except in the case of the weather. A large group of us went up to the Warren, Waitsfield area, home of the great Green Mt. stage race, for some skiing. Both down hill and x-country, But I also brought running shoes and a Mt. bike. This way I covered all of the possible scenarios of weather conditions and would enable me to get in some kind of workout.
Well, with 50 degrees and rain on sat. followed by 5 degrees and snow on Sunday the training was not for the faint of heart. Friday started of with a strange sort of water polo for an hour or so which completely wore me out. after that I headed out on the bike and climbed app gap. (the prologue side) for those of you familiar with the race. It wasn't any easier with the Mt. bike gearing. After an hour or so I meet up with my friends at the local health club, which has an indoor rock wall. I soon discovered that most of my climbing skills were still there but that strange power and endurance that used to allow me to hang on my arms for an hour or more was gone. Completely. So after a few grunts yelling at each other, and some good laughs we called it quits for the day.
We did some more yelling at the TV as the Patriots decided not to show up for a playoff game. That sucked! but they had a rough season. Next year.
Sunday we awoke to temps in the negative, snow and winds around 30 MPH. Perfect! I thought. After discovering that all the x-country places were closed because there was more ice than snow I drank a few more cups of coffee and headed out on the Mt. bike again. Riding up app gap and Mt. Ellen was even harder than yesterday, but I plowed on. The cars were nice, always giving me enough room. I got a few thumbs up and looks from people that said "you crazy mother f*&%*!!!
It wasn't long before my feet were numb and my legs burned with fatigue from riding up hill in the snow on an old Mt. bike.
What a weekend! Not ideal, just trying to make the best of what I got. My arms still hurt.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The "jacket" and a little snow

Yesterday I had a nice ride with Joe my teammate. we did a solid 3 hr's keeping the pace honest as Joe always does. as we came to the end of the ride i stopped by his place, he lives 2 miles away or so, and he gave me a team winter jacket. i was asked to be on his team over the early winter months. I won't mention the name yet due to certain reasons which you will soon find out. anyway its a pretty good semi pro team. and I was really honored to be asked to the team. it's an honor to be asked on any team. you remember the feeling when you got picked for a team in gym class, right? whether you were picked first or last you felt needed and wanted for at least that one moment. we stop and Joe gives me this jacket. "cool, thanks man" i said and I was off. the jacket it self is, well... poorly designed. thermal jacket like with wind proof nylon. sounds nice ehh. warm. well the pocket sucks. one zippered pocket. I find any thing in there. also the back is... not so insulated. and then, get this, the sleeves have no insulation, zero?! who the hell designed this thing!? what ever it's free and in team colors. And I am thankful for all my possesions so I’m happy. so I through this thing on and head home. after about 2 minutes i start to have this feeling of power and accomplishment come over me.

When I was in college I was on the crew team. a very small program we had, but tradition was already becoming engrained. there is an old tradition in rowing that you don't get a jacket for being on the team. One had to earn there jacket. the traditional rowing jacket is no fashion statement either but we wont get into that. earning this jacket varies from school to school, region to region but one thing is for sure earning anything from guys who are 6'4" and carved out of wood is no small thing. There is a whole other story here, a book really, but on the last day of practice I dragged my tired, beat up freshman ass down to our shack of a boat house. I walked in the door and all the senior guys were there. they all stopped and looked over at me. standing like red wood tree's all in there matching maroon and black crew jackets (I’m 5'10" by the by) Brian, the captain of the team, walked forward "hey EK" he troughs a jacket at me, "I found your jacket... long pause, you've earned it". the felling I got that day is one I will never forget, ever.

so back to today. I’m riding home and this whole story comes into my head. Shivers run through my body and I realize that although not in the same dramatic way, this event had just happened again. I went home changed some layers around on my upper body and went out for another 2 hr's. with, of course, the jacket on. I never felt so good. Thoughts of leading out my teammates up that last climb to the finish of the Jiminy Peak RR floated through my head. my pace would quicken. I would settle down after a bit but not for long. Another race and another scenario would pop into my head. I never felt so good. Today was the same. By my self, I woke up to snow. By after a slow morning I got out there, again with the jacket, by my self enjoying my health, the beauty and like my grand father taught me enjoying everything I have. I never felt so good.