Inspiration Comes When You Least Expect It

It has now been over six weeks of recovery, and my next visit with the doctor (and probably X-Ray) will be Monday. This week, the hip has shown some improvement. I was going to write about my progress, but I’ll save that for another day. I’d rather share a couple things that have inspired me.

The greatest inspiration this week came from Wayne, a regular blog reader since nearly the beginning. He and I have met once, and corresponded over email a few times over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, he suffered a severe accident early last year.

Actually, severe is an understatement. His accident was devestating. He spent 1.5 months in the ICU, and another month learning to walk again. While he was in the hospital, he mentally committed himself to getting back on the bike.

Nearly a year later, he is back on the bike again.

I may be injured, but what I’m dealing with is nothing compared to the obstacles Wayne has had to fight with over the last year. He generously shared some words of wisdom in the comments of my Haute Route withdrawal post.

“I would suggest that you don’t forget why most of us start and still ride.”

I’m with Wayne there. While for me it is partly about the fitness and wellness, it is also about being outdoors, getting in tune with nature.

“Be sure to smell the roses or wildflowers as they drift by on the side of the road. Be careful about always having your head down trying to muscle your way up ever bigger hills unless the race is what you seek. I like climbing the hills also, but I like stopping at the top of the hill to survey the world from the top of the hill where I’m standing.”

I can get behind this statement completely. Part of the thrill of climbing hills is seeing the world below your feet. I’ll never forget the spectacular views from when I was on top of Mount Evans, feeling as though I was walking on the clouds with the mountainous heavens below me.

Wayne is now back on the bike, and just recently rode from a few miles inside Fort Jackson. To most of us seasoned cyclists, this wasn’t a ride for the ages, but for Wayne, there could not have been anything more satisfying.

“You could have wrapped my grin around both ears, it was so big.”

Keep on pedaling, Wayne. And make sure you keep in touch.

The other story that inspired me came from Robert Armstrong, aka Coach Rob, and the Vicious Cycle Team Leader. As you know, I recently dropped from the team due to injury, but I have gotten to know Rob and the others during this process.

When discussing training, we had talked about some of his success stories. One of them was Peter LeClaire, a guy who had found himself with a few extra pounds more than he had intended. Rob just recently posted a blog post with Peter’s reflection of his transition. He set a goal of riding in the Etape du Tour (pretty much a single TdF stage event). Not only did he succeed in his goal, but once he shed the excess weight, he kept going and transformed into a beast. Just looking at the pictures that Rob shared are awe-inspiring. Way to go, Peter!

These two tidbits of inspiration have different messages, but both apply to me, and they put this little hiccup in perspective. Sure, I’ve been off the bike for a number of weeks, which has been annoying and uncomfortable. I’ve had to deal with my share of pain, but it has mostly passed, and I will continue to get better. Nothing I’ve had to deal with compares to the recovery that Wayne has made from his accident. The fact that he kept going is, frankly, awesome.

Peter, on the other hand, assures me that no matter what fitness I lose and weight I regain, there is still hope for me to become that tiger again. With some focus and determination, it’s amazing what a person can accomplish.

Thanks for sharing the stories, guys!


6 responses to “Inspiration Comes When You Least Expect It

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