Friday, August 27, 2010

Scars Are Souvenirs You Never Lose...

As you can see I've taken almost a month off from the blog. I normally commit to trying to update about every week, but as of late I have made a decision to not be so open about my weekly happenings. I won't expand on that much here, but let me just say that I have decided to keep the blog a little more regular again. I was going to go completely in my shell after having some negativity out there towards me, but I also have found a large (and surprising) response to continue the updates from people who enjoy the blog. I've decided to not quit being who I am for those who don't understand or believe in me, but rather continue being who God wants me to be for those who do believe in me. It would be much easier to go and hide under a rock and let the naysayers get the best of me, but there are so many more people who want to sit on top of the rock with me and enjoy God's creation, that I'm willing to sit up there and risk getting pushed off the rock. That said, the great majority of people who read this blog should not read into that personally as being one of those negative people, but if you are, please don't think my blog and social networking posts en capsule all of who I am. Nor should we as a society think this about anyone's posts for that matter. While my direction and faith are standards in my blog; I also mostly limit this to a hobbie of mine: cycling. I have many other aspects of my life that are so very important to me and don't forget that this is a small window into my life as a whole. Nuff said!
Moving on:
Let me do a quick run down of the past few weeks:
I did my first race back after surgery on a blazing hot day about 4 weeks post-op. Looking back, this was amazing in itself to be able to accomplish so soon when most people would still be off of work. I won the race since I was the only gal in my cat, but it wasn't really about who I beat, it was a major victory for me and I was very proud of overcoming another obstacle. I won't say it felt good, but it felt good to go fast again.
Next, I was very tickled to wrap up the DINO series overall title after taking 2nd place at the France Park race. This was a goal of mine as a warm up for cross season and even though its not my main focus, I was stoked to be able to take the series after needing to recover from a major surgery in the winter and another one mid- season. It was also a nice weekend to spend some time with my sister. We took the RV and spent a few days camping and swimming in the rock quarry. My family and I had always camped when we were children, and its cool to be all grown up and camp as adults while remembering old days when we were kids. Beth and I always enjoy the France Park race to get back to these roots. We have always been human fish and as long as I can remember we have been plunged in a lake on a hot summer day ever since we were young pups. I'm pretty thankful to this day that my parents didn't raise us in cocoons and took us and did everything with us with no fear. We were given every chance to be playful, creative kids.

(My sister Beth and I hanging out before the racing gets started)
Aside from that I have decided to wind down the mtb season and now am 100% focused on cyclocross. The mtb is tucked away in the basement to rest until Iceman and the cx bikes are getting finalized for their time to get muddy. I'm pretty excited about the rig setups this year and will expand on that at another time. The cool thing about this year is that I am getting to prep for cx with running for the first time ever now that the ankle can withstand it! I was excited to run for the 1st week, taking my jogs with a smile, but now I remember why I am not a runner- its so slow. I'm thankful for it, I just don't like it like cycling. Otherwise, I have a few days where I get in 2 workouts a day and am now having no problem getting back to eating "normal" food again since the appy. Matter of fact, it makes for a constantly hungry body! I'm also happy to back working with my strength coach and training is coming along nicely after a small hiccup recently with the unexpected surgery.
I've also been thrilled to get wed night cyclocross practices going at the Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot. Josh and I spent some time coming up with and planning a pretty nice course and the shop has committed to making the venue a permanent fixture! This is very exciting and I can see some cool things happening with that someday. Thanks Tim! We had a nice turnout for the first warmup/ skills practice. I had a fun time running a little skills clinic to some newcomers and novices alike. Everyone caught on pretty quick and it was fun to see a few skills "click" for them. It's going to be a fun season!

I've also been working on loving my flaws over the past month. While I have been focusing on some of my flaws in general and looking at ways to improve myself, I have also looked at some other things I have hated about me: my scars. I know most sports people love to show off their scars, but I've never really been that way. I've always felt kinda embarrassed by them and I guess that's because I see scars as results of errors I have made. Errors I should have been perfect at and maybe avoided. But now I see those errors in sports were necessary to make me better, just like in life. Instead of waking up everyday and looking in the mirror at the collection of scars I have and seeing flaws, I am slowly learning to view them as challenges and lessons I have experienced and overcome. One of my favorite songs is by the Goo Goo Dolls- Name, where the verse goes: "scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far." Well, I have quite a collection of souvenirs and I think it is no mistake that God placed a huge one on my left ankle that I can't help but see every time I pull on a sock or shoe several times a day. That one changed my life in so many more ways than just physical aspects and I am reminded of that every single day. The song continues: "don't it make you sad to know that life is more than who you are?" I used to answer yes to that... now I am thankful to answer "NO."

"Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 / The Message)