Normally my blog covers racing and simple things like turning the pedals and flowing down single track in the woods…but this post will be a bit different.
For the last year things in my personal life have become a little fragile if not bordering on insane. I have not said anything on facebook or my blog, but I think it is time to vent and share. Everything started a year back when a man I consider my god father chose to leave the earth with little warning and way too soon. He is my best friend’s father and this devastated my family and friends. If you know me then you know my best friend is my family, just like blood and has been since day one. Weeks after this event I almost lost my father to emphysema. During my father’s recovery we discovered a lump in my mother’s lungs that was diagnosed as lung cancer. The hits continued to come when I found out my brother had an issue with his heart and had to have open heart surgery to correct some life threatening issues. My family is my rock, my true north and I almost lost everyone in a matter of months. This sent me into a downward spiral, but I always told myself I would be strong and face this shit without fear and deal with it. I have always had my family to lean on and with that support I could handle anything. For the first time in my life I am scared. I am only saying this for two reasons. Number 1, so I can read the words myself and Number 2 so I can tell you what I have learned from this chapter in my life.
Fast-forward to two weeks ago. I hit rock bottom with stress and feeling sorry for myself and I want to tell you about it. The funny thing is when I was younger, or really up until this point in my life I never really understood what it was like to feel unhappy. Sure, I had days of sadness and days of stress but I was always happy at my core. Why? I could never tell you why until now and it is all because of the people around me that love me and the people I love back. My family, my friends, my dogs and if you are reading this most likely you. Back to my pity party for a second. For the last two weeks I can honestly tell you that I have been in a low, dark place. I have not called my friends back. I have not answered text messages and returning email was out of the question. I have never felt so low in my entire life and for the first time I wanted to feel this sadness if that makes any sense. I took it all in. I have not been on my bike in almost two weeks and if you know me that means business.
During this time of funk my sweet mother could tell something was wrong with me. I tried to be strong, hide everything from her but she knows her son. My Mother would text me every day, call me and was actually supporting ME every day… all while she was battling cancer, having chemo and getting radiation shot into her head without a single complaint. I can’t tell you what it feels like to have your mother go through something like this, but I am sure you can imagine. If you know me then you know my Mom. It is that simple. That is how close I am to her and how important she and my father are to me.
Back to my pitty party.... I have been stressed, not eating, not riding and not being good to anyone in my life and feeling so sorry for myself. How could this be happening to me? Who did I piss off? Bla bla bla.
I got a call from my Mom a day ago with nothing in her voice but concern. She was worried about me. We talked for a while and I realized a few things. They hit me like a bolt of lightning. First thing, My Mom is my hero . If I could live a million years I hope I can be half the person she is. This lady is so selfless and so strong it blows me away. She said point blank I WILL NOT LOSE THIS FIGHT, IT WILL NOT GET ME DOWN AND I AM GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE. I WILL WIN. I listened to her talk for 30 minutes. She amazed me and defined to me right then and there what human spirit was all about. By example she showed me how I want to be. Screw everything I have learned about honor, valor and the fabled stories I have read in books about heroes. I am watching it happen in front of me and I see a true hero. She shook me to my core and I was so proud to not only be her son, but just to know her. It was one of those moments I am sure this blog and my words can’t express but it changed my life forever. For the better.
Back to my pity party…..
I woke up this morning with my Mother on my mind. I walked outside thinking about her and looked at the sun. It was amazing how pretty everything looked, how good everything smelled and how good everything felt. It was a familiar happy feeling but I didn’t know where it was coming from until I realized what was going on….The pity party had ended. I was done feeling sorry for myself. It is really strange, almost unexplainable but everything I did felt like it was new and fresh…. Like a do-over. I am a changed man with a second chance.
I smiled. I listened to music, I danced and I thought about my Mom and danced again. She does not let the things she can’t control get her down. She fights, that is what she does. She understands the importance of the moment, she understands how important NOW is. She loves her family and I love her.
So… As I face tomorrow I am excited about what i have learned. I am excited to not let things I can’t control get me down. I am excited to live in the moment, and I mean really LIVE. I am excited to truly understand how important NOW is and most importantly I am ready to FIGHT. Fight the day, just like my hero Sandra K Russell does. Because of her I know everything will be all right. My guard is down, my heart is open, and so far everything I see is really really beautiful.
I love you Mom.