Gushing with Gratitude

You may have noticed that things look different around here. The long-overdue, huge design improvement of my masthead came from my college roommate Winter. I knew I wanted to have a race number Photoshopped with “623 Tries.” I did not expect her to grab my waist from a race pic from last year’s Oceanside. Suffice it to say, I was thrilled with her creative solution. And it made me feel like an athlete again. Winter and I have been through a lot together, including a semester in London.

Another huge thanks to Sandy for advising me to bulk up and hydrate the days prior to surgery, so I could better tolerate the anesthesia and drugs. And offering to be my backup loved one at the hospital if my sister or 734’s Dad couldn’t come through. That meant a lot too.

I love my sister, but poor Jane can’t stand the sight of blood. She’s the one that needed to be revived whenever she took her sons in for an assortment of skateboarding, little league or soccer fiascos. So I didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on her. In fact, I discovered the other day that rehab is tough on her too. She had to glue her eyes on Vogue magazine while I received electrical stimulation on my leg. The day after my surgery, she relieved 734’s Dad and came over with her homemade egg salad lunch. We watched a Doris Day movie “Teacher’s Pet” in bed and laughed our heads off.
Fortunately 734’s Dad was a rock and took great care of me before and after the surgery. He even brought a camera to record everything. More later.

In the days leading up to the surgery, my workout buddies showed their support and for that I am truly grateful. Coach Beth invited me to her swim clinic on Thursday, even though I’ve been AWAL for the past couple of months. I had a couple of ah-ha moments, so I’m psyched about adding more power to my stroke this year.

Stacey met me at the pool for a swim on Friday, took me out for a nice dinner, and handed me a present to open after my surgery. She made me laugh with Hello Kitty band-aids all over the box, which she gives to her college track star son Trent when he gets any boo-boos doing the high hurdles. (Her husband provided the best race comment ever during my first Olympic tri when I apologized for being so slow at T2, he said, “That’s okay, I’ll take looks over speed any day!”)

Kristen and Ryan met me for brunch that weekend too – after their long trail run. It was great to see them and think about what will come after the surgery. I had a little apprehension about anesthesia since my mom was never the same after her last operation. Kristen reminded me that Mom had been suffering from a serious lung condition too and that’s probably what did it. Ryan and I had fun reflecting on how we met almost a year ago mountain biking – and how life-changing triathlon can be. They both offered to check in on me after surgery or run any errands I might need. Wow!

And finally, my dear friend Sue – the only woman I know who likes sports more than me. She’s the person I can talk to about Red Sox trades and Laker’s plays without boring her to tears. The wiser one I can turn to for advice. For years she joked, “I’m your West Coast mom.” When my mom passed, she never said that out loud to me again probably thinking it might sound insensitive. But she is indeed. The morning of my surgery, she showed up with homemade turkey soup with the broth separated from the rest of the ingredients in case I was woozy. Plus, homemade chicken parmesan, salad, and veggies. Three days later she showed up with roast chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, and yams. Where would I be without her? By now, I expected to be ordering take-out. Sue is shy about pictures, but check out this care package!

I'm also grateful to the other bloggers out there who offered words of encouragement the past few months: Tri-Boomer, Benson, Fe-Lady, Beth, and Tawnee. They know what it's like to come back from injuries and they give me hope that I'll be able to do the same in due time.

This week was a great reminder that we'll all get by with the help of our family and friends. We can all lean on each other. Now it's my turn to return the favor. Well, not right it's back to elevating my leg and a Vicadin.