It was a morning just like any other weekday morning. I was on my way downstairs to make a cup of coffee and start my work day back upstairs in my home office. Louie the Supercat was already crunching some kibble, fueling up for a busy day sitting in my office windowsill and staring at me while I read story ideas aloud.
I’d grabbed an empty cup from my desk. I was barefoot. It was 6:30 a.m. It was going to be a productive day and week. I was delighted to have a bit of a break in my hectic travel schedule and had a to-do list that felt empowering.
I took one step … and then it all literally crashed down on me. I don’t know what happened, but I fell – forward, and down about 12 steps, rolling and bending (my left leg in a way that horrified me). As I fell I thought “this is going to end badly.” When I finally crashed down on the hardwood floor at the base of the stairs, I was hysterical.
Afraid to look at my legs, I sobbed for moment and then sucked it up and looked, cringing, expecting to see my left leg jutting out in some terrible way. I looked. It was okay. Well, clearly bones were broken, but it was okay.
Two things came to mind immediately. First: I need to get to a phone and call for help. But second, and almost as quickly, came this: This cannot be happening. I have to ride to cure. I have to ride to cure.
Today, five-plus weeks later, I’m closer to healed. Thanks to #dasBoot and finally figuring out I needed to rest, my three broken bones in my foot and one in my ankle seem to be coming around. I see the doctor in a couple of hours and am hoping to get approved for hard-core PT which I hope will get me back on my bike in weeks.
I tell you this because this experience has taught me a lot about what is important to me, what makes me tick, and what I want to focus on in my life.
You see, I have a pretty awesome life. I LOVE my job. I get to travel to amazing places, do really cool things and meet wicked inspiring people. I enjoy – make that savor—the process of my daily work of reporting and writing about such things. I play tennis with fun women and love it. I work out with an excellent trainer and I love my yoga. Yeah, I’m lucky.
And of all those things I care about that were put at temporary risk for missing out on, the one thing that ate away at me was working toward my JDRF Ride effort. The idea of not riding was simply one I could not accept. I know, my friends care and would donate even if a break stopped me. But I honestly feel I must earn their donations, and riding is how I do it.
Two weeks ago, I made a huge decision and sacrifice to be more sure I’ll be able to ride in August. (That’s my first ride with Lauren riding by my side. How can I NOT??) I’d been all set to head to Ireland on a work assignment. I’d spent 10 days traveling and doing things like learning to be a shepherd, learning to surf in the cooler Irish waters, hiking a mountain and more. When I first fell, I thought: Oh, that’s far away. I’ll be fine. But as time ticked away (and honestly after I overdid it on my leg in #dasBoot) I realized I had a hard decision to make.
Could I go to Ireland and punt, holding back a bit? Sure. But it would not be the best way to report the feature story. Could I ask to do the trip less active? Yes, but no matter how less active an active trip like that was, it would set me back in healing.
And that would mean I probably could not ride in August. So in the middle of July, when I would have been doing all those amazing things in Ireland, I will instead be slowly working my way back to being able to pedal a bike.
Or to say it more precisely: I’ll be slowly working my way back to pushing forward research to cure my daughter of Type 1 Diabetes.
That’s how important all this is to me. When I say this is my goal in life, I mean it. No fall, no broken limb, no #dasBoot is going to stop me.
I tell you this today because I know I ask so much of friends. And I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate you. I will always honor every donation, and always insist I push myself to make myself worthy of them.
I hope today I get good news. And I hope today you’ll consider maybe reaching deep and donating to my Ride this year. I am pushing through to change the future. Can you help me make that happen?
I was so lucky to only have the injuries I had at the bottom of those stairs. Someone was looking out for me. I am hoping someone reads this today and wants to look out for a cure for diabetes as well.
Here’s my link: