I finally got some real bad news. My dad, after 2 weeks of a very sudden and massive decline is officially under the care of hospice. As we all know, that means he is in his last stage of life. So sad and so heart breaking for everyone in our family. One could argue that he will be better off and the thought of that as I write this wells me up with tears. At this point hospice has given dad 5-6 months but I am sure that the call to go back home and hold his hand while he is dieing will come within that time frame and I will be there for that no matter where I am in the country competing.
Since this news, life hasn't been an easy one that is for sure. When people start putting numbers on things such as your life, it is just wild and is a lot to take in when you actually have a number now. And to be honest, dads state did come as a surprise because he has been the least sick one out of both parents meaning that he had his massive stroke 3.5 years ago which impaired him greatly but he wasn't in and out of the hospital all the time. Well.....not as much as mom shall we say.
This news was certainly a tough pill to swallow although I knew the day would come. Upon hearing this news I struggled immediately with when I should go home and if I should go home and all the rest. I have the US National MTB Championships coming up next week and I am just starting to feel like myself again in every way....or I was. I am right in there for a podium spot or more if I can keep it together - I just know it!!! And keeping sponsors happy is a lovely thing too since this is my job!!!!
Going home now would be too hard in many ways. There is something to be said for being mentally prepared for big races and with two sick parents....there is something to be said for being ready mentally for that too. And I am ready for the first but not the latter right now. I am not ready to face the music right now and cry for as many days as I am home and then come back to Utah just in time for nationals completely beat up from not sleeping and stressing the whole time. If I thought I could control any of that I may change my mind but the fact that I have had to take sleeping pills (when in Utah!!) for the first time in my life because of the stress tells me I am not ready to go home right now. Many other reasons factored in to my decision to delay my presence in WA. It's not the same or easy anymore with both parents not driving and not at their own house anymore!! This just wasn't the time to go up there but it will be soon. Now, I must focus on the task at hand, NATIONALS in Granby, CO.
After getting the news about my dad, I still had to go train. And while doing so I was looking for anything....ANYTHING that could give me peace. And this waterway did it for me. It was beautifully bright, green and vibrant looking.....everything I was and wasn't (green and not so vibrant). : )
The next day I found a training partner, Paul, and did some serious intervals to take my mind of my life. Paul is a roadie at heart but he still decided to hit the dirt with me. He rides his mtb bike about once a year and all of his comments and questions on that day about mtb reminded me that I do know what I am doing out there. Sometimes you get so jaded riding and racing with the Top 15 women in the country (and World!!) all the time. He was a sure trooper today though and beat himself up as much as I did myself. What is wrong with us?
Paul killing it
The next day I got a kick out of this: I stopped to take a picture of these 2 huge cranes in the field.....
and when I turned around I saw this.