Monday, July 18, 2011
The Beauty & Agony of the Tour (Part 1)
A big thanks for all the well wishes, messages, tweets, emails and postings of support and concern. It’s helpful with the healing process when you know that people care about you and are willing to openly express their empathy for you. I’ve always felt fortunate to have such cool fans and that feeling becomes even more meaningful when things suddenly go south.
I haven’t been silent on purpose. From the moment I hit the ground on Stage 9 my life has been a dizzying blur: my body, bruised and painful, my mind scattered and restless, and my mood, alternating, seemingly on its own, between extreme calm and utter surliness.
I’m back in LA now, planning to see a specialist who will examine my left knee and right hand. I had x-rays taken in France but I need a new evaluation by a highly respected US specialist. I can tell you that reports of my wrist being fractured were not accurate. I may have broken a bone in my hand and I hit my knee so hard in the crash that I could not recognize it shortly afterward as it ballooned up to grotesque proportions.
Heading into the Tour I was full of energy, excitement and purpose. I was more thrilled to be there than maybe during any other year prior. My body felt fantastic and the team was ready to do some good work.More importantly, I was ready to do some great work for the team. The last thing I expected, or certainly wanted, was to be updating my site like this. But this is racing. Cycling is both a beautiful and dangerous sport and the truth is, I’m incredibly lucky, lucky to have had a great first week, and lucky to be even updating you today. There are a hundred ways in which my crash could have ended much worse than it did and when my mind travels back to the mental replay of my impact I feel a great sense of relief and gratitude (with a bit of a cold sweat mixed in).
I’ll gladly take you through some of my experiences of that first week, including the amazing Team Time Trial, Thor in Yellow and my accident. It was such a rewarding start to the Tour (except for the accident, of course). But I’ll have to do it in parts. I truly appreciate your patience in hearing from me, your kindness and support, and your understanding here.