This isn’t meant to be a political post. However, to set the tone, I will reference the election in the first paragraph. Feel free to skip ahead if you’ve had enough of that already.
The best word that I can summon to summarize the few days of election aftermath is disappointment. Disappointment that half the population didn’t show up to the polls to express their opinion. The Disappointment of the Hillary supporters at the election results and the implications of the vote. The Disappointment of the Republican voters who felt the social backlash from many of their close friends and were in essence called racists, bigots, xenophobes because they voted with a party position that they are aligned with, regardless of the individual at the helm. The Disappointment of the 3rd party voters whose beliefs were marginalized in the aftermath, being told they threw their vote away. The MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT (actually, disgust is probably more appropriate here) in the amount of uncivilized behavior and harassment that came out of the woodwork after the election.
By Friday, I was ready for a mental break. It was Veteran’s day and I was hoping to enjoy a nice mountain bike ride with my son, exploring some trails that are new to us with a group of people who like to ride mountain bikes. We had been tapering Stephen for the weekend, the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross (MAC) series finale. He finally shook that lingering cough and was feeling really good. He stood in 3rd place in the series with the possibility of catching 2nd, and also moving up to 2nd in the juniors series.
However, life had other plans for us. Due to a freak happening on the bike, Stephen sustained a trauma to his cheek while riding. The immediately obvious part was a cut both on the outside and inside of his cheek, but we didn’t know what caused it. It must have been quite an impact (stick, rock getting kicked up) and resulted in pinching his cheek and possible salivary duct. His face swelled and continued swelling. We headed into urgent care. Not once, but twice. And finally, the realization that he wouldn’t be able to race on Saturday. He had been given Prednisone to manage the swelling response. That is on the WADA list of banned substances. While it is possible to submit for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption in cases of Acute or Emergency treatment, he was not going to be in shape to race without significant pain and further injury.
This photo is Saturday, after the swelling had reduced SIGNIFICANTLY from Friday night in Urgent Care.
He was disappointed. I was devastated. With all of the events of the election/aftermath that are completely outside of my control, it felt like I, as a mom/coach, should be able to deliver my child to his goal race of November in good shape to race. But yet, freak accidents happen. I know my job isn’t to protect my child from disappointment. That’s life. Sheltering your children doesn’t prepare them for the future. But, this week? Of all weeks, when it would have been really nice for something to actually go as planned and have cause for celebration! AAARGHHHH!
So we vegetated on the couch most of the day Saturday. His swelling did improve throughout the day with continued application of ice and some Ibuprofen. We finally got out for a short bike ride on our Single Speed cross bikes.
The silver lining on Saturday was receiving the emailed results from the race Stephen missed. He clearly wasn’t able to move into 2nd place, since he wasn’t there to race and accumulate points. However, the one person that could have taken 3rd place from him was a DNF in the race. I don’t know what happened to him, and hope that he is okay, but it was really nice to be able to tell Stephen he retained his 3rd place in the MAC Men’s Cat 4/5 series and have a teammate pick up his medal and certificate for him.
On Sunday Stephen felt well enough to get out of the house and attend Sly Fox Cyclocross. That is a really fun race at the grounds of a local craft brewery. It is a fairly technical mountain bike-y type course. We cheered for Stephen’s friends in the Cat 3/4 race and then both Stephen and I lined up for the Single Speed race, the final race of the day. It was his first time racing with only one gear and we weren’t really sure how he would feel with the antibiotics in his system so we went in with no expectations. As it turned out he raced really well – took 5th out of 32 with some pretty serious competition in the field. I don’t have any race pics yet, just the podium photo with poor lighting because it was dark by the time they did podium presentation.
Despite the disappointment that plagued us this week, we were able to find the positive and get out of the house and enjoy things we love to do with some amazing people. And I’m thinking this bubble wrap race kit might be the perfect Christmas present to keep Stephen safe (don’t I wish it were that simple)
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