The Light and The Dark

Mountain bike and adventure man in action.Healthy life style in outdoor

As January 1st became January 2nd, the barrage of New Year’s perspectives, prognostications and prose started to hit the blogosphere.  I was prepared for the same, polishing my start line piece with all kinds of reasons why one must invest in themselves to experience real growth. Maybe get a coach! And then something happened a week prior (yep, I just went backwards!)  to the big 2020 blog debut that shifted me to bring an experience that for all its worth, taught me an amazing lesson.

It was the Friday before New Year’s Eve and my wife and I decided that the best time to ride our bikes was when the cleaning service arrived.  Get out of the house before they put a face with the mess! And with that we were off for a somewhat leisurely 20 miler on a bike route with a paved trail, dedicated bike lanes and designated bike markers in the street.  After 20 years of cycling some pretty awesome and knee-knocking rides, we would call this the milk toast ride. 

Maybe four miles out I heard a yell and a crash, and when I looked back, my wife lay on the pavement in obvious pain, directing me to call 911 – “I’ve broken my arm!”  

And time seemed to stop.  

And the volume went to MUTE.

And I split in two, one half to her, the other to locate my phone.

9. 1. 1.

As comedian Pauly Shore once said: “Cops.  Cool show to watch. Not to be a guest on.”  And that’s what it felt like. The world showed up to watch while she yelled in pain, nervous, frightened, breathing too fast and wondering what just happened.  Me, standing by her on the phone with first response operators, directing them to a trail marker stamped in the street while willing the first responders to just get here. Don’t they see her? Don’t they hear her?  Where are you?  

And then they arrived.  The EMTs and then the “Bus.”  There was the stretcher, the discussion on where to take her, the ride, the delivery, the examination, the x-rays, and the…diagnosis.   A fracture of the top of the humerus (a very caveman-looking bone; your upper arm) and it was bad. The bone had left the top of itself, the part that sits in the socket of the shoulder, and landed along side that ‘ball’ in the shoulder.  Three days later, my wife, Deb, left the hospital with 15 pins and a rod holding her arm together and in her shoulder. WTH? All from a fall at less than 10 mph. A moment of distraction, a smidgen of focus. Life for us had changed.

Welcome to three months of recovery.  Three months. And the first two weeks already feel like three months.  Imagine not being able to use your right arm. Your WRITE arm. And you are an active person both physically, mentally, professionally.  Hello Hell.

And then came New Year’s Eve. Initially it did not feel like the most festive of days – interrupted by pain, pain management, painful physical therapy exercises, and pained memories of what happened and what is to come.  And then it hit me: we will celebrate New Year’s Eve with great intention! There is so much to be thankful for from 2019 and so much to be excited about in 2020. We reached into co-active training and materialized the Appreciator.  This is an entity, a character(istic) that resides inside each of us.  Its definition is “The one who appreciates everything, the dark and the light, wins and losses, failures and successes, without judgement.”  We were going to tap into this member of ourselves and enjoy every minute of saying goodbye to 2019 and hello 2020! And it was fabulous. It was present and it is still present.  Never before have I had the need to experience the Appreciator like I did on that New Year’s evening. 2020 is different because of all that has happened and what the accident created for us to manage in real time each day.  And it’s OK. She’s progressing and determined, and I know she will be back sooner rather than later, doing all the physical things that help define who she is, and that includes riding a bike. (For those of you who know Deb, you know this is the truth!) 

So this blog started out wanting to be about recognizing the value of coaching and self-improvement and frankly it looks like its finishing up being about recognizing the value of acknowledging all that we do and accomplish everyday because it’s the time we can control and, when we play in real-time, we can go wherever we want.  Oh yeah, and go get a coach or something…

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1 Comment

  1. Christy Erbeck on January 20, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Fantastic article and expert storytelling, Joe! I am grateful for you and Deb, and look forward to celebrating many adventures and blessings in 2020!
    ~Christy

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