Monday, August 14, 2006

Control

This weekend I was reminded that just about anything can happen during a race. As much as we like to think we are in control, as most of us are control freaks, you never really know when a race is going to have your number. This idea hit home this weekend as I was watch a dozen of my teammates compete in the Turtleman Triathlon. As the morning progressed I watched each one of them go through the swim, bike, and run. Rachel, another teammate, and I were trying to do our best to get pictures of everyone as they flew by. Finally we were at the finishing line cheering as they made their way down the finisher’s chute. After Kim had finished we knew that our teammate Bridget should be next. We waited and waited until we actually saw teammate Jamie finish first. During our wait there had been a call for the medical staff about 200 yards from the finish. Unfortunately this happens from time to time, but you sometimes tune it out til there is that chance that you might know the person that needs help. I didn’t think much of it til I saw Jamie and started to really wonder why Bridget hadn’t finished. Finally I made my way towards where the call for the medical staff had been. There I did learn that in fact it was Bridget who had needed help and was currently in the ambulance. They said that her temp was 104 and that she had collapsed. Finally another ambulance came to take her to the hospital. After which the rest of us sprung into action to get all her stuff and eventually meet her at the hospital.

It was pretty frightening seeing someone you know being taken away during a race. I’m sure there are things she would have done differently to prevent this outcome, had she known, but sometimes there is nothing that can be done. For the record Bridget is doing well. They did keep her for a couple of nights, but she looked her normal cheery self yesterday when I saw her.

I guess I’m writing about this to flush out some of my own worries for this weekend. It’s not easy to tell a control freak that there is a lot that I won’t be able to control. That there is a finite list of items that I can really control and the rest is out of your hands. It’s all part of doing through the motions before a big race. You want everything to go so well, but that’s not realistic. You can prep and prepare only so much and then it’s about giving yourself up to the race itself. Hopefully your preparation will prove to best or at least match everything the course may throw at you, but your never know. In the end you have to be ok with losing and not having control of many things. This is not an easy task, but a necessary one as people prep for a big race. Having put in so much time and effort it’s hard just to throw thing up in the air and let them fall as they may. Unfortunately there are so many factors when racing that part of it has to be a crap shot. Each race we grab the dice, shake them in our hands and throw them down to the end of the table. Will we hit our numbers or will someone else hit theirs? Only after going the full length of the race will we know if we hit a bit of luck and those things that we couldn’t control were in our favor and the dice show our numbers. Sometimes they hit and sometimes they don’t. What really matters is that we stepped up to the line and said, “Let’s see what you got.”

Let the dice roll ladies and gentlemen…

2 Comments:

Blogger TriSaraTops said...

WOW--how scary. I am so glad your friend is OK. I can't even imagine how scared you and her must have been....

That's been a hard pill for me to swallow about IM...SO much is really beyond my control, and I have to just be able to adjust and deal with what the day brings me. A little nerve-wracking for this control freak, you know? ;)

8:34 PM  
Blogger TriSaraTops said...

Hey! Forgot you're doing Chicago, too! I'll have to look for you...will you be wearing a pink tutu? ;)

8:48 PM  

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