Monday, April 28, 2008

Picture(s) worth a thousand words

First time on the bike since the crash. Marit on the trainer, ever aware of cadence and form. April 28, 2008

I don't really know what to say, however today I reached a huge milestone in my recovery. It's been exactly six weeks since my crash, and today - for the very first time since March 17 - I had the opportunity to sit on my bike. It wasn't fast and it wasn't that long.

I didn't even wear bike shorts, didn't use chamois cream...

There was no need for water bottles, for nutrition. The i-pod, TV, and other distractions remained put away. It was just me, the bike, Nathaniel, and the camera. And Tabbitha may have had a peek or two.

But for ten glorious minutes, for ten wonderful, fantastic, fabulous minutes, I got to spin my legs on the trainer.

Earlier in the morning, I managed to negotiate with Jonathan, my incredible physical therapist. After a grueling two and a half hour session, he ended by asking me if I wanted to hop on the PT bike at the clinic. I looked at that bike, with its fan front wheel, and soft squishy seat, and all I could think of was my bike at home.

I pleaded my case, explained how I had been the "model" PT patient: following all the rules, not pushing myself, listening to my body, doing my exercises on schedule, keeping a journal of my pain leves/physical activities/daily thoughts - and everything in between. The look on my face said it all, and Jonathan agreed that I could bike at home.

I floated out of the office, I swear.

And technically, I don't even have a "working" bike, as my road bike is still packed up from being shipped from California, my SCOTT plasma has cables going every which way and no pedals, and the seat is missing from my Cervelo. Oh yeah, and I lent my tools to Donna before her race last weekend.

So tool-less, seat-less, cabe-less, but with the green light to bike at home, I managed to contact Donna, get my tools, and remove the seat from the SCOTT and replace it on the Cervelo.

The fastest seat switch in the history of Marit the Bike Mechanic.

There was a flurry of activity everywhere - a wrench ended up on the floor, a screw and washer were lost briefly, and I needed to use some creative ingenuity to make the seat fit. And no, it wasn't the wonderful ISM Adamo Saddle, but it served a good purpose.

And besides - let's face it - with nerve damage and lack of sensation in my pevic floor region, how bad could the seat-thing be, right?

The good news: I made it work. And it was a little uncomfortable - which means that I DO have sensation. I couldn't stop grinning in spite of myself. I can FEEL the discomfort of a saddle! Hooray!!

The bad news:

Uh -

I'll get back to you on that one.

Okay - I thought of something.

I couldn't bike longer.

To everyone out there - please don't ever take what you do, the things you love for granted, as a given. You never know when they might be taken away. It makes me sad to think about how many times I dreaded my trainer - and now I would give anything to spend more time on it, to spend more time on my bike. Be thankful for what you have, grateful for the ability to do, to pursue what makes you happy.

View from the front. Too focused on riding to fix the sleeves of my shirt. Oh well - keep in mind, I only had ten minutes. Too busy focusing on the other stuff to care about what the clothes were doing!

And enjoy the Journey - the good, the bad, and everything in between - that life takes you on.

Oh yeah, and before I get too sappy, remember to laugh along the way.

How could I leave this shot out? This is for Ness, who coined the phrase "extendo crack". The view from the rear. Marit and her extendo-crack. This is the NORMAL level at which I wear my bike shorts, but from this view, it looks like I have a serious plumber's crack going on. The more I think about it, the more I am convinved I will get a beautiful tatoo - that uses the scar in the design - to commemorate my recovery, my Journey.


Train-This said...

It made me so happy to see this Marit! Way to go!

:-) mary

Danni said...

I am so happy for you!
Way to go Marit!

kerri said...

YESSSSS. Ahhh so happy for you. And yes you are totally right. I think we all take things for granted and every once in a while we all need to be grateful for the little things in life. You are on the right path and road to recovery and have certainly taught us and reminded us of quite a few things along the way. Cheers to your ride on the trainer!!!

Pedergraham said...


Ness said...

Marit, this is awesome news! You have been so good about taking your recovery carefully and seriously. Congratulations!

Should I be concerned that people are posting pictures of their butts online with captions that read "this is for Ness"...?


Anonymous said...

Oh, Marit,
THIS SOOO made my day. I knew you said you could ride 10 minutes, but wasn't sure you got onto the bike (as you had mentioned). YEAHHH....this IS the turning point for you. :)) Nice to see you smile. Jen H.

Ryan said...

Welcome back to the



Just like my house, which bike should I ride ;)

"Tramp Stamp"

Jennifer Cunnane said...

I am amazed by your tenacity and willingness to persevere! It's incredible. Most people would just give up, but not you plus you make it fun at the same time. A tatoo eh? Good idea, it would make the future extendo-crack "rear" view more entertaining for all the people you will be passing on the bike in your next Ironman!

TriGirl Kate O said...

Happy happy day! The smile on your face says it all!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Thanks for all of the great comments everyone! Sipping coffee, it was great to see!!

Ness - you have no need to worry, believe me. But it DOES look like a rear end....

And Ryah - what can I say? NOT a tramp stamp when applied in the following manners
1) Not symmetrical
2) Not done with a group of bubbly teen-agers
3) The design must be my own and creative
4) No alcohol involved
As outlined by you- :)

Mel said...

LOVE IT! LOVE IT!! Welcome back Marit..even if it still baby is STILL a STEP :) You look so natural on the bike :)HAPPY, HAPPY!! :)

Marni said...

congrats! What a milestone!!!

IM Able said...

I've invoked the Marit-Motivation more than once, I should admit. Whenever I wanted to get off the trainer after your crash I'd think, "wait, there are people you know who would KILL to get to finish this ride." And I always stayed on. Thanks for the motivation!

Beth said...

YEAH MARIT!!!!!!!!! This so made my morning and I'm just so thrilled for you. Never thought 10minutes on the trainer could be so amazing right? :) So happy that you are making those steps to get back...have fun!

Bill said...

What wonderful news, Marit!

I can't imagine what you've been through, but am quite pleased to see that you're working through it. And have a PT that listens.

Alili said...

That is fantastic news Marit! I am so excited for you!!! :)

Trigirlpink said...

I'm just upset that HMK is MIA from at least one of these pictures...

Eileen Swanson said...

Oh, so awesome. Sooooo HAPPY for ya! This is so great.....


Anonymous said...

Maritka !!!
I'm so, so happy ( and relieved) to see you on that bike. All of us have been waiting for this.
This is for you.

"The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire"

And, you are beyond "the finest"

Jen said...

You patience during recovery is paying off! Horrah bike time!

Sarah said...



It put a big smile on my face, too. CONGRATS on your patience, your perseverance and your strength. Keep it up.

Happy Day!!


Bob Mitera said...

Marit - I was having a really good day and then I saw I'm having a really great day!

When you cross your first Ironman finishline I want to be there with you guys.

Keep up the great PT!


Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

Rock on Marit!!! Amazing pics! Even if it was short and sweet, at least you are on and spinning. Soon, you won't be able to get off!

Steve Stenzel said...

WOW! Great post! Great attitude! And BIG PROPS for showing the CRACK photo!! HA!

Cy said...

Marit-You are so inspiring. Way to reach a great milestone... Plenty more to come, but enjoying them as they occur, like you said, is so important!

RR said...

Hurray Marit!! Awesome news! So glad you got on the bike.. might be time to get that gorgeous new plasma up and running.

Also, we are wearing the same shirt today. I just felt the need to tell you. :)

Hope you continue to heal super fast.. RR

Anonymous said...

You're a total class act- you are going to reap such rewards from all of this... Way way way cool! 25-29 age group is on it's way to being complete again :)

all the best-
erin w in wi (lurker!!)
i hope you don't mind your peers/admirers/competitors so impressed! we can all learn some powerful lessons watching someone at your level deal with this with such class and maturity. no bratty whining from you!

Cat said...

congrats marit!! my favorite is that you are wearing toe warmers!! please tell me you had the air conditioning on. : )))

i'm so excited for you.

btw, i had your name on the back of my race number at the duathlon i raced. thanks for the idea!


Damie said...

Yea!!!! :) 10 minutes of freedom! The crack really gives me a chuckle- there are so many ways you could play off of that. I think a tat is definately in order! Keep on getting on-take what they will give you! Every minute counts!!!

Ashley said...

yippee, YEAH, Alrighty... these pics, and your smile - made my DAY! Marit, congrats on your fantastic 10 min. Can't wait to see you... holy cow, NEXT week.

Ashley said...

btw, my mom is really glad your mom posts comments. They are the "blog moms"

Courtenay said...

there are many many things i love about that photo at the top... the disassembled road bike stacked behind you, the new tt bike next to you, plus your cervelo... a couple bottles of wine?... shammy cream on top of a stack of books... your toe covers!... the priceless expression on your face... and best of all YOU ON A BIKE!!!! WOOHOO!!! i am so stoked!