Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sidewalk Holes

There's A Hole In My Sidewalk
Autobiographical in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost...I am helpless.
It isn't my faulf.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still's a habit...but my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down another street.

A close friend handed this sheet to me earlier today, and I couldn't seem to get it off my mind. Throughout my recovery, I have done anything and everything I can/could do to NOT get angry about the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Because deep down, I know and accept the fact that it WAS an accident.

I certainly didn't want a gigantic swam of bugs/gnats and God-knows-what else to riccochet off mine and Elizabeth's helmet as we were riding down Torry PInes.

I certainly didn't want to crash into Liz, flip off my bike, breakk my sacrum, and suffer subsequent nerve damage.

And I most vehemently did NOT want to miss out half my season because of this accident.

And while (thus far) I've been overwhelmingly positive about the accident and the circumstances surrounding it, today - for the first time in 10 weeks and 3 days (not that I'm counting) - I got mad.

I cried.

I threw the remote across the room (something I watched -to my horror - my sister do 12 years ago - and vowed NEVER to do).

I yelled.

I screamed.

And then I hopped in the shower, sat down, and had a good cry. I let it all out - the anger, the fear, the frustration - the everyone telling me that I cant...

And you know what? I feel better for it. No longer am I internalizing my anger, keeping my hidden sadness bottled up inside. Instead I let it out. I fought back against the apartment owners who said my trainer was disturbing the new neighbor's below. And I am prepared to fight my physical therapist about my lack of hamstring strength.

Who are they to give me another excuse that I can't. If they are unable to come up with something, I've got a few ideas of my own up my sleeve - and no longer am I afraid to use them. I know by body well enough: if I canhandle a Jen Harrison workout for 3+ hours on the trainer, I can handle just about anything.

Trust me.

And I've come to realize that anger is a natural emotion. It is part of the healing process. Hell, it's part of MY healing process.

And like the aforementioned poem states - there's a hole in the sidewalk and I fall in. It is NOT my fault. And again. And (even) again. But eventually I'll learn how to navigate through the hole and eventually around the flipping thing.

And one day, I'll walk down a different street all together.

Until then, I keep moving forward, determined to acknoledge my anger and furstration that I've kept bottled up inside for so long. But I still realize that I can NOT help what happened, only how I choose to respond.

And with extra knowledge gained, I'll be that much stronger, fiercer, and ready to return in full force. It just may be a while as I'm finding my way out of a hole.


Anonymous said...

Marit, I have not met many people as determined, driven and GOSH DARN IT "I WILL DO THIS NOW!" like you. Keep the fire burning and it will all come back to you in droves. I promise. Keep your chin up, keep pressing on and YOU will do it. :) Jen H.

Danni said...

Letting the anger go is the healthy way to go... wow.. it even rhymes... hahahaha.
Way to go Marit! You are on the right path.

Alili said...

Absolutely understandable. You are one tough cookie. {{Marit}}

Mel said...

I LOVE LOVE this post...I am going through some personal shit right now and this is PERFECT...I love this statement "But I still realize that I can NOT help what happened, only how I choose to respond." nailed it Marit :) thank you for being so honest with this post!!
Keep going Marit, it is ALL worth it!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your PT's are just trying to build you up to an invincible warrior- but find me a single runner on earth with hamstrings as strong as their quads! keep it up! you rock!

Erin Wichtoski in COLD wi, still

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) said...

Last week I wrote that I was injury free - well I have a little soreness in my shoulders this week, so there are always some concerns and issues to go through for all of us. You may be a long way away, but through your writing you can really touch people's hearts.

Bob Mitera said...

Hi Marit - Do what you can do now. When I was hit by a Chevy Blazer as soon as the stitches were out I was in the pool 12 hrs later. Couldn't do flip turns but I could swim a lot of volume. That volume reminded me of what it takes.

As for those who say "can't", write down their names, times and what they said. I find it is great to review on days when it is harder to get out of the door.

The FIRST person I showed my Ironman Hawaii finisher's medal to was the HS cross country coach who said,"You'll never be a good athlete." He said that standing in front of the two swimming records I have now held for 22 years.

Shove it up their ass.

Ryan said...

I know what you are PISSED at........

3 Fu#%ing hours on a trainer?

I would be throwing my bike across the room after that long.

Hop across the whole, have a great swim on Sat and we'll make SUSHI dinner plans :)


rr said...

I wonder if we were having our girly crying moments at the same time, at opposite ends of the country? I did the same yesterday, and I know my injury hasn't been half the trauma of yours so now I feel like a wus. I'm glad you feel better. And OMG no way are the neighbors talking you out of your trainer, they are just going to have to DEAL.

Sarah said...

Those neighbors can KISS YOUR @$$!!! OMG would people just EFFING GET A LIFE?!? There are bigger and more pressing problems than the slight whirr of a bike on a trainer. Talk about being just...UGH.

I have a next door neighbor who is the biggest complainer in the world. I've decided that the next time I have a confrontation with her (wish I would've thought of this during the last confrontation) I will say "you know, I am SO SORRY. I am SO sorry that you seem to be SO miserable about the most trite things. I really hope for your sake that you can find a way outside of your miserable complaining existence and be able to see all of the wonderful things around you."

Anyway, Marit, I loved the story your friend gave you and I love how honest and open you are. Anger IS part of the grieving process. You have every right to be angry and to express it.

I know you'll come back even stronger than before - and who knows, it sounds like your hammies will be stronger, too!! ;)

Bob Mitera said...

Oh...3 hrs on the trainer? In Chicago we'd call that November.
4 hrs in December - February
March escape for warm weather...April...4 - 6 on the trainer (depending on the weather)...looks like tonight it will be 2+ on the trainer. said...

It is okay to scream once in a while and to throw things and to shout, "WHY ME?"
It's okay, just so long as your energy stays where it needs to be. Steady moving forward, rejecting every turn that leads to nowhere, flushing your mind of the poison that is doubt. See every hole not as a chance to fall, but as an opportunity to climb.
Faith comes easily when we're strong, but it is most potent when we're weak. Grab it, hold it, believe it. What once was won't be regained. It will be surpassed.
I met a surgeon the other day who knew my case. He said the injury was so "very, very rare" that he took my x-rays to a medical conference. He said the only other injury he could recall that was identical to mine was Christopher Reeve.
Reeve lived his last years in a wheelchair. I raced on Saturday.
Wow, I thought,"WHY ME?"
Faith, babe, you're coming back too.

TriBunny said...


I love how your write and express yourself. It seems to me that your anger is valid, understandable and human. I feel for you being in this place of limbo. I have no doubt thou that with your attitude and talent things will come together for you. I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with all of this pain and frustration. Just know that there are folks out there, even one's you don't know that are pulling for you and believing in you.
Peace and Happiness

TriGirl Kate O said...

There are days when keeping your chin up is harder than crying it out. But you have lots of friends to help wipe away those tears, tilt your chin back up, and say "yes you can!"