1992 was starting out to be a year like no other. The past three had been like I was in a bubble and nothing could go wrong. The last day of winter this particular year was when the balance in the universe shifted and the wrinkle in all my perfectly thought out plans started to get ripped apart.
The last day of winter that year I was on a solo long ride, one that was part of laying the foundation for Kona over six months away. It would be close to 112 miles total. Less than an hour into it the fulcrum tipped. A truck accelerating through an intersection broadsided me. I saw it coming and slammed on my brakes, yelling as time started to slow. He was going to turn directly into me. In that expansion of time I figured he'd hear me or at least see me, slam on his brakes, we would just miss each other, and then both go on our way, me pissed and him shaken.
That was not to happen. The driver was turned completely to his right talking to his friend sitting in the cab with him, accelerating through his left turn that would in the next instant plow right into me. Impact was inevitable. I jumped my bike and my body up as best as I could so I wouldn't go underneath the truck and get run over. I hit the grill dead on then from the force of his acceleration was thrown up on the hood and down onto the ground. That got his attention! Now he put on his brakes!
I popped up off the ground with that instantaneous hope that everything was okay. But it wasn't. My collarbone was completely broken. I replayed the scene in my mind a thousand times during the ride in the ambulance to the emergency room. I could see it like I was watching from above. Every time I replayed the tape it was like a part of my life had been knocked out of me and was no longer in reach.
My dad was a doctor so I knew the drill about broken bones from him. I was looking at six weeks of recovery before any kind of training could resume. Six critical weeks! This was when I put in place a foundation of fitness that was the pillar of a great Ironman in October in Kona. Without it, there was no way to make up for it in May or June or July. I wasn't exactly hopeless, but I knew the road to victory just got rocky.
That night I had been laying on the couch in my living room, my arm in a sling to stabilize my broken collarbone. I was just trying to regroup and assess how I really was. I got up to walk to the bathroom at one point. The next thing I remember was a sensation like I was traveling back from somewhere distance through a tunnel. I had no idea what was going on. I got my eyes to open just a bit and could see the ceiling. I could see the underside of the toilet. I could feel this wet stuff all over my face.
It was more than confusing. I put a fingertip onto the wet stuff then looked. It was red. It was blood. I'd passed out and split my head open on the never forgiving hardness of porcelain. I'd been hit by a truck that morning. I had just earned my second trip to the emergency room in one day with blood running down my face. The morning broke a bone. This broke my spirit.
Crumpled on the floor I had no reason to do anything. Racing sounded completely pointless. All that I had focused my life on for the past ten years had no meaning that held enough reason to draw me into the future. I was alone. I was done.