Sunday night at about 2am I gave up. The fire inside me went out. I was giving up racing. I was ready to sell everything mountain bike related and get that new carbon road bike I have been wanting. No more races. No more stupid training schedule. I could go back to living like a normal person...sleeping at night and not worrying about when I was going to get in my next ride. I was knocked down to the canvas again but this time I just wanted to lay there and rest for a while. Wait for the 10 count from the ref and be carried out of the ring by my trainer and coach. I had been battling in the same ring for 7 years now and every time I got hit I would just bounce back up, get the gloves checked by the ref and get the okay to continue. But not this time. I was comfortable laying there on the canvas. I said to myself it was over. Lay there and relax. If you don't get up the count goes all the way to 10 and you don't ever have to worry about getting knocked down again over this.
Ciara had stopped throwing up and I eventually got a couple hours of sleep and woke Monday to take on the day. One sick daughter turned into two sick daughters and I still had the wife with a broken ankle. Didn't help either that my son had a sprained wrist as well from basketball. But I am dad. The hero. I pressed on thru the morning and eventually the girls felt better. Ash was off at Sue's parents for a few hours to hang with grandma and grandpa and Coach Austin. 4pm rolls around and I laid down on the couch to rest the aching body. It had been 4 days since I laid in bed for more than 3 hours without getting up. Everything hurt and I had taken some Advil to help.
Throughout the day Sue would asking me what I was thinking and I would just say something I had been thinking that didn't have any relation to bikes. She knew I was avoiding the subject. She doesn't want me to quit. Yes she gets her nights out with the girls from her volleyball leagues to the theater...dinner with the girls. But she has put a lot of time and effort into taking care of the kids while I am out doing my things as well. She goes out for enjoyment and volleyball is her therapy but she knows my times out and those god awful early morning weekend rides on the weekends are training. Plus she knows I have been trying for 3 years to return to racing but have had some set backs due to our extended families which were out of our control. She has done more behind the scenes things for me than any training partner or riding friend I have. From her expertise in the health and fitness field to give me advise to her being a wife and mother to my kids, she has given a lot.
With the girls watching a movie and Sue icing her ankle I fell asleep for 10 minutes on the couch awoken by Abi grabbing for the doll that was on my chest. The doll, Bath Baby as Ciara calls it, smells of baby powder and it put knocked me out cold for that 10 mins. Well that was just enough time for the Advil to kick in. I laid there for another 10 minutes with my mind wandering. What about Diesel I thought to myself. I can't give up on him. After all he said I was his motivation to train like he is. He has put in more time than any off season in the past to get where he is. he i set up and primed for a great year. And then there is Tank Evans. All the preaching I have done to him to keep fighting. I'd be a punk to drop out now. And if I stop now then I could rob Diesel of his chance at doing well at the Farm Relay. Sure I am replaceable but I know he'd rather have me there. And damn it if we are going for the win this year it's only right we are both there. And this whole 12 hour thing in May was my idea. If I stop now and he finishes that race.....this isn't just about me anymore. I am now riding for those who have helped get me this far.
That fire had never went out before. It had been put on simmer a few times but never went out completely. I thought it was gone, 14 hours without smoke. But there must have been a single coal still warm in there that needed a little air blown on it. I popped up from the couch and went to make dinner. I was still tired but felt that drive again. That burning inside to keep moving forward.
By 9:30pm the girls were feeling better and asleep. Me, I was on the trainer starting a 2 hour ride.
"Uno mas" I said to myself.