Monday, July 11, 2011

Presence, Sadness, and smiles.

My wife has an incredible ability. It has manifest a few times now, but most recently this past friday I was in St Louis and she was working on the burn unit in her surgery rotation here in Columbia. I usually text or talk on the phone at least a few times per day just to check in, ask questions, or make plans. But last friday I hadn't heard a thing. She didn't respond to my emails, texts, or calls. At about 6pm, I started getting freaked out. A little while later, I had worked myself up and was in the process of trying to contact a med student I knew was on the service with her just too see if she'd seen her that day. Then I realized I could page her, so I did and within a few minutes I was relieved to hear her voice on the phone at around 6:30pm. She'd been there since 6am and had no idea what time it was. She thought it was mid-day. She said that she was so focused on what she was doing that she hadn't checked her phone, looked at her email, or even thought about anything else besides patients, doctors, nurses, and surgery. Can you imagine that kind of focus? I know I don't have it. I'd have checked my email a few times, looked up tour results, and generally would have not been fully present for a descent portion of the day. Man, I sure hope I get a doctor like her next time I need surgery.

A friend lost his young child this weekend. I thought a lot about Dwayne and his family this weekend. I thought about suffering and pain. I thought about biology and fairness. It is a very sad time and I hope for peace and healing to the Goscinski's.

It was good to get out on saturday and to do Pfoodman team's Castlewood race. These guys always put on great events and I love racing at Castlewood. Everyone there seems to have the Goscinski's somewhere in their mind that day and it was good to see that there are so many positive and friendly people involved in mountain biking in the St Louis area.

The race went well. It started with a Lone wolf (big wall of a climb). I was 3rd wheel going in and as soon as the grade increased, I passed and put in a good tempo pace...nothing that felt crazy, just a solid pace. Nearing the top, I turned around and has a pretty good gap on the field! After some rocky ridge riding we hit a technical descent with lots of switch backs. I rode pretty well, but got caught by Chris Ploch...who's pretty ridiculous in descending. We rode together for the first lap (of three). I had no problems with the exceptions of the descents...way out of my comfort zone. Starting lap 2, I attacked on the start hill. Got a little gap but he clawed back on the ridge. He was on a dualie and he gapped me on a short rocky straight section where he could pedal very efficiently. That was right before a descent, so the gap stuck and the rest of the race I kept trying to close it but couldn't make it happen. Psyched for 2nd on the day and a great time at an awesome event!

Irish Blessing for the Goscinski's:
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry—
I am not there... I did not die...

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