Friday, May 15, 2009

"something to look forward to"

I have a patient right now that is recovering from his 2nd amputation and just learning to walk using two lower extremity prosthetics. He is a Vietnam era veteran and a very animated story teller.

About 5 years ago, just after his first above knee amputation he was frustrated and depressed about not being able to ride his motorcycle and having "nothing to look forward to". At that time he told a friend that if he ever needs another amputation or serious medical procedure he wanted "something to look forward to" and requested a post-operative stripper be hired for his hospital room. Being a chain smoker with terrible peripheral vascular disease he knew another amputation was in his future and was now laying the early ground work for"something to look forward to".

About 6 months ago he found himself with a non-healing infected foot ulcer that required a below knee amputation on the other leg. 3 days after surgery he called his friend inquiring about the where abouts of his stripper?". The friend had obviously forgot the conversation from 5 years ago. That evening a young blonde who was located under "escort" in the local yellow pages made her way up to the VA hospital and found room 3W05A. The friend welcomed her to the shared hospital room, pulled the curtain separating him from his roommate, and stepped out to guard the door. Sometime during the next hour a nurse needed to enter the room and check on her patient. She was warned at the door by a the friend that he needed some privacy but proceeded to enter anyway. Not 3 seconds later she exited the room with a a face as white as ghost, she never said a word.
$120/hour + a $60 tip provided "something to look forward to".

We all need "something to look forward to", it's what gets us up in the morning, keeps us motivated, pushes us to the next level. For bike racers it's the next event. The local week night race gets us through the work day, the weekend mountain bike race gives a focus through the long work week, and the big stage race or epic event provides a carrot for pushing ourselves through the weekly ups and downs.

This spring I have used the BC Bike Race as my "something to look forward to" and thus have been trying to prepare for extended mountain bike stage racing. But now I am doing the Mohican 100 mountain bike race in Ohio at the end of May and have a new more immediate "something to look forward to".

Don't get me wrong, I look forward to every opportunity I get on my bike and am excited to burn some laps tomorrow morning at Soldier Hollow. But these "something to look forward to events" are the ones I always remember, the ones that keep me up at night, the ones that sharpen my focus, and ultimately push me to find my potential!

If you are a bike racer and don't have a "something to look forward to" event in your future, find one now, look forward, and prepare.


Blogger Miller Time said...

Great story Bart! I agree, we all need something to look forward too. It may not be a stripper, but whatever works, right?

1:30 PM

Blogger Aaron said...

Great post, Bart. After the beating that S.H. dished out this morning, next time I might just go with the stripper.

4:06 PM


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