End of IM Training. A New Focus Begins

I flew into a concrete curb. Figuratively & literally. Last Wed, May 29thmuch of my active life, changed.

Ironically this bike crash happened shortly after writing the previous blog, which expressed gratitude. Now I must live my words. I made a mistake on our Gear West group bike ride. While cruising about 22+ mph in my aero bars on a wide open industrial park road, discussing new shoe models with our Hoka sales rep, I saw the huge pothole at the last second. With just enough time to hastily transfer my arms from the aero position to the side bars, I decided to avoid bringing Mr Hoka down, and instead attacked the hole head-on. That did not work too well. I remember feeling that my bike broke in half (it was my aero bar wing that gave way) as I catapulted in a spin? Airborne? 44 ft into the concrete curb. I don’t remember much.

From there, I have only experienced the best that hospital care from North Memorial offers for my injuries: a fib/tib plateau compression fracture and four broken ribs. Surgery the next morning drilled in 6 screws and a plate and I am off my feet for three months. Greatest difficulty now is to avoid sneezing.

My greatest appreciation? The warm support and love extended to me by my wonderful friends and family. I AM grateful that I was not hurt worse. Tragically, today a skier friend and talented cyclist went down in a similar bike crash and he is now experiencing the injuries that I avoided, a spinal fracture.

I believe we all want reasons for WHY things happen. At least I do. I must learn from setbacks, otherwise parts of life are really a waste of time, and I don’t’ want to look at life that way. I will learn from this abrupt change of activity and energy of which I have been doing for the past 35 years and I will dig deep to stay mentally positive and open to education.

I carry a lot of weight on my shoulders with this retail business and building GW to be the best little dang specialty sports store in the face of Amazon. Yet now more now than ever, I cannot do it on my own. I must continue to learn to let go, in exercise, in ‘getting lots of things done very quickly’ and in controlling the business. I guarantee, I will not be bored; there is much to learn. The huge butt-ache that stems from sitting too much is my only governor to absorbing, in a sedentary way, new things.

Anyway, I must postpone and/or cancel an embarrassingly large amount of fun scheduled activities: the Lutzen mtn bike 99’er; two ½ Ironman races; the Afton 25k trail run; our GW duathlon and of course the Madison Ironman. Instead I have learned how to erratically drive the zero-turn lawn mower and can be helpful in new ways.

I am not sure how I will build on these blogs, but if anyone is reading, maybe I can make these interesting enough by sharing goals on how I plan to recover physically, avoid getting fat and build myself slowly and thoughtfully back into some decent lever of fitness so I can ski with abandonment this winter.

- Jan Guenther

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