It was about twenty after seven so I knew I was going to have to hustle a bit to try and get out of the door on time to make the 8:30am service in Manteca. HS had already made coffee, so I took a few sips and made my way to the shower. The warm water felt great on my black and blue body, but I kept my wash time to a minimum and proceeded to try and get ready.
|Road rash reality|
Step two was reapplying the silicone scar sheets to the areas that were no longer considered open wounds. The sheets rolled, curled and stuck together. I was finding it exceedingly difficult to get them to stick and was starting to even more frustrated. Tears welled up, but I tried to hold them back.
HS popped into the bathroom to let me know that we were going to have to leave soon. My hair was still wet and I had no makeup on. I grabbed my concealer and started applying makeup to my black eye and oddly colored cheek. I looked in the mirror and started to cry. The first time in over a week putting on makeup and all I managed to do was make myself look worse. The makeup was no match for the yellow and grey hues on the left side of my face. I only succeeded in making it look like I was trying to hide something...poorly.
I grabbed a makeup remover towelette and wiped off my face as I started to cry. Mike came back in the bathroom to see what I was doing. I was quickly sinking into a sea of self pity and anger. "My makeup only made me look worse" I cried. He responded but I'm not sure what he said. He knew there really wasn't a way to help. Words only seemed to make my mood worse.
I moved on to trying to dry my hair but it was a hot mess. I think during my rushed shower I left some conditioner in my hair. The tears continued. I went to the guest bath to rewash my hair with the hand held shower head. Gingerly kneeling on my "good" knee, I hung my head in the tub, applied shampoo and then rinsed. I went back to the master bath and tried running a brush through my hair. I cried some more.
By this time, it was well after 8am. HS came into the bathroom to say something and I snapped again. "Why can't we just go the f*****g 10:00 service?" I screamed. Yes, that is how bad it was. I was dropping F-bombs in our discussion about what church service to go to. Ugh. It was ugly. HS said it was fine if we went to the 10:00 service. He said I didn't need to go to church if I didn't want to. "I need to go," I cried. I was so frustrated and angry that I couldn't get ready in 30 minutes like normal. I was mad that we couldn't go to our "normal" service time. I was mad. Mad at everything.
HS left the room. Probably so he wouldn't have to take the brunt of my verbal assaults. I sat down on the edge of our bed and cried. And cried and cried and cried. If my anger and self-pity were quick sand, I would be up to my neck at this point.
HS checked in on me again. I was frustrated at my wardrobe options. It wasn't cool enough for a sweatshirt, but a bit too cool for a short sleeved shirt. The one pair of workout pants that I could comfortably wear were in the drier getting "freshened up". I pawed through the options in my closet. Running top, race shirt, cycling jersey, cycling jersey, cycling jersey. OMG! Thank's to my Pearl Izumi "Ambador" status over the last two years, I have an abundance of bright, fun, screaming pink jerseys that mocked me this morning. The thought that I may never don a cycling jersey again smacked me in the face.
|Yes, this is my closet!|
I continued to search for something to wear and settled on last year's CIM shirt. Long sleeve, but loose, it would cover the wounds on my arms but not be too warm to wear. I sat on the bed and continued to cry. Not only did the unknown driver needlessly injure me and my two friends, but he had destroyed my favorite bike, stolen my joy of riding, and erased the last few months of training for CIM. This was going to be my year to qualify for Boston. In a second it was gone. I cried even more.
Eventually I pulled myself together enough to get dressed, finish drying my hair, and to apply some mascara and lip gloss. No foundation today. At this point, I didn't care if people saw the yellow and purple hues on my face. I would wear them like a badge this morning. I left the bedroom and went to sit on the couch with HS until it was time to leave.
Our ride to Manteca was silent. I continued to simmer in my anger. Cars appeared to fly past us, but I had asked HS to not get in a hurry because riding in a car was stressful for some reason. I think I was worried about how bad it would hurt if we got into a accident. My battered body was not ready to hurt even more.
When we finally pulled into the parking lot, we only had a few minutes to spare. HS looked like he was going to park in our "normal" spot, but I asked him to drop me off near the front because there was no way I would be able to walk fast enough to make the service on time. He drove around to the front row and was about to drop me off at the center walkway when he noticed an open spot just to his left. Perfect. He parked and we made our way inside.
I was secretly hoping for one of those sermons that, when you heard it, you assumed had been written specifically for you. The current series is called (Be)Loved and the topic for this week was called (Be)Careful. I'm not sure what I was expecting...maybe something along the lines of (Be)Careful riding your bike because some stranger may run down you and your friends and leave you on the side of the road. Alas, the sermon was not Tracy specific. It was a great sermon, just not the grab me and shake me message I was hoping for. I desperately wanted something to dissipate my anger.
When the service ended, HS and I made our typical exit out of the side door. I shuffled along next to a woman with a cane. I think she was racing me. I let her take the lead. At the sidewalk, HS and I ran into Pastor Brian. He recognized us and stopped to give me a "gentle" hug. He was aware of the hit and run and had messaged me a couple of times during the week to see how I was doing. He asked about Jessica and Dal, and we discussed some details about the unfortunate events of last Saturday.
Pastor Brian is a cyclist himself. He admitted that he often rides alone. I pray that he finds a riding partner. While I have learned the hard way that there is no safety in numbers, it is a much bigger gamble if you are on your own. If you are by yourself and someone hits you and leaves, there is no one to call for help.
|If Brian want to continue riding alone, |
this bubble-wrap outfit might be his best option
At the end of our chat, he asked if he could pray for us. We stood in a small circle in front of Crossroads as Pastor Brian prayed for me, Jessica, and Dal. Honestly, his words were a distant noise that I struggled to focus on. Why can I not pay attention to what he is saying? Pay attention, stupid!! I heard names, but everything else seemed lost. What I did notice was that the powerful gusts of anger and self-pity that billowed my sails suddenly ceased. I was at peace. It was amazing.
We said our goodbyes. HS and I found our truck and headed to Target for more bandages and some pain relieving spray for my road rash. I tried conjuring up a little anger. I thought about CIM and not being able to race. Nothing. I thought about how badly my body hurt. Nothing. Nothing I could think about seemed to raise my ire.
I'm not sure how long this peaceful hiatus from anger will last. I pray that it will become my new "normal". Am I angry that my friends are hurt? Yes. Am I angry that our loved ones were put through this anguish? Yes. However, I am thrilled that the anger is no longer consuming me from the inside out. I still suffer from random bouts of tears, but I no longer feel like I am losing myself.