WARNING: You may want to wear a helmet while reading the following:
“This is not a bad as it sounds, but after looking at the CT scans, they want to Life Flight Cade to Primary Children’s Hospital. He has a fracture to his skull and a brain contusion.” All I could do was nod my head over the phone and keep saying “Okay.” I was lucky enough to have already seen Cade (13 years old) before he was transported over to the ER. I had already seen the blood coming from his ear, the immovable shoulder and the tears and was somewhat prepared for the outcome. As I waited at home for that phone call from Guy, I sat by the fireplace, watched the mountains turn blue with the fading light and turned off my mind. I rested my heart momentarily and let every unimportant thought in my head slip away.
It is so easy to forget that life can turn on a dime. But, there is freedom, depth and comfort to be found in difficult moments. My selfish training plans for an Ironman 70.3 had to be put aside and I was happy, almost overjoyed, to let the long ride and long run that was forthcoming fall by the wayside. Not because I didn’t want to do them, but rather that I cherished being able to be with Cade as the course of events unfolded. It felt so good to let go and remind myself that while I may be passionate about my training, I am glad I am not obsessed. I train to live rather than live to train.
I have found, through sad experience that it is possible to hyper focus on a goal and then miss all the important emotions and events going on daily that really mean something. Some may admiringly call that passion, but it is really obsession. Passion is a healthy, committed and deeply routed pursuit of a personal interest or goal. It is clean, unencumbered, feels right and is good. Yep, passion is the fire that puts light into our days. Obsession, however, is the wildfire that burns the whole field. So, while hanging out at the hospital with Cade, I thought about this and relished just being able to chill out.
Well, Cade got very lucky. After spending a sleepless night in ICU surrounded by babies and toddlers that were heart wrenchingly sick, his follow up CT scan showed no further trauma development. We all counted our blessings and got to go home the following evening. Yeah, six weeks of nothing but walking for exercise and no more skiing for the year, but Cade lost no brain function. As a mom, I am thankful and relieved. Cade is still free to do the one thing I hope he will choose to do for himself and that is to find something in his life that he is passionate about and be healthy enough to pursue it.
Note to self: If you unknowingly meet up with a metal power box at high speeds while sledding behind a 4 wheeler, be rest assured that it will most certainly leave a mark!