Rest days are good. Rest days are necessary. I’m supposed to be tapering for Solvang Saturday.

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Coach Kate says today’s a rest day.

This isn’t a slacker day, when popping pigs becomes so compelling that I forget to hop on my bike and ride. It’s an enforced “rest” day, spent out of town without the bike or room in my schedule for a spin class.

It’s my sister’s birthday, and she had to spend the day at an impossible to reschedule doctor’s appointment in California the same day my mother was scheduled to meet with her surgeon in Arizona. I flew in late last night after my last training ride and a full day of students, either of which constitutes a long day in its own right, but then my flight was delayed, and I finally fell into bed knowing I’d only get four hours of sleep before I had to wake up again.

I was the designated recorder, in charge of writing everything down so my sister could get the most unvarnished version of the surgeon’s verdict. Would she need surgery? My mother was hoping she’d be freed from the collar she’s been in since the car accident two months ago. Our hopes were high, but there’s nothing like ninety minutes of waiting to diminish expectations. A nurse briefly appeared to take mom’s vitals. I dutifully jotted down all the particulars of blood pressure, pulse, questions asked and answered. We waited some more.

The doctor entered, asked mom if she’s in any pain, had her grip his hands, and said he’d set up a CT scan and an appointment in a month.

It happened faster than it took me to type that.

Sooo, I carved 38 hours out of my schedule the week before the SAT to witness 38 seconds of doctor-patient interaction.

And then we sat in that room for almost an hour waiting for the discharge paperwork to be processed.

The truth is, we’re really fortunate that mom survived at all, that she’s not paralyzed, that she’s recovered so quickly, that she’s eager to be out of the collar. We’re lucky that Mom has health insurance, that my sister has great doctors for her family, that I had the flexibility to be here today.

So perhaps I should count my blessings and rest and know that I’ll be better on the bike tomorrow for the break today. And even if I’m not better tomorrow, I’ll appreciate the ride more for not having had it today.

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