Sunday, September 23, 2007

no news is good news

Even though blog activity wouldn't suggest it, I am alive and well. Making good progress with leg rehab and getting back to "living" in general. I can't describe how great it feels to stand on two feet and get back on with some pedaling. Good happenings to recap on, so I hope to do it up in detail sometime soon!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Round 2

Just over 2 weeks into the second go with my leg, and the days of the longest summer I've ever experienced are still continuing to pass. Some of the days are just passing by slower then others!!! I've decided that if you ever want to really savor "time" or are scared of that "where did the time go" phrase, you can either A) Induce yourself into a large amount of pain. B) Do nothing but lay on the couch or in bed. or C) Both of the above for really making time stand still. (may cause temporary or permanent insanity).

The good news is that the surgery went well. Doc's were pleased with what went down and say there is no reason now that my tibia should not really begin to kick into gear. Out came the erector set...
And the finished product....A few less days in the hospital this time around helped my cause, not to mention being at home. No one likes spending time alone in a hospital room, so my brother Taylor brought me someone to keep me company. she was quite the trooper, just standing in the corner day after day. A few of my friends finding that "brent on high amounts of pain meds" was a solid source of weeknight entertainment.
The only hicup with round 2 thus far was the discovery of a small amount of infection from cultures taken during surgery. It was suspected that the type and size of infection found was perhaps just a contaminated culture, but since we are dealing with a non-union fracture and one which required hardware, we leave nothing to chance. that means.... massive amounts of sweet antibiotics for about 6 weeks!! which in turn means i get to walk around with this lil buddy sticking out of my arm for the duration of the antibiotic injections which I have to do daily. Other then hooking up for those infection destroying sessions, I've been doing what I can to keep my mind busy and the body from fully going to sleep. Of course plenty of DVD/TV action, luckily the Tour is on now. Kinda hard to watch guys doing what I'm missing so much, but it knocks out a chunk of the day. Dabbling in a bit of reading and continuing to make up for the lack of time I've spent in the "homeland" over the past couple years. No swimming this time around since I can't submerge the above apparatus in the water. Bummer! The leg is looking good though and I begin some therapy next week to get my knee mobility back. I thought I had stiff legs after a long flight, but 2 weeks with no knee movement has made me realize what real stiffness is!

more whenever I sense the days starting to roll by a bit faster

Here's to "seeing the forest, not the trees." thanks to BR for that one.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I've been staying somewhat busy lately. Filling up my days with whatever I can and generally continuting to improve. Less pain, more mobility, more crutch time, all good things. Unfortunatley, the bone in my leg isn't following the same trend. I got the word last week that there is still little to no healing around the main fracture area. 11 weeks + no bone callous = surgery. I never really did like math, and I don't like that equation, but that's the fork in the road that i've come to and it's time to bite the bullet and go to the next level with my recovery. Thursday is game day. At least this time I will be close to home and in an english speaking environment! Plus, I don't have the issue of my bone EXPLODING right before surgery to factor into the equation so it won't be so bad.

Game plan? remove current plate/screws, drill a hole into the top of my tibia, gather bone shavings from inside my tibia, pack shavings into fracture site (circled in red), and then pound a LONG nail down the length of my tibia and secure it with screws. at least they will be using adult construction equipment this time and not pieces of erector set like before.
Sounds like 1-2 days in the hospital followed by a return to my pro couch surfer lifestyle. A true pitty since I have been working hard and making progress at moving in a more active direction. Mellow kayaking and some beech time have been thrown in the mix latley. Neither are very crutch adaptable. The river has already claimed one crutch and the sand almost ate another. Yes, I still can't shake those tanlines or my mid section paleness. Is it genetic?...
The pool has become a daily routine. Still a rockin release and great way to get the heart rate kickin, but I don't know how triathletes do it. how could you truly enjoy swimming after you have experienced the beauty of the bike? Other than that, kickin with with a few of the MI homies and trying to make the most of my longest stay here since I was in high school.

Oh, USADA dropped by the other day. I haven't raced in 3 months, likely won't be racing any sort of bike for at least another 3 months so its a good thing they felt it necessary to collect some of my urine. There are races all over the country right now going on with no control, so I guess I just have a hard time understanding what they are doing having some guy (a nice chap by the way) drive hours to come visit me. Don't get me wrong, I would drive a few hours to hang out with myself and watch myself pee in a cup, but seriously, right? time and dollars better spent elsewhere?

before i forget... A big CONGRATS to Scott Stewart and my VMG/National Team boys for bringing home the "best young rider jersey" at The Nature Valley Grand Prix last week. This kid has been a cat 2. for like 12 months and scored his first pro/1/2 road race victory recently racing up Roan Mtn. in Tennessee. Now he's baggin leaders jerseys at NRC stage races. more big things to come from this skinny kid.

Enough for now. I'm accepting luck, thoughts, prayers, energy and anything else positive which will help with the surgery/recovery routine. I'm sure my blog will be getting more action in the near future. until then...

stay away from those light poles.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"The best way out is always through"

I like it

8 weeks since my lightpole encounter this past Sunday. The big news on the medical/healing front is that there really isn't any big news. My last xrays were takin about a week ago and provided some encouraging news and also some not so good. bad news first? the gap or void in my bone where the fracture was the worst is still there and unfortunately showing very little or no sign of improvement. The good... the fractures which extend up towards and into my knee joint are still stable and are showing good signs of healing. game plan... wait for another couple weeks until we hit the 10-12 week point. If there is still no sign of some serious bone healing around that gap, its time for a bone graft and some new hardware instillation. Grow bones GROW!!!

The most noteworthy news as of latley is that I'm no longer "boycotting my upper body" (c/o chris saxton). yes, thats right. workin those guns. mostly in the pool. I've been loggin some solid pool time which has done huge amounts for my state of mind and overall well being. Having the heart pumpin and lungs gasping never felt so good. not only is it bueno for me, but the swimming also provides the bored lifeguards with a healthy dose of laughs as I flail through the water. you try swimming without using your legs!

I'm still staying somewhat in the loop in the cycling world. Gotta throw a huge congrats to my teamate John Devine and the entire national team for scoring a couple huge victories for the team in Spain and France the past couple weeks. Even though it kills me to not be there for and with those guys, its still really inspiring to get word of their success.

I was bummed to hear about another cyclist get whacked by a lightpole last week. In case you hadn't heard, Andy Jacques-Maynes took a tough spill. I don't know Andy very well, but after just going through some similiar tough spots as he's going through right now, I can feel for him. Check out his getwell blog and send him a shout of encouragement, even if you don't know him. It really does help to know others are thinking about you and sending some positive energy your way!

no pics. yea, thats lame. soon though.

ciao for now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Good enough?

Sunday was 5 weeks. 35 days, no bike, no walking. Its going ok though. I have 3 good doctors in the loop now and just over a week ago we came up with the game plan of "wait and see". not the most comforting approach, but the CT scan came back as good as could have been expected and all 3 docs are thinking and hoping that the hardware in there will be "good enough" and that the bones will start to heal. Swelling-minimal, mobility-good, incision healing-very good, bone alignment-good. 4 really positive things going for me, so hopefully now the bones will start to knit back together and everything will stay lined up!

here it does it look to you??? and how, did my fibula not snap in 2???

I'm doing my best to enjoy or make the most of my idleness, but I still find myself pulling my hair out every now and then. fortunatley, i've been moving and grooving a little more every week. Crutch time is up to a few minutes now, and I've made it through the past week without the wheelchair in the house at all. I can drive!!! no major trips, but just getting out of the house and having some freedom does wonders for the mind. Scott S made the drive to the east side last week to cripple-sit me for the day, and Clara was here for a few days last week. It was great to see her, catch up a bit and take my mind off the obvious. as for this week, its looking forward to xrays on Friday. the newest daily activity is hooking my leg up to a bunch of wires and "watching it heal" ultrasound on the bone and E-stim on the quad. HEALED!

I know its getting old, but I still gotta say THANK YOU to everyone who comments, emails, calls, visits, prays and wishes me well! I'm excited to return the support at some point.

ciao for now

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"that's a bummer"

Almost a week since I made it back home. Really good to have the trip overwith, and also nice to be home around a supper supportive set of family and friends, but I still can't get away from the fact that my leg is busted up in a big way.

Not much going on here. This week has been spent figuring out how to navigate our house on crutches or in a wheelchair. Sick amounts of tv and internet, along with some healthier reading and even a few visits from the local support team. Each day by itself doesn't seem to go by too slow, but when I think about a week or a month as a whole, it starts to look like a rougher go. The order of the day and this entire process seems to be just staying positive, which i'm finding is tougher and tougher. I never realized how mentally and physically dependant I was on "going, moving, rockin, ripping and riding around". Still, everyone that I've talked to who has been through similair says the mental approach is key and I have to do whatever it takes to stay positive and not dwell on the brokeness.

The latest and not greatest news came yesterday when I saw the orthopedic doc here for the first time. He took new xrays and took a good stare at them, "hmmmmmm". Then procedes to tell me he's not especially psyched with how the Belgian surgeon put me back together. It sounds like the bone is aligned nicely and it looks ok now, but he's worried about the structural integrity of the hardware he installed and how my healing bones will respond to it. So what does that mean??? Good question!! CT scan next week to take a closer look, but this guy said he couldn't rule out the possibility of having to Redo everything and start from scractch. BAM!! Its mind bending to think about having to start over now, but I suppose we have to see what this next test says. Eitherway, I have to work out a second opinion. These docs just blow my mind sometimes.

I would have uploaded a few pics, but I figured me laying on the couch, or a picture of my computer wasn't exactly blog material. Maybe this week I'll be able to get out a bit more and find some blog fuel.

Thanks to everyone who continues to comment, email, write, call, pray and send their best!!! You are all keeping me kickin! (with one leg at least).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


bed, chair, couch, toilet, couch, bed, or somthing like that. not the most exciting days latley, but i'm making some small improvments and looking forward to Monday when i get to head home. Its been another eye opening experience learning to cope with my broken leg, but in the big picture, i'm doing alright. i'm able to move around a little with crutches, though i can only take about 2 minutes of being upright before the leg blows up and i gotta take a good rest. lots of elevation and thus, staying in one place. i think thats the hardest part so far. just being stuck. fortunatley, i have a good team of guys helping, not to mention the team mom Els. I'm also dabbling in a little physical therapy. I can move my knee to about 90 degrees now and am doing everything i can to retain a small amount of muscle.

Bjorn and Walker on standby to give me a hand. thanks guys!

stop shrinking!!!!

ouch! quite the sewing project if you ask me. it has improved a bit from when this pic was taken though.
I had to take a pic of the sweet hospital meals. i think this was dinner maybe?
getting ready to leave the house for my lest race without metal in my leg.
I'm hoping to get outside today. Els found a wheelchair for me, so I'm hoping to be tearing up the streets of izegem. If any of you know where i can get a set of D's for the chair, let me know.
Thanks to everyone who continues to write, call, comment and pray!! I can't tell you how much it helps!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

plates and screws

Its been a week. A pretty rough week. I'm still kickin though and on my way to recovering. A few pics to get it going. I'll shoot for a full report soon.

Thanks to everyone who has called, prayed, emailed, thought and taken care of me.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


2 blog updates in 1 week. that could only mean that I'm in Belgium. Not a bad week though. Lots of the usual, settling back into the routine here. Racing a good ole Belgian style 1 day race tomorrow. St. Truiden Aalst, or somthing like that. every Belgian that i talk to about it calls it somthing different, so I'm not actually sure what the name of the race is. sounds flattish, windyish and hardish of course. should be good to rev up the legs again though. unloaded a few pics from my camera. nothing too fancy but....

sweet belgian terrain from this past week.

The first year guys (19 year olds) did a big u23 race with a strong international field on Wed. They all rode solid. Bjorn after finishing in the front group.
Walker rockin one of the smaller cobbled climbs at GP Waragem.Of course, plenty of canal time this week. One from spain last week. not a bad hotel room view if you take all the sweet constuction away.and another. and a few clouds that i thought deserved a shout.
thats all. Wish me luck tomorrow.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


here we go. back at it.

the last week or so of the banner elk time was nice. good to be in once place for a bit and even better to finally knock out some decent training. I forgot how much I enjoyed a few of the rides in the area. It was quickly rapped up though, and before I could settle in any further, it was off to Belgium to begin my first Europe trip of the year. Travel day was rather bon considering the magnitude. one layover and no trains, I can dig that.

Hung at the mostly empty house in Izzy for 2 nights, then hopped a short flight to southeast spain to meet up with a good chunk of the crew who had been there for the previous week. Vuelta Cartagena began this past thursday. plush hotel. for the week. and internet at a race in europe? weird. 4 days, 4 stages. its in the books now and i think everyone is happy with how it went. heaps of top 20 stage finishes and 8th and 12th on the overall.

First race I've ever done in spain.Painfullly close to snagging a W the past 2 days. At yesterdays TT they actually said that I won at one point since the only guy with a faster time was initially penalized for hanging onto his team car on the climb. Sweet! oh wait, they changed their mind. 2nd by a close 14 seconds. bunk or rama if the guy really cheated but what can ya do? stage 4 today. a short one, but a wicked profile with 3 stout climbs, especially with these wiry spanish chicos. team rode great and caleb and i hung tough to make a final group of 20. brought home a close 3rd in the sprint with caleb in 5th after a vicious attack in the closing meters that almost held off the field. we're gonna get it right sometime soon. thats the latest. back to belgium tomorrow. 2 more weeks and its to the states for Tour of GA. see you then?

Monday, March 05, 2007

i used to read word up magazine

i think that past few weeks (since mid Jan.) have been the longest running "in country" trip I've ever completed. and in Feb!? thats one way to get the cycling season going I guess. Tour of Cali is a wrap. What a race! not the most stellar race from me personally, but a world class event in the U.S. so you gotta dig it. my week in cali was a long one. a brutal awakening after a tough winter of less then stellar prep, but i'm happy to have made it through.

giving what i had left in the tank during the tt...

Back in banner elk now. trying to ward off the last stages of the plague. good to be back in the area. extra good to see the peeps who i hadn't seen in a bit. flippin chilly here tho. the collegiate team is already on a tear with some solid results in the greenville, SC training races this past weekend. Its a bit weird to not be rockin and rolling with them like usual, but exciting for me to hear they are stronger then ever.

The lack of classes is slightly odd too. hence the time for the blog post. odd in a good way i suppose, but I have to say this past week is the most its hit me. now i can look forward to being the creepy guy that graduated and still hangs around!!
A big thanks to Jason Lummis for reminding me how old I am with these sweet blast from the past pics....


Saturday, February 17, 2007


the real start to the race season is here. I can't say I'm super amped, particularily focussed or that I'm busting out of my skin to start, but I'm getting there. by the time of my prolgue start tomorrow, I'll be ready to rock.

So far, everything regarding the race is top notch. plush hotel, good food, organized events and a swanky team presentation. I'm sure the rest of the week will follow in the same way.
paul sherwin, dave towle and bob roll gettin the black tie crowd going...

yesterday (also my bday), the team made a day trip to nearby sponsor "Specialized" Cool to meet the people and minds behind the gear we are riding. they hooked us up with some new space age tt helmets so make sure to check the pics tomorrow. We'll be the good looking ones in the spider man kits!
check out the new tt rigs specialized gave us!

not a bad blup on cyclingnews about us. a small quote and pic from me...."It's a little overwhelming and we're all a little anxious," explained Bookwalter. "You think about it all year, but when you roll into the parking lot and see all the teams and all the riders, the magnitude of it kind of hits you. But it's still a bike race and we're all strong and capable riders. I think we all want to leave some mark on this race. We're definitely the youngest team here, but we just want to have an impact and represent and show these guys that we belong here."
smile. its a rainbow.

thats all for now. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

back from Italy, on the bike for a week (knee starting to hold up), off to Salt Lake City for some testing with the new team, over to California for a training camp and finally across the continent to the bahamas. some good, some bad, some ugly, but all in all; everything seems to be moving into the right place.

Of course I've missed some hot photo ops, and only realize this now when i'm looking to post. here's a few from this past week in the bahamas. Off to California tomorrow. just over a week till that kinda big race out there.

The one and only Dave Towle was brought in for our team presentation. ingnore the mismatched helmets.
Team building anyone??
we flew a few private planes to another island in search of better roads. no bike box required.
cyclists + beech = pasty white, tanlines and lots of sunscreen
new sporty sweatshirts. hmm, maybe sporty wasn't the word.
this place has lots of beech
can you get used to the new colors?
come back readers!! i'm still here!!!!