Cyclocross Magazine regular contributor Kenton Berg, who brought us the “Training with Power for Cyclocross” segment, has been out of competition for a while due to a knee injury. Kenton continues to find parallels between cyclocross and life, and to learn lessons from both. In case you missed it, go back and read his previous journal entry, What If?
by Kenton Berg
“Young grasshopper, it is not what you have lost but what you have gained…”
I’m not sure if I really heard these words or if I dreamed them. Maybe they were conjured up from seeing the remake of The Karate Kid with my kids. Either way, I looked back at my ’cross season-, ski season-, and most of a road season-ending injury through a different lens as these words resonated through me.
One way to see losing the ability to compete or enjoy sports is to look deeper into yourself and find what might have been gained by the experience. I can say that 10 years, even five years ago, I never would have thought this way, but this may be one benefit of age. My older and wiser self said to find something positive out of this experience and not to dwell on the “why me” or “what if” trap that is so easy to fall into.
I wrote the above up as the start of my column for this season and it for a brief moment seemed so important, so noteworthy. Then I received an email from a friend of mine about one of our high school friends and her infant son’s agonizing battle with cancer. Sadly, that battle was being lost and he was near death at the time of her last blog entry.
Getting that news and then reading her blog was the equivalent of getting kicked in the nuts. It hurts, it’s painful and it doesn’t go away quickly. I cried like a little girl after reading her blog, knowing how painful it was for them, as parents, to face this. It is amazing how what I was writing about so parallels her thoughts on her last blog entry. Her pending loss also had something gained from it. Below is an excerpt from my friend’s blog…
….our boy is a fighter. As has been the case all along, he knows what’s best and I think, aside from being a courageous fighter, he knew we needed this time with him. Time to love on him, hold him and tell him what a better place our life is for having been given the privilege of being his parents.
While our miracle isn’t what I thought or hoped and prayed for…it has been a true miracle to watch our tiny baby give so much to so many with the grace and poise he showed during these past six months. Oh yes…and that great, big, beautiful smile.
As I sit here holding him, I am devastatingly sad for what we are losing but so grateful for every second we enjoyed with this angel and the life’s lessons I will carry throughout my life because of my son.
p.s. To God…If you’re game, we’re up for a great big miracle about now.
Pray this never happens to you and your kids, and if you have kids – hug them now! If it has happened, you are likely stronger than I am and wiser for it, and I’m sorry. I’m still astounded by the composure my friend showed in her writing as well as her ability to find something positive in such a sad point in time.
I’ve come to find that life teaches us ’cross lessons just as ’cross teaches us life lessons. My point is this, sports (cyclocross especially) and life are a lot fun, but don’t take them for granted, and cherish every day you walk this planet. Realize that what we do every weekend during ’cross season is a gift, and treat it so.