Today I witnessed something pretty cool in stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California. 22 year old Peter Sagan of Team Liquigas Cannondale had two flat tires, and one big crash that knocked him to the back of the peloton and guess what? He won the stage. Yesterday he punctured, and won the stage. Completely calm, cool and collected when riders at least a decade his senior might have panicked a bit or gotten upset with the team mechanic. But not Sagan. Did I mention that he is 22? Why do I write this when most folks I know have no clue who Sagan is? Simple. I’m pondering whether his calmness under extreme pressure is the pure innocence of youth (I’m out here riding my bike!), or is it an intense desire to win, no matter what comes his way? And I’m wondering if those of us well, umm, many years past 22, can learn something from this phenomenal young rider. Fate threw her best tricks at him, and unphased, he calmly closed the gap to the field and then won easily. Hmmm.. Can I take something away from this? One second he’s on the ground holding an injured arm, then later he’s standing on the road waiting for a tire change. Some of us who are older and wiser might have said ‘man, I’m just gonna finish this inside the time cutoff and live to ride another day’ but not this young man. So, just maybe I can channel a little of this Sagan determination and see what I might be able to do. Funny thing, I was so inspired I hopped on the bike trainer (now, that might seem like no big deal, but two things 1) I haven’t touched my bike in forever and 2) I have a recently torn tendon in my left calf). Well, let’s just say my ride didn’t really get started because my injury reminded me that I am not 22, I have a bad calf, and I am not a pro tour rider. But darn it, I am inspired! 🙂
Now back to my sports ramblings… My man (and World Champion) Mark Cavendish won a fantastic sprint in stage 5 at the Giro today 🙂 So that makes me really really happy. There was a bad, completely uncalled for crash on Monday that caused Cav to have to WALK with his bike over his shoulder across the finish line, and American phenom Taylor Phinney went to hospital for a foot injury (but did NOT withdraw!). They were taken out by a sprinter (Ferrari) who, in blatant disregard for the rules, did not hold his line in the final sprint and literally swerved across the road and crashed those behind him. His only punishment was to be relegated that day… If that had been Cav with that move, he’d be at home!
We can safely say that this crash took the pink jersey off the back of Phinney.
But these boys are TOUGH – if you’re a sports fan and don’t watch any cycling, give it a look. They crash into barbed wire fences, get hit by cars, get taken out by other riders, and get back up to finish the race.
Except when they don’t. This week cycling fans have heavy hearts as we think about one of the young riders who did not get back up. Wouter Weylandt died one year ago, in stage 3 of this same race. WW#108 forever in our hearts. Proudly wearing my 108 shirt in remembrance this week.
Three weeks until the US National Championship (time trial and road race) in Greenville, SC (that city’s last year to host). I cannot wait to watch these guys at work. If you’re interested and have no plans Memorial Day weekend come join me!
I so badly wanted to write Tuesday night when I was so disappointed in my state, but I thought I should cool off a bit. I’m still disappointed, embarrassed, all those same emotions I felt Tuesday night when Amendment One passed by such a large margin too. But I’ve had time to think about it and a few good things: I saw postings and comments from my friends who felt the same way as me, and it’s awesome to see that there are so many of us who believe in equal rights. It was wonderful to read and see the passion of my friends. Also, I am from the great county of MECKLENBURG, where we voted AGAINST!
Now it’s time to do what we passionate people do – we plan, we energize, we organize and we ACT. We’re some really smart people so let’s figure out next steps for action…
What an amazing evening out there. Only came inside when the clouds covered the moon but it was a great time to reflect on things. First let me say I found my positive Friday sports moment- the Braves won in comeback fashion, and the greatest closer in history said he’s not going out this way (the knee injury). So we don’t have to say goodbye just yet to the last #42 in the game. Had a good workout today. Wasn’t my strongest ever but the thing that made it great was that I did it. Sure wasn’t feelin it when it started but since I was already there might as well give it a go. Came home and sat outside talking to my neighbor and it dawned on me that I’m really really lucky. I might get down on myself far too often but I have to stop and realize that I have great friends and family who love and support me even when I’m not at my best, or when I don’t make it to 7am Saturday morning workouts. Did I have a million things I wanted to cross off my to-do list tonight? Sure. But just sometimes you have to stop and enjoy the moments that come to you. Those clothes that need folding will still be there but sharing a laugh and a beautiful moon with a friend sometimes matters more. Just sometimes you have to slow down and enjoy what comes. Little moments in life will make our hearts smile if we only will let them.
So, a fact about me: I’m fanatical about my Atlanta Braves, and also the NY Yankees. I’ve caught a lot of flack over that, people tell me I can’t like BOTH of them… But I’m me, and I do. Cause that’s how I roll. Anyway, I was happy with Chipper’s walk off homer over the Phillies Wednesday, then the Phillies bounced back yesterday. Oh, and the Braves made today’s NOT top 10 because Brian McCann got poked in the eye during his grand slam celebration 🙂
Yesterday the Yanks lost Mariano Rivera with a torn ACL – who doesn’t love it when we hear Enter Sandman over the speakers as he comes into a game (ok, ok, probably not opposing teams).
I wrote about something sad in sports yesterday, so today I’m on the lookout for a positive feel good sports story. Stay tuned to see where it comes from…
Plenty to choose from on a playoff Friday… this could be fun, maybe a regular feature.
Still feeling sad and perplexed by the suicide of Junior Seau. I just can’t forget that smile and his never quit on a play attitude. I’m sad for the loved ones left behind to question why. I’m sad for sports fans too because we are left to wonder if anything can be done to stop the devastating brain injuries (maybe this isn’t why 55 is gone but it gives us pause…). And is it just football, or what about boxing, mma, other sports with direct or indirect head injuries? How many athletes suffer in silence or deaths go unpublicized because they aren’t Hall of Famers? I don’t know… Maybe none. But just something I was thinking about. These amazing athletes play their sports for our entertainment, and as a result make an amazing living (or maybe not for the unsung ones). What should happen now? Is it our fault as a culture or society because we demand this product? Or should the powers that be in each sport now work really really hard to make safety even more of a priority? Is it possible without changing the intensity and passion the public demands? Would we complain then that every game is like the Pro Bowl or NHL All Star game? Just some random thoughts. I’m not on either side here I’m just really sad that we won’t see that 1000 watt smile again. RIP Junior.
Ok folks someone help me out. Why all the fuss about changing the Bobcats’ name back to the Hornets? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on some talented players instead? I know there’s heartburn about Bob Johnson but does just changing the team name really put the team on the right track? Isn’t it more about investing in the talent it takes to put a good product on the floor night after night?
Amazing task to come up with a blog title. Think this one describes me. Will be writing about my pro teams (Braves, Bobcats, Avalanche and Dolphins), my dogs (Sallie, Samson, Sadie and Izzy), my training (love lifting heavy stuff, don’t so much love many things called cardio), and my journey to live out loud not letting life pass me by.