What dad said is true.
"Worrying is like a rocking horse, you go forwards and backwards, but you never get anywhere."
I used to sit in a hockey rink and watch my son get squashed against the boards. He left the AAA hockey scene a few years ago to pursue his passion - mountain biking. Downhill mountain biking.
This is a great sport. The parents are outside in the woods. Breathing in fresh air. Lots of good days in the sun. But for me, I have to wait at the finish line.
It's a timed race. Rolling down rock faces. Transcending large jumps. Flying through the air at lightning speeds. He's been clocked at over 50 km an hour. On a bike.
A good pal said to me when he started, "expect some broken bones."
When the season started THIS year, the first injury during training was his hand and thumb. Nothing broken thankfully. The next one was a concussion. A bad one. He called me up one day to say he was training on some stairs and his head started to spin and he felt really sick. Not good. So he rested some.
Back at her it was a practice run in Port Angeles where I was watching, at the finish line. He was catapulted off the bike and slid on gravel to an uncomfortable stop. Stitches weren't required. But a heavy dose of antibiotics were.
Then there was the foot that hit the tree and he was again sent soring through the air head first. Broken toes, hip pointer, three torn muscles. He carried on. This was on the right side.
Training again at the dirt jump park he then broke his left ankle.
Due to head east for a series of races he left in pieces. I would hear from him when he bashed the bad ankle. Four times.
He raced. He won. Amazingly. He raced again. And then there was the most horrific experience I've ever encountered.
I watched it live on the Internet. What appeared to be a good run ended in a broken front fork and bent in half front tire.
He went down hard. I'm on one coast, he's on the other.
I left the computer and sat down on the ground and prayed. "He's going to be ok. He's going to be ok." He's going to be ok."
Someone eventually rolled him off the course. He later woke and got up. Sore. But ok.
How do I cope knowing the risks of this sport? How do I prepare myself for each race?
Positive thoughts. I send love. I do not allow any negative thoughts to enter into my mind.
I have a network of DH mums now that I can talk to.
But I have to keep the faith. He is strong and he is healthy.
There are little rituals that I go through before each race run. If I'm not there. I play Ted Nugent's 'Fred Bear' three times. I meditate peace, love (speed) and SAFETY.
I say to him every time. Ride SAFE, Have FUN! Pinner! Ripper! Pedal to the metal....
If I don't hear back from him "I will," then I get worried.
But remind myself what dad always said, "Worrying is like a rocking horse, you go forwards and backwards, but you never get anywhere."
Thanks again, Dad.