A bike ride, a broken chain and the National Champion who rescued me!

Yesterday I mowed the lawn. I shouldn’t have had to mow it because the Kid just mowed it on Sunday afternoon….unfortunately the lawn tractor doesn’t work unless you engage the blade! But what really gets me is the fact that MacGyver was outside the entire time the kid was riding around on that tractor and neither of them noticed the grass was NOT getting shorter. Unbelievable, classic but unbelievable.


So, as I mentioned I mowed the lawn which means I woke up at 3 am with a blistering sinus infection and itchy, watery eyes. Needless to say, I was in no mood to get up at 5:30 am and go running. Instead I got up at 7:30 and took the dogs for a walk and then got out the old bike and took her for a spin.

Things went pretty good for the first 7 miles although my seat did feel like it needed to be raised. Unfortunately at mile 7 my chain failed and by failed I mean, it got all jammed up and partially fell off.

I should have seen it coming. It had been slipping all morning.

Fortunately, the lady running behind me stopped to help. She said she knew a little about bikes and that she rode occasionally. After about 10 minutes we got the chain back on and I was able to pedal so I rode along side her down the trail and we talked a bit. I told her I normally run and didn’t really know squat about bikes but needed to cross train and thought the bike would be a good fit. I also told her about my ‘dead butt’ and how I was trying to strengthen it. She’s in the medical field and offered some good advice.

I also noticed how well she ran. I was so impressed by how perfect and easy her running form seemed, and she was quite good at keeping her pace consistent. She didn’t even have a Garmin or a Polar or any kind of fancy watch helping her out. I told her how impressed I was and it was at that point that she told me she ran triathlons. She’s been running them for over 25 years, she started in the 90’s but she’s been an athlete since the age of 11.

We continued on and talked about training and she told me about her training and how much she really loves running. She also said she never runs the same marathon twice. She wants to go all over and experience all kinds of races. I kind of like that. After a while she said she had to go and I thanked her again and off she ran.

I rode on and thought about how inspiring she was. Not only is she an excellent athlete who’s been running triathlons for over 25 years but she also suffers from Macular Degeneration. So since 2011 she’s been competing with a guide, because in case I didn’t mention it, she is also legally blind. She runs this trail every day because she knows it so well, she can run it by herself and she likes that. Oh, and another thing, she’s not only an athlete, she’s a National Champion!

And that champion got right down there on the ground and got all greasy as she put the chain back on my piece-of-crap, Wal-Mart bike.

Sometimes, when you least expect it, you meet the most amazing people…

When is the last time you met someone inspirational?

16 thoughts on “A bike ride, a broken chain and the National Champion who rescued me!

  1. Thats awesome! Well….not awesome that your bike chain broke, but that you met her! I truly believe things happen for a reason, and that was meant to be that way. So cool that she has not let macular degeneration or being blind stop her!

    I feel like the world is filled with so many inspirational people. I have a friend who I never ever see down. He has brittle bones and wasnt meant to live beyond a year…then 18, and now he is a healthy, independent 25 year old. He is my Inspiration 🙂

    • Your friend sounds amazing and he’s probably an inspiration to a lot of people whether he knows it or not. I admire people like Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher but it’s people like your friend that give me the courage to get out there and move! 🙂

  2. wow that is amazing!!! Im totally inspired! today is my first day of rehearsal and I’m nursing bruised pelvis, arms and ego from learning to do bungees for a show. This is my career and somedays its really hard to push myself. It’s double inspiring to read about athletes who overcome difficulties for something they love that’s not their career!!!

    • Good luck Crista, I’m sure you’ll do great because you’re pretty amazing yourself! 🙂 Not many people can hang upside down and spin all around like you do, you’re extremely talented. 🙂

    • It was amazing. I was telling MacGyver about it over dinner and he said it was so cute how in awe I was of her. 🙂 I’m pretty sure he’d feel the same way if he met Ted Nugent or Bill Dance. Ha!

    • She is in her mid 50’s and has had it for a while though she only became legally blind in recent years. What was interesting is that she was a triathlete long before the MD took her sight and she found a way to continue to compete after she became legally blind. I was so in awe of her. 🙂

    • I know right. I was a little mortified though when I thought back and good lord I should have been so embarassed by my crappy Wal-Mart bike 🙂

  3. After a mountain biking accident in 2008, my bro-in-law, Rob Buren, became a paraplegic. Since the accident, he’s dedicated himself to athletics. This past summer, he became the first Canadian EVER to complete a FULL Ironman triathlon, down in Louisville! Inspiration-wise, he’s the first person to come to mind any time I feel tired and want to quit on a run!

    • That’s definitely inspirational, your brother in law sounds like a hell of a guy. The lady I met today is my new hero and after stalking her on Google and reading all about her accomplishments I am even more impressed with how humble she is. Truly amazing.

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