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Friday, May 24, 2013

My first race on my Catrike 700 - an amazing experience with Possabilities

 

Growing up with Cerebral Palsy, competition was something that never cross my mind.  I would see other compete, but never really competed except on video games.  Everything changed in 2011 when a friend introduced me to hand cycling and took me to tried one out.  He then told me about Team Possabilities and that I could win a grant through them to get my own racing machine.  So, I went to try a few Catrikes at Bentupcycles and I fell in love with the 700 - the fastest recumbent trike.  I wanted it so bad. I was so excited!  So, I wrote the best essay for the grant, submitted it in July 2012 and asked God to please give me this trike.  The winners were to be announced at the Possabilities's annual dinner at end of the year. So waited patiently for the dinner.  My friend told me that I would get a notice a week before if was selected.  In my heart, since childhood I have always believed that anything I desire, I can get it, and I believed that the trike was mine. But, my faith was tested.  The week of the dinner came, and I don't get a notice.  My mind started to play games with me, but something in my heart told me, not to doubt.  Well, I thought to myself, maybe it is not my time, next year. I went to the dinner with my wife and kids, sisters, and the whole family. During the dinner, they started to call the winners, and I was one of them.  This video tells the rest: 





Start Line

 April 4, 2013 8 AM  race day was here.  The Redlands Bicycle Classic - Stage 2 Circuit Road Race.
A one hour race.  I thought to myself.  I don't know what I got myself into, but I am doing it.  I was pumped up and excited. It was my first time in a any real competition.  The race started and I felt an adrenaline rush. After 20 minutes into the race, I was in 3rd, I look at the time, OMG!, there was 40 minutes remaining.  The thoughts of giving up came to mind, but I had to find that inner fire, and the cheers of "go daddy! "from my children really got me going again.  My only hope of winning a medal was 3rd place and I had it for most of the race; however, the experience of a veteran beat me. I finished in 4th and after the race, the Team Possabilities's coordinator asked me if I was coming the next day to the Circuit Road Race, a race I was not registered for. What the heck, I said yes. Although I was tired and soar, I wanted more, the experience of racing and competing was amazing!  I didn't know if my body would recover, but I just rested, ate much pasta, and drank gallons of Kangen water that evening and the next morning after.
 
Start of a Race
 
The next day, April 5 was a 1:30 PM criterium race - a fast-paste 25 minutes race in downtown Redlands.  I felt really good, actually I was pain-free.  Kangen water is amazing when it comes to recovering, repairing, and reducing buildup of lactic acid.  This time I felt that I could win the 3rd place medal.  I knew I was faster than the veteran. Well, the race started, and to start off, my calf strap came undone.  So I was about 20 second behind the 3rd place vet.  Somehow, I pedal so hard that I was able to catch up to the veteran and pass him. We were going back and forth, he would pass me and I would pass him. It was intense.  Dude, was I flying, I was taking some sharp turns at 18 mph. No fear ever cross my mind.  I was feeling stronger then ever, 10 minutes remained in the race. The unexpected happened, during a sharp turn, going 18 mph, I get cut-off.  The sudden maneuver I did to avoid a collision, flipped my trike over.  No pain, but I saw plenty of blood on my left elbow and my knees.  My legs were still strapped in and Pedi-medics come to asked if I was okay. "Yes, please help me unstrap and get back on my trike" I replied.  I lost like 5 minutes for the Pedi-medics patched my scrapes up and  were having a hard time strapping me again.
After meeting with asphalt.
 
Well, I managed to finished the race, and although I failed to win a medal, I won something more valuable than a medal.  I won the experience and the knowledge to get me to the next level.  I gained determination and fire to discipline myself and train even harder. Winning a medal a new goal that was born in me and I will do it.  Because when you want something and you put your trust in God, put in the sacrifice, and set your mind to do it, nothing will stop you.