In early March, one of my friends that used to play for the Chicago Chaos (semi-pro), and who is now a coach, invited me to their charity game against the Chicago Fire Department’s team. That immediately went on my calendar. And when a couple of other options came up that could have worked around it, I declined them to ensure that I could be there for it.
Because of my vision, traveling during the day is sometimes a challenge. Not so much because of not being able to read signs (I always figure a way to amek that work), but moreso that I’m dependent on someone else driving. To keep things within budget, I figured out a triant to train to cab route that was about $25 there and back. I even left early in case things didn’t work out exactly as planned.
When I made it to the city, I ran into the first bump with Metra having eliminated the a time for the 2nd train I needed. But because I had left early, I was still somewhat on track. As I wandered Union Station and got lunch, I saw two peacocks fighting (visually – not literally — essentially an man and woman were about to come to blows over one of them bumping the other and then both bringing out their feathers). Knowing I was cutting it close, I even took time to put Uber on my phone so I had a back up if needed.
When I got off the 2nd train, I only had 10 minutes to find a cab and get the 2 miles to the event. When I couldn’t find any or get one to come by 2:15, I went the Uber route. I really should have just figured out how to walk it and done that. I would have been better off, as I waited almost 90 minutes for the Uber to show. By the time he did, I wasn’t in any state to go for the last few minutes (if it was even still going on), so I went back to Union Station and went home.
While I was waiting to get picked up and the cabs / Ubers weren’t showing up, I was getting more and more frustrated. Not just in that moment, but also about when the vision gets worse and I have even more issues with getting around. I happened to be waiting in front of a liquor store, and I had serious thoughts of going inside to get a bottle of something strong to pound when I got back home. I knew it would sidetrack training and all productive things for a few days, but that really wasn’t my concern in those moments.
What stopped me every time I got to the point where I was ready to walk inside were thoughts related to Dare2Tri. Not just having met a long list of extraordinary athletes that do so much with less than me, but also the fact that they had selected me for the Development Team. They’ve put their resources and belief behind me, even with the limitations I have. Those were the strings of thoughts that kept me from going inside.
While it was a hard day, and not something that I necessarily wanted to write about, I did it for this simple reason. There are ALWAYS going to be hard days – in training, in races and in life. When those come, find a way to push the dark clouds away and bring the sun back into full focus.