Saturday, December 13, 2008

Coach Troy

We're enjoying a mellow weekend over here and I'm feeling just fine. Put in a regular week of work and did all of the things that you wouldn't expect a guy with cancer to be doing. My favorite line from Monty Python And The Holy Grail often comes to mind these days: "I'm not quite dead, yet."

Living a normal life includes resuming my normal bike training routine during the winter, which is doing a variety of interval drills with my bike up on a folding trainer under the direction of Coach Troy Jacobson, who has put out a bunch of DVDs under the name Spinervals. These DVDs have a couple of benefits: (1) they keep you from being bored out of your skull while sitting on a stationary bike in your basement at 5:30 a.m. and (2) they push you to challenge your own limits and build more endurance and power reserves when you get back on the road.

I've started posting my training log on the right-hand side of this blog, partially to brag, but mostly to reassure you that I really am doing ok. There will be ups and downs, usually for the days around a chemo treatment, but for the most part, I should be able to live and work and play as I normally would, with the exception that I am absolutely positively not going to shake your hand or share a swig out of your beer bottle given my dangerously low white blood cell counts.

I eased back into my training regime earlier this week with relatively short, lower intensity (for me anyway) rides of 30 and 42 minutes, respectively. Today, I planned to do about an hour and a quarter, covering about 30 miles in that time, following Coach Troy's DVD called Spinervals
22.0 - Time Trialapalooza.

So, I was in my spandex (sorry, no pictures--for which former colleagues at Boston Beyond breathe a sigh of relief) about to head down to the basement when Kath brought in the mail before heading out to run her errands. At the top of the pile was a padded envelope from Troy Jacobson MultiSport, postmarked White Hall, MD. I tore it open to find a brand new Spinervals DVD (Spinervals 28.0 Aero Base Builder IV) and a hand written note from none other than Coach Troy himself:

Dear Steve:

Happy Holidays! Kathleen sent me a note about you. I wanted to first say that I wish you all the best in regard to your treatment--and recovery. Being fit will be a huge benefit. I also wanted to thank you for using Spinervals DVDs as part of your training regimen. I hope you 'enjoy' them. Finally, be strong, ride smart, and keep the rubber to the road.

Best wishes,

Troy Jacobson

I have to say that this simple note, from a guy who I have occasionally cursed as a sadist with corny jokes (pretty much an extension of my own personality, I guess) moved me to tears. So many of you have written me emails, called me, sent me cards, and done so many, many loving things to let me know that I am in no way alone in this struggle, that I have as big a cheering section as Lance Armstrong ascending the Alpe D'Huez. And now, thanks to my amazingly loving and resourceful wife, I have this half stranger/half household fixture cheering me on.

So, I went downstairs and posted that note right next to my bike on the wall, climbed on and proceeded to kick the crap out of Time Trialapalooza putting in as good a time as I did before chemo.

Life goes on, and I plan to go on living. As I've written before, please don't grieve for me, because I am not grief-stricken. I am counting my lucky stars for each and everyone of you. And for Coach Troy. And especially for Kathleen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love that Kathleen girl. She's a keeper man. :)

Love and hugs,

P.S. I can't seem to access my blogger account.