Monday, June 8, 2009


(At least I hope so!)

Here we go again.  In just a few hours I will be going under the knife for a third time.  This surgery is bittersweet.  I am very excited to get rid of this drain but worried the new placement of my kidney will not be very comfortable for my active life!


I have been traveling for the past few weeks race announcing and as a guest speaker.  The first as I mentioned before was in Michigan and it was a lot of fun.  I was then able to visit my uncle in Northern Alabama before heading to Pelham for the Xterra Southest Championship.  While I was visiting I was hit with the news about Steve Larsen.  At first I thought I wasn't reading my emails correctly.  Then I thought someone was playing a really cruel joke.  When I realized it was all true I was without words.  I sat down on the couch and just looked at my uncle.  Steve's passing brought up a lot of emotions about my uncle Ricky who passed away from a massive heart attack right in front of me 10years ago this August.  He was the twin brother of the uncle I was visiting.  I was very close to him. 

I then thought about the first time I ever raced in a mountain bike race.  It was a Norba National Championship race and I was in the beginner category.  It was only the third time I ever mountain biked.  I cried the entire time we prerode the course because it was so muddy and technical.  I went on to win the race but vowed not to ride again! (So much for that) I remember watching Steve Larsen race and thinking what an amazing athlete.  I followed his career hearing about how the Olympic committee wouldn't put him on the Olympic team because of a mechanical even though he was our best mountain biker.  He finished out the season capturing the Norba National Mountain bike title but he hung up his bike not wanting to ever race that sport again.  He then picked up road triathlons as his new career.  He attacked it with the same passion as every other sport he competed in from Road cycling to cyclocross.  It is no wonder I was excited to see him racing Xterra in 2004.  It was even better when I found out he had moved back to Davis which was only 20minutes from where I was living.  It was a chance for me to get to know him more personally.  We even shared the same sponsor.

After I won the Xterra USA Championship in 2004 he walked up and complimented me on my race uniform.  I was sporting a white uniform with red and blue stars.  I was very patriotic.  He lost that race to Conrad by 30seconds but he still captured the USA title.  He was proud to be an American and proud to represent his country.  I think that is what I admired the most about him!

When I made my way down to Pelham I knew we needed to do something to recognize such a great ambassador to our sport.  Before the race start, Conrad said a few things and then we had a moment of silence.  If you get the chance please visit  He leaves behind a wife and 5 kids and a big legacy!

I ended up having a really great time in Alabama despite the sad news.  It was great to still be a part of Xterra.  I had so much fun announcing with Kalei. I was even updating my facebook on how the race was unfolding.

I then flew home for a couple days, went to a doctor's appointment then flew to Indiana.  I was asked to be a guest speaker for a race in Terre Haute and at a church.  I had the pleasure of a wonderful homestay at the race director's in-laws.  Paul and Judy were so much fun.  Courtney kept saying that Judy and I were two peas in a pod.  He couldn't believe how much we resembled each other.  We both ended up announcing the race and having a blast.  There was only one mic so Courtney did most of the announcing.  He kept running around so I couldn't catch him!  In the end we were asked to come back next year and I truly hope I get too!

During all of that I was fighting off a cold.  I needed to get well so they wouldn't cancel my surgery.  I have waited too long for this.  Thankfully due to lots of praying I am well enough!

I don't know what life is going to be like after this surgery.  I can only hope it is better than right now.  Every day that I go to the gym the handicapped parking is right in front of the pool.  I've had to watch people swimming every time I park for the last 6 months and I keep telling myself, "One day soon!"  It is enough to drive one crazy.  But ultimately I know my day will come soon and it will be work the wait.  Heck right now I just can't wait until I can stand underneath a shower nozzle and let the water pour all the way down my back.  No more standing with my head under as I shampoo and condition it.  Then I have to put one arm then the other and then wash my legs all the while trying to avoid getting the whole where my drain comes out wet.  It takes forever!


As I go into this next surgery I pray that all goes well.  I pray that I can still go to the bathroom on my own and that there is no further damage.  I also pray that the doctors can tuck my kidney in far enough that it doesn't really bother me.  I will be out for at least 8 hours so most of all I hope I wake up because you never know when it is going to be your time!

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fishy_outawater said...

Good luck Jamie, we will all be thinking of you.

Leo said...

Good luck Jamie.
Will be praying for you!

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Good luck with the surgery, Jamie. We are praying for you!

Anonymous said...

All of Saipan is wishing you the best so you can come back here and swim the tanks with us!!!!!

Alyssa Ballisty Photography said...

You are quite an inspiration. Praying for peace and healing.