Friday, September 23, 2011

The Little Black Box

Throughout my entire life, I've been sad/angry about things. But you're not supposed to let those things eat at you - so I've learned to let them go.  Or most of them.  This past week has been torturous for me. I have too much time at work to stalk the paracycling world.  I've got excel spreadsheets listing all of the possible people in possibly classes I could compete against.  I know who's going to what games.  There *might* be a regression equation somewhere listing all the variables I need to pay attention to in order to get the time I need. It all gets me in a huff puff.  I'm working my ass over here - giving up being with friends, family and Notre Dame football. And then random shit happens and it's all blown out of the water.

I want to preface my black box statement with the fact that this is hard for me to write. I try to let things go....move on, be nice and kind and only control what I can control.

There are a few things that still really make me angry.  I keep my last full leg brace in a cabinet in my house. Every so often, I bring it out and a rush of bad memories floods through my body.  So, next week, for Lucas Factor (I'm sure I could look him up on Facebook), who called me Peg Legs in the third grade, this race is for you. For the times I wanted to play soccer and baseball and I wasn't allowed; this ones for you.  For times they made me run the mile in Junior High PE and I came in dead last EVERY week because I can't run!  For every single dance that I said no to because I didn't want to disgrace a boy having to take a girl who couldn't wear high heels and  for every, every event in the future where'll I'll be the only woman in flats.  For all of the times I wanted to play soccer with the kids, but I was stuck in adapated PE.  For all the boys I didn't feel I was good enough to say yes to a date because I am a liability, not an asset.  For Sister Pat who didn't understand a damned thing about me and nearly ruined my time at Notre Dame.  Few people have ever told me I can't do what I want.  This time, just like every other time, I will say I can. I will be a winner.  I will earn what I deserve.

I have a tiny tiny scar on my right upper arm.  It's hard to see and sometimes I worry because it's getting harder to see. But I know it's there  The scar is from my PICC line.  I hate that stupid thing. I hate that it ruined my chances to go to University of Chicago - the best school in my graduate field and specialization; on a full-ride. It makes me angry that it hurt so god-damn badly and there was nothing they could do. It makes me mad that I was so sick for so long or why there was a hole in my leg that went to the bone  and no one knew what to do. But it also reminds me that I trained for a century while connected to an IV for 24-hours a days for 8-weeks.  Just take off the pump, connect it to a saline syringe and you've got a good hour ride before you need to reconnect to antibiotics.

Above all, I don't like to lose to someone I clearly should beat.  So that race at Nationals is for that. For "losing" to any one who wasn't good enough.  You'll be sorry.  You'll see me up on the podium at some international competition and your fat ass will be sitting watching some lame reality show.  You and sister Pat can sit together and think about just how wrong you were about me.  And I'll be the best in the world.  I will have no regrets and you will only have regrets. So f* you too.

I don't want to be angry, but when I started looking inside for those things that make me angry...they're still there. I know the combination and when the time comes to unlock it - I'll know the code.

1 comment:

  1. Laura, from the moment I met you, I was totally impressed with your incredible grace and your ability to brighten whatever corner of the world you entered. As a middle-aged grumpy teacher, your vibrancy invigorated me and to this day I know how totally blessed I am that our paths entwined. Because I have always seen your gifts and talents, I never understood how you didn't view yourself in the same light. The hurt so recklessly and undeservedly strewn your way needs to be cast out, and it tickles me to know that your sparkle and determination are the tools you're using to shed your deeply held anger. There's not a person I know, today, who doesn't believe in you and all the goodness you stand for. You're the best fighter I know, and I am so proud of all you've done, and can't wait to see all the rest of what you've got in store for the world.

    Go get 'em Laura! Lucas and Sister Pat are nothing but big jerks and how utterly sad for them that they missed out on having one of the nicest people on this planet as their friend.