When I arrived in a treatment center in the
mountains, it was late, dark, and cold. My eyes were hazy, unfocused, and my hands shook slightly in the first symptom of many I would learn accompanies withdrawal Colorado
I was underweight (even for a cyclist). I had ulcers. My skin had a sallow, almost green tint. Jaundice. This, I was told, was from my liver’s inability to function, full as it was of toxins. I was severely depressed. My life in shambles. Homeless, jobless, indebted, a divorce looming.
I was, as it turns out, very, very lucky.
My impossibly supportive family, with the help of friends: had staged an intervention. I reeled. I resisted. And eventually, I relented. Taking with me a suitcase my mother packed (I would later learn she had forgotten to include underwear) and accompanied by my father, my sister, and a saint-like family friend, I headed for
in a snowstorm. Estes Park
I cannot underscore the importance of a 28-day treatment program for those addicts and alcoholics of a certain type. I was of that type. I learned and grew and turned into something of a human again, and I am grateful to the point of tears that I was given that chance.
When I emerged from that cloistered valley, I was scared. I had skills, and a plan, and for the first time in years, I had hope. But I was still scared.
I went to meetings. Lots of meetings. I meditated, prayed, made my bed every day. Eventually, I began riding again.
I had missed riding. In the months leading up to my “bottom” I had quit riding altogether. Too sick, too wound up, too drunk, or too hungover. I stopped doing one of the things that made me who I am. And I suffered more for it.
So now I am back on the bike. Riding and racing as much as I can.