Last week, my wife and I drove 1000 miles to a pair of bike races in Pennsylvania and D.C. We arrived at our hotel on Friday night, and we were so tired that we left my bike locked on our car and went straight to sleep. After a wonderful nine hours of sleep, we made coffee and walked down the stairs to the car. Much to our surprise, we found that my bike had been stolen.
A police officer came and took our information, but he made it clear to us that the bike would not be found. It was gone. I was supposed to race that night in a race for which I had trained for months, but I did not have a bike.
A wonderful company called SRAM allowed me to use a bike that night, but it was not a good fit, and I finished anonymously in the pack. The next day was even worse. I borrowed another bike from SRAM, and I was involved in a crash. I hurt my knee pretty bad and got a concussion, but I managed to get back into the race and finish anonymously in the pack once again.
If it weren't for bad luck...
People often tell me that I have bad luck. They might be right. Within the last twelve weeks, my house burned down, my bike got stolen, and I crashed bad enough that I have to see an orthopedic surgeon. Sarah and I seem to go from one crisis to the next, but it never seems to affect me. I deal with disappointment well. Stuttering strikes again.
Life as a stutterer is a series of small disappointments. I picture myself telling a joke to a rapt group of friends who laugh hysterically as I deliver the punchline, but in reality, I stutter so bad that they lose me halfway through the telling of the joke. I picture myself ordering lunch without having to spell out my chosen menu item four times, but in reality, I end up getting extra onions instead of no onions or two kinds of cheese instead of no cheese because the server just can't understand me. I pictured myself saying my wedding vows clearly and loudly, but in reality...
All of these little disappointments have taught me that there is light at the end of the tunnel (if only so another tunnel can begin). No disappointment lasts forever, and I only lose when I stop trying.