Cale has spent the last several months training for a triathlon. Not in some crazy over-the-top way, but swimming a few times a week, getting out on his bike and the occasional run. (He hates to run.) Well, last Wednesday was his first race and it sure turned out to me a memorable night.
The kids and I were enjoying hanging out with friends while our husbands/dads raced around. They swam their half mile and were all set to head out on their bikes when we realized the sky was getting a bit dark. A few minutes later the cops were at the beach evacuating people because tornadoes had touched down nearby. In an instant the sky was black and the wind was blowing like crazy. Imagine trash blowing all around and not being able to walk upright because the winds are blowing you back! My kids were hysterical as we trudged up from the beach back to our car. It was insane! We made it back to the car moments after it started to pour. By the time we had gotten settled in the car my friend, D, and I had decided we were going to go follow the bike route and try to find our husbands. As we were pulling out of the parking lot several riders were coming back in, realizing that the rain, wind and lightening were not ideal conditions for a bike race. (Note: Cale did not get that memo!)
The next hour was stressful as we drove through a massive storm trying to spot Cale. D and I kept calling each other with updates. An hour into our search she called with the worst news. Her husband had been hit by a car on his bike! He was taken to the hospital by ambulance and she and her kids were following behind. Her phone call escalated my stress and made me even more anxious to find Cale. I drove back and forth along parts of the course knowing he'd have to turn up eventually. I called my mom to ask her to pray and she asked God to just have Cale be there- right in front of me. Not a minute later, Cale was indeed, "right there"! We were ecstatic to see him and started honking the horn. The rain had let up some by this point but it was still lightening and thundering like crazy. I pulled up next to Cale and asked if he knew the race was over. He was so focused on the race that he didn't really think about how bad the conditions were. At one point, an enormous tree had fallen completely blocking the road and he had to lift his bike up and climb over it. He said he thought about turning around then but figured he was well past the half-way mark and might as well continue. Cale ended up doing 16 of the 21 miles in a horrendous storm- crazy man!
Once I safely had my husband we rushed to the hospital to be with our friends. Thankfully, J wasn't hurt badly, but did break his tailbone and got some serious road rash. The spent the better part of the night at the ER and we brought their kids home with us for a sleepover. It was definitely a crazy night and one we won't soon forget!
So Cale's not quite a triathlete yet...only a dual. But there's always next time. Let's hope next week's race goes a whole lot better!