Life Lately

Hi friends!

This past month has felt like a roller coaster, and I’ve been meaning to fill you all in. My fiancé Will and I kicked of July at the beach in South Carolina and it provided just the right amount of rest and relaxation. We were there for a whole week and our days consisted largely of long walks on the beach, reading by the beach, paddleboarding and bike rides. And, then the month took a crazy, surprising turn!

One of the highlights was going out on my little brother’s boat with Will. We went to an inlet and posted up on a sandbar. It was like we had our own little private beach. Jackson caught a few sharks while we were there and I found a hermit crab and sand dollar. On our way in we fished and I caught a fish for the first time in many years! (Side note: everything we caught or found was released back into its habitat.) Our beach trip definitely helped me slow down and enjoy all the blessings in my life. If you have not visited South Carolina’s beaches, you should really check them out. The marsh land, islands and inlets that make up the coast are so unique and beautiful.

And then…

The week following our beach trip, I dove straight back into work for a big event. There were a couple late nights and then it was time to hit the road on Friday to meet up with Will outside of Pittsburgh for a motorcycle race. He was all set to race on Saturday, July 15 for an endurance race similar to the one we travelled to New Jersey for on Memorial Day weekend. When I look back on that morning, it did feel chaotic and rushed. Maybe those were the only signs that things were “off.” Will started the race and I watched him zoom by… only to hear just one second later, “Will’s down! Will is down! I saw him go down!”

I immediately went into auto-pilot, focused on getting to Will and seeing if he was ok. We travelled down the track and I could see him getting up from his bike. He gave us a thumbs down sign, and might heart sank, knowing something was wrong. Will got a ride back to us and it was pretty clear from the beginning that his collarbone was messed up. Part of it was actually bent upward, like it could almost break his skin.

An ambulance ride and emergency room visit later, we discovered Will’s collarbone was in four pieces. Will and I filled his pain medication, stopped at a local diner for lunch (where Will quickly became the center of attention!) and headed back to the track to pack our bags and get home as quickly as possible. Since we drove separately, I packed Will into the car with ice and pillows so he could drive somewhat comfortably. Then, I followed behind him for our 4 1/2 hour drive home. I was calling him often just to double check that he was as “ok” as he could be given the circumstances.

After the accident…

In the days following the accident, Will was in a lot of pain and I was getting up several times each night in an effort to help him get ice, medicine, an extra pillow or anything else to try and stay as comfortable as possisble. Thankfully Will got scheduled for surgery pretty quickly, just five days after the accident. While surgery is the best decision to fix everything, that day was probably the most difficult for me as I was pretty tired from the week at that point. While we waited for the surgery to be done and then to hear that we could see Will, it felt like time was passing so slowly. I hated seeing Will in more pain, and I so badly wished I could just trade places with him.

After surgery day, I was pretty exhausted. I crashed on the couch the following night and slept a lot over last weekend. It has really been a whirlwind and I am still processing everything, but I feel so grateful that Will is healing now and getting back to his normal self. It amazes me in hindsight how quickly everything else fell to the wayside and how quickly Will’s recovery became my first priority. It was also amazing to see Will’s family and everyone who cares about him come together. In spite of all the stress and anxiety that has surfaced in the past week, some wonderful moments have occurred that I am very grateful for. I’m also reminded just how important our relationships with each other are.

Isn’t it odd how hard times can bring people together more than ever? Have you ever had a loved one get hurt unexpectedly? Have you been the main caretaker for a loved one? I would love to hear about your personal experiences and any takeaways you have had after someone important to you was injured or fell ill.

Let’s hope the rest of July is uneventful for us!!

Cheers!

Sarah Camille

 

 

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Motorcycle Racing: Up, Close & Personal

Motorcycle Racing: Up Close & Personal

Will told me of his passion for motorcycle racing the day I met him. With what I now know as his “serious face,” he shared how he got into motorcycles and what he loved about racing. I sensed some hesitation when he told me about it. I think he was unsure what I would think. In the moment, I didn’t understand what this passion really meant or what it entailed, but I loved seeing this guy I had just met was so dedicated and passionate about a sport that was so very different from his 9 to 5 job.

Fast forward to last weekend. I finally went with Will to a motorsports park to cheer for him and his teammate as they competed in a 4 hour endurance race. While I’ve heard a lot about motorcycle racing and everything that encompasses it in the past couple years (thanks to Will!), I was excited to see all the action in person.

For those of you scratching your head, thinking, “um.. what is she talking about?” I’ll give you an overview of what this motorcycle racing thing entails. The people who race in these events usually buy parts to build their bike just how they like it. Then from April to October racing events are hosted at motorsports parks around the country which you can enter. There are different classes for the races based on the type of bike you have and how heavy it is. First, second and third place also get prize money (whoop whoop!).

The Similarities…

It is quite similar to Nascar, except the motorsports tracks are not a true circle (though I have been known to poke fun at Will for riding around in a “circle” all day :-D!). There are various levels of competitiveness. Some people do it purely for fun and stick to tracks near their home, while others have multiple sponsorships and travel tens of thousands of miles to go to several races each year.

To me, motorcyle racing is a lot like the day long swim events or the regattas I attended when I competitively rowed crew in high school. There is a similar, lengthy time commitment and travel involved that is usually not an element of other sports. Last weekend at the motorsports park, I remembered just how long my regattas were (6am-6pm easily) and traveling to other states to race. There’s also a similar “camping out that takes place” in between your races.

What Surprised Me…

There is a sense of comraderie I felt soon after I arrived at the motorsports park. It kind of felt like you were instantly in a club the minute you passed through the gate. Everyone was so friendly and willing to help out others, even if they could be considered competition. There was also a lot of humor and a lightheartedness that made me feel at ease despite a constant hubub of activity going on around us during the day.

The other surprising factor at the race track was how little people’s lives outside the track were discussed. People could tell you what bike so-and-so raced, how long he’s been racing but not what that person did for a living. Especially coming from the D.C. area, where the first question someone asks you is, “What do you do?” it was refreshing to escape that career-focused mentality and have fun.

Since going to the motorsports park and seeing Will in action, I’m even more impressed by his dedication with this sport. He and his teammate got 3rd place after the bike stalled and Will had to push it back to the starting line (I’m pretty sure I would have just called it a day after that ordeal!).

I also have a better understanding of his love for it. I’m pretty much the opposite in terms of my “need for speed.” I get nervous when I’m going “too fast” on water skis and I’m quite comfortable snowboarding on the novice slopes, averaging about 5mph! While I don’t have the desire to do what Will does and I do worry about his safety when he races, I loved seeing him doing something he loves and being able to give him my support in person.

Do you have a loved one who plays a sport you initially knew nothing about? I’d love to hear your thoughts and your impression of motorcycle racing. Let me know if you have any questions, too.

Cheers!

Sarah Camille