I would like to start the very first blog that I have written on my website by saying Hello and THANK YOU to everyone who has followed my story, creating and participating in my fund-raisers, handling all of my emails, visiting me at the hospital, making dinners for my family, driving my kids to school, creating my website, raising money for and donating to Tracy’s Trust, taking care of my children, providing emotional support and respite to my family members and the lists of Thank You’s goes on!
I have survived because of all of you. Surviving is hard work. It takes an enormous amount of resources to get me where I am today and everyday! Its busy, its painful, its hard and it can be overwhelmingly stressful. But because of you, (my family, my friends, my supporters et al) I am able to face each day with a positive attitude and something to look forward to.
One of the things I was looking forward to was the Collingwood Centurion 2012, because I had a team, “Team Tracy” that was going to cycle the 50 mile ride in my honor! This team, “Team Tracy” , was founded to complete the race that I was training for when my accident happened. So…on September 16, 2012 Team Tracy rode in the Centurion 50M ride and on the anniversary of my accident, brought my life full circle and gave me the amazing opportunity to still take part in a sport that I love so much.
Here is the letter that I wrote to Team Tracy to thank them for riding for me:
[box] Dear Team Tracy,
It was a beautiful day and the temperature was on our side.
I have to Thank You for completing my dream. And helping me move forward in my new reality. A year ago today I was in critical care at Sunnybrook hospital unable to speak, unable to move, barely able to communicate. I was only able to communicate by blinking my eyes when someone asked me a question. Blink once for yes and twice for no. At that point I knew I was going to live but I had no idea of the challenges that would be ahead. I live my life One Day At A Time. A lesson I learned from my father and mother. The best advice I have ever been given. I have also learned from my parents that it is important to think positive, to set goals and to look forward as you live one day at a time.
So that’s what I did. Every day I woke up hoping it was just a dream but quickly realizing it was not and I had a choice. I could face the day as a pessimist or an optimist. And every day I chose to be happy and to be grateful. Most of the time it was really easy to be happy because I would wake up to the smiling, but concerned face of either my sister Lynn, my sister Lesley, my Mom or Dad or Robert or Darren.
In those early days this was so meaningful to me. The love I felt from my family kept me going. Their drive, their determination, their love was the fuel for my engine. And knowing that I had three beautiful, wonderful and scared boys at home gave me courage to be brave and always try to have a smile on my face. It wasn’t often that they saw anything but a smile on my face. I was in my family’s embrace and everything was going to be O.K. It had to be for Christian, Malcolm, and Thomas depended on me. My goal was to get better as quickly as possible and every day I fought against all odds to get out of that hospital. I left Sunnybrook in record time for someone with an injury as high up as mine.
Suffice it to say I am a fighter and there aren’t any challenges I am afraid to face. This weekend in Collingwood was very bittersweet for me. Thank you all for your smiles and your hugs and your compliments and your words of encouragement! I would have given anything to be riding with you on Sunday. Honestly I was secretly just a bit jealous of each one of you. This was the race I had trained for when my accident happened. The first year that the Centurion came to Collingwood I entered the 25 mile race. That year, Centurion 2010, I placed 3rd in my age category in the 25 mile and immediately after winning that bronze medal I set a goal to race in the 50 mile next year, Centurion 2011, and try to place top three. I was very excited that the Centurion had come to Collingwood because Collingwood was my second home and it meant that I would be able to race every year. I was very much looking forward to Centurion 2011. However, that was the year I suffered my devastating accident training for the Centurion 2011, 50M race.
So that’s why this year, Centurion 2012, was so important to me. And I am so grateful that you joined Team Tracy and rode in my honor! I had not been back to the village since before my accident. It was exhilarating and exiting to see everyone in their cycling gear with their beautiful bikes their shaved legs and all the toned hard bodies!
I’m proud of all of Team Tracy for completing the race in my honor. It was a privilege for me to be there at the end to congratulate you on completing your own goal! Some of you were daring enough to ride for me without any training at all! I was really impressed with your chutzpah and your courage. And some of you raced for your personal best. All of you making me feel like a superstar! I want to Thank You all for putting smiles on my face. For giving me something to look forward to. And for donating to Tracy’s Trust.
This fundraiser will go far helping me to pay for the overwhelming costs associated with my care. Our inaugural Team Tracy, Centurion 2012 ride was an outstanding success! One which we can build on for years to come! We already have our co-chairs established for next year! Tammy Cavers and Kate Veer have stepped up and offered to co-chair the event next year. It is our hope that we will have lots of new members to Team Tracy and that all of you will come back and ride with Team Tracy again next year in the Centurion 2013!