12 December 2007 By Rachel’s


Birthday Cake and 28 Candles
Originally uploaded by catsper


So tomorrow is my birthday. I’ve always had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I believe birthdays are the best holidays. It is the day to celebrate a person’s life and being. Much better than the commercial exploiting that has ruined every other holiday. I typically love everyone’s birthday but mine. Most years it has always been downplayed (too close to Christmas), forgotten, or in college–ruined by stressful finals.

This year, I just seem stuck in my ‘stuff’. It’s been a great year in some ways. I reconnected with many of my friends whom I missed so much and thankfully are back in my life. I also met so many amazing new friends; thinking of all of you makes my heart sing. Racing, despite so much hardship, has been getting better and better. I am racing for the best bike team, Monavie/Cannondale, that I could possibly imagine being a part of. I also train some of the cutest highschool swimmers on the planet and have the most amazing massage and personal training clients!

On the down side, almost 7 years after my accident, I was finally forced to accept the fact that given my current circumstances, the residual bills were going to continue to haunt me, perhaps permanantly. I’ve been trying to pay them off, but with interest and the great number of them, it proved impossible to get ahead. The final blow was having a law suit slapped on me from a cold creditor with a judgement placed so high, I had no other choice but bankruptcy. The next hard part was I filed on my own because I couldn’t afford a lawyer–yes, I did have some very dear friends help me. Yikes! Talk about sleepless nights. Mix all that in with almost 3 months of not having a real place to live, breaking up with my son’s father for reasons I just can’t even believe still, and in the midst of all of this, losing about 70 percent of my clientele because I just couldn’t figure out how to balance it all.

It’s funny how my racing really got me through it. Despite everything else, I knew that I had my next race coming up and couldn’t let myself completely give in to my complicated situation. Now that the season is over, I suppose that the little bit of time I have to think is too much. Everything is sinking in and it’s a little too overwhelming. I’ll pull out of it. Please bear with me, while I do!

So this year, my birthday will be busy and full of work. This along with thoughts of where I thought I’d be at this time in my life isn’t leaving me in the best place unfortunately. I think I don’t like my birthday this year. 27 was tough.

So for my 28th year, I am going to do my best to wipe the slate clean. I am learning to trust again (others, life, racing). I know things can only get better. I am trying to find my own place to live and support my-self and Canyon. I know I will rebuild my clientele soon. The support team is there for my racing. Also, I can’t wait to see how strong and fast I get when I am actually eating and sleeping! I’m trying hard to remember that when things go wrong, there are always good things and life lessons that come from them.

Thanks everyone who was there for me this year. Here’s to an awesome 28th!

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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