The Kennett and Adelaide Tell-All

We’re attempting something never-before thought of: a blog post with more than one person’s opinion. It’s been an extremely long 10 weeks since the crash and to do this write-up justice, we’re doing a duo blog post. We’re in this together. Follow along in our mind meld as we talk about recovery, the future, being depressed, incredibly pissed off, and thankful all in one.

KP: How are you doing?

AP: I’m tired. I really want to do this blog which we’ve delayed for weeks but the bath tub sounds really nice.

Oh, I didn’t really expect that detailed of an answer. A traditional, “Good, how are you doing?” would have sufficed.

That is the benefit of this whole crash, you don’t have to play along with that stupid question that both of us hate (you as the reader may hate it too). I can be free to say, “Well today I got super mad and threw stuff across the house. I broke my hair dryer in the process” and nobody can judge me.

Yeah it doesn’t quite work that way for me. When a customer asks how I’m doing at Amante and I say, “Pretty bad, actually. You?” it creates sort of an awkward moment.

Since you don’t normally have an opportunity to answer that question sincerely, how are you Kennett?

Today mediocre. Until the anesthesiologists office called for bill collection, which reminded you of how fucked up things have been and you started throwing things and screaming. Then I was doing bad. But then I went on a ride and felt a little better. It’s been hard to train these past few months. Really difficult actually. For some people exercise is a distraction or therapeutic. It melts away stress. For me it brings out all the negative emotions that I have and I simply cannot carry on so I have to turn back early. Last year I averaged 21 hours a week for the first six weeks of training. This year I’m averaging a little under 13. Who knows, maybe a slow start will be good. But emotionally, I’m still a bit of a wreck I guess. Much better than last month though. Better than last week even. So improving. Your turn.

Today I went back to work four hours which was great. I felt normal. I wondered if I looked normal to everyone or if it still seems strange to them when they see me with a scar across my face and a swollen lip that doesn’t close. In the mirror after going to the bathroom I assessed how one side of my face looks normal and the other doesn’t. At my desk I pulled up a picture from the first day I came home from the hospital and relived my emotions. I got distracted and thought about Ironman training briefly, and by the end of my four hours at work I had to use my right arm to help move my left arm from the desk because my shoulder muscle was severed in the crash. I got to swim for a bit today and came home so tired that I didn’t want to take Maybellene around the block. Basically I can get through half or three quarters of my normal “pre-crash-day” before I become exhausted. I think today was also hard because I woke up “early” (7:30 feels early since I’ve been getting up at 8:30 or 9:00 since the crash).

You’ve come a long way. I don’t think many people know this but you should have died. At least that’s what the paramedics and hospital staff initially thought when they looked at your injuries. Crucial nerves were literally dangling and your jugular was narrowly spared. It was a close call, so the fact that you’re here, let alone getting back to work and training, is amazing. As for how you look, I’m used to it already. And Dr. Schmid has done amazing work, with more to come to get you back to normal.

I guess it’s an odd experience. Let me go on a tangent for a second. I just finished a book about three women who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the end of the book the one woman said she’d do it again, but only if she had the exact same deployment in which she never saw someone die and never had to shoot her gun. I am not saying this has been a great experience but I’m physically able to get back in the pool, run, bike etc. Physically not much will have changed for me. The hardest part is the fact that I am loosing teeth. Given that I am so lucky in the whole situation and that I’ve learned a lot through it, maybe it just isn’t that bad.

I disagree it’s pretty bad. But go on.

I’ll never have the chance to fully thank everyone for the cards, food, and gifts I got but I think of them often and knowing how people stepped up to support me was amazing. Being engaged is amazing. Having a new year to set goals is going to be great.

The generosity of people we know and don’t know has been eye opening for me as well. It’s sort of given me hope in humanity again. The part of me that’s filled with hate for that driver and for every driver out there like him is silenced by the overwhelming care that people have given us. If it weren’t for that I’d probably be out there smashing windows and slashing tires.

You know what – I have more anger for the F150 that came over the yellow line and fully into my lane of traffic the other day. I don’t remember what it felt like to hit a car window but I do know what it feels like to have a huge F150 grill headed straight at you. I wish I had slashed his tires.

Me too.

And smashed his windows. Ok, back to happier things.

Good idea. While the traveling we’ve recently done hasn’t been as relaxing as sitting on the beach in Mexico or exciting as competing in the Lake Havasu triathlon, it’s been nice seeing family. We went to Pittsburgh three weeks ago to see Adelaide’s family and last week we went to the Bay Area to see mine. It’s been good to see that we fit well with each other’s relatives.

We already knew our dads got along like peas in a pod.

Tell the story!

The photo below is from the waiting room in the hospital. My dad, Raymond, and Kennett’s dad, Curt, both flew in at similar times to come stay while I was in the intensive care unit. My mom asked my dad to look out for Curt on the bus from the airport to Boulder but my dad didn’t think he’d be able to distinguish someone he didn’t know at all. My mom ironically said, “Look for someone who looks like you!” She meant in age and purpose of the trip. Turns out they actually had coordinated outfits! They sat next to each other on the bus but didn’t introduce themselves, despite having a conversation. Hours later when they met at the hospital it was a reunion of old buddies from the bus. At least that’s the story I heard. I was unconscious until several days later. Luckily my sister documented the meeting of the plaid shirted dads.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 8.43.23 AM

When my dad and I walked into the waiting room and they both looked at each other and said, “It’s you!” everyone busted up laughing. It was probably the first time I’d laughed in a few days.

I wish I had been there to see it. I guess I’ll just have to look forward to when we get married and our parents get to spend some time together.

The main stipulation on our wedding venue, which will be a mountain home rental, is that it has a hot tub and a trampoline. I can’t really picture our dads jumping on a trampoline together but I can imagine them spending three or four hours in a hot tub talking about sediments (my dad is a scientist and Adelaide’s is an engineer).

*We are still looking for a mountain home that works. Just saying…

Our minds have been sufficiently melded by the way. I just asked what our next talking point should be and we both blurted out “training” practically at the same time. So how’s yours going? And what are you goals for 2015?

Normally I’ll tell people my basic goals but have another secret one in mind. This time I’m going to tell all. I signed up for Vineman on July 25th. The surgeon said I should be back to normal physically by June but I wanted to give myself some extra time because my goal is a bit loftier than it was for the race I’d been training for before the crash. That goal was under 11:00 hours. Not sure I would have made that but there is a prize purse for women who finish under 10:30 at Vineman. If you aren’t well versed in iron-distance triathlons that is okay, I can clarify. 10:30 is really fast for me. Which is why I’m putting it out there – I need fast people to train with to get me ready.

It’s a lofty goal for sure but I think you can do it so long as you retain the right mindset. We know plenty of fast people too so that part should be covered. I’ll be coaching until you’re able to start a more regimented routine, which will likely be a few more months.

If ever, I’m not the most regimented triathlete. I am going to coach Kennett until…until he blows everyone away by how fast he is this season. I gave him a workout the other day for the trainer when it was snowing. I came back from being out with a friend and he was breathing so hard it made my lungs hurt. And no – I am not sharing the workout. I charge a lot as a coach!

I’ll say! 20 kisses a day is no laughing matter.

Someone asked a legitimate question the other day and the answer is yes. I can kiss by now.

To be honest it’s really only 80% of a kiss at this point. It’s definitely getting there though. And by the way, I’ve done a number of calculations regarding how much that driver “owes” us in terms of the suffering part of pain and suffering. Missed kisses racked up to be $2,800 over the span of eight weeks. At $50 a day, kisses weren’t the most expensive thing I had to go without.

On that note let’s wrap things up and save the rest for Part II.

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5 thoughts on “The Kennett and Adelaide Tell-All

  1. Chris

    What is there to say, you are persevering the best you can. Would really like to say “live in the moment” or “this is your new reality”, but really it is a load of garbage. We all feel new pains and lament. That is the way of it. Most of us have the privilege of doing it gracefully over time, you on the other hand had it come crashing down on you. That is hard to reconcile. That being said, you seem to be handling it quite well. You both seem to have a good relationship with the other, so there is that. I will point out how difficult that is during the best of times. So keep it up. One other thing. Rage. We seem to be in a time where it is inappropriate emotion. I contend that it is not. The consequences of rage are important to remember as well, so act accordingly. You guys are all right.

  2. operasmorg

    Fascinating! So great to hear Adelaide had healed enough to start working again. A remarkable recovery from such a horrific crash! :) Happy New Year (a bit late) to both and hope you keep recovering well!

  3. Jen Charrette (@pedaladventures)

    You two are remarkable and inspiring. It takes a lot to be so raw and honest yet hopeful and resilient. When you originally posted the story it was shared with me by a friend. I have been in that situation going to the hospital and knowing something is horribly wrong with a person you love but not knowing the details. It’s life changing no matter the outcome and you come out truly knowing empathy. Best of luck with training, recovery and coaching.

  4. Gerard

    thank you for the update. it is nice that drunkcyclist helped to connect people like me who are hoping for the best for both of you even having never met either of you.

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