Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

A series of unfortunate [bike race] events and several answers to prayer (Weekend 1)

14th May 2011

Life has been just flying by, and I’m really tired lately, so of course, none of this got posted in a timely manner. But there were so many emotions and amazing God-moments and gracious people involved in the crazy past few weeks, that I have to write it all down.

I know everyone wonders how I/we manage the constant go-go-go of Brian’s racing schedule, especially when we had several back to back weekends of travel scheduled for April/May. But one big bonus of traveling with him is seeing amazing friends at different races. Such was the case 2 weeks ago, when we left Friday for Athens, GA, to stay with Wayne & Jane Lunceford, and their lovely kids (who Analise and Josiah call their “cousins”. Awesome!). Brian wasn’t racing until 9pm on Saturday night, but we wanted to beat Friday’s Atlanta traffic and have a quiet Saturday before the race, Athens Twilight, one of the biggest/fastest/craziest races of Brian’s season. The kids and I went to the Relay for Life with Jane and the kids Friday night, went to bed late at their home, and had a super quiet Saturday morning relaxing with them in between baseball games. Such awesome hospitality. We look forward to hanging out with them every year. [Thank you, Lord, for amazing friends on our bike racing adventures!

The kids stayed at home for the race, since it wasn’t even starting until bedtime (thanks, Jane!!!), and Brian and I headed downtown to meet our friends from Birmingham, Ashley & Stephen Stepkoski. They are University of Georgia (located in Athens) alums, and we are in their Life Group here. When they heard Brian was racing in Athens, they immediately decided they wanted to come watch since they were due for a visit. It was so much fun to have their company for this race (which is really very stressful for me). We had fun cheering, and when we lost sight of Brian for 3 laps, having them there kept me from panicking that Brian might have crashed out. Which in fact he had… but he had gone to the pit and gotten put back in the race… and we finally caught a glimpse of him. He finished the race well, in 26th place, and even grabbed a $100 prime with 10 laps to go. It was really exciting, and again, so awesome to have them there. [Thank you, Lord, for keeping him safe!]

Back at the car, Brian was still hyped on adrenaline, but he mentioned that he landed hard on his hand, and his wrist was sore. Uh oh. But not too bad, at least with all the excitement of the great race still coursing through his veins. Another race was less than 20 hours away on Sunday afternoon in Roswell, GA, so we’d see how it felt in the am. [Please Lord, don’t let his wrist be broken…]

Sunday morning we got to go to Athens Church with the Luncefords, and had a leisurely lunch before we headed on our way towards Roswell. Brian’s wrist was really bothering him, though. He took something for the pain in the morning, and as we left at 1pm, it was starting to hurt more, so he took something else. Probably the worst decision of the day. On our way to Atlanta, he got really sick, and we arrived at the race with plenty of time to spare, which was great because Brian was sleeping, hoping for the sickness to wear off. He felt progressively better, and he was determined to at least start the race (the races are all in a series, and you get points for good finishes, finishing at all, and points for starting, so he wanted to get those, at least). When he finally got on the bike to see if he could even hold the handlebars, it was painful, but he was feeling ok enough to start. [Thank you, Lord, for getting him over how sick he was. And please, please, please let him finish in one piece…]

This was a rough race. Brian’s avoided crashes for the most part in the past couple years, but during the Roswell race, it became apparent that his luck had run out. Details are over on his cycling blog, but he got caught behind one crash, and went down in another. He cramped before the finishing stretch, which actually spared him from coming upon a bad wreck in the sprint finish. After the race, we headed home to Birmingham with two tired kids, a beat up, hopefully-not-broken Brian, broken bike, and one exhausted Kristine. [Simply put, thanks, Lord.]

I was afraid Brian might have broken his scaphoid, a tiny bone in his wrist with a poor blood supply. A great friend, Sheryll Coleman, responded within minutes to a FB message, and got in touch with an orthopedic in Birmingham who could see Brian on Monday. Whew! [Thanks, Lord, for well-connected friends!

Dr. Powell looked hard at the x-rays, and he was pretty sure Brian hadn’t broken the bone. Whew! [HUGE answer to prayer] And so he kept a wrist brace on and finished up classes at Samford (where he was awarded tenure last month! [HUGE answer to many, many prayers! Thank you, LORD!!]). Then on Friday, it was off to the races again, the last 3 races in the Speedweek series.

To be continued…

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