"It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit
belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by
dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short
again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end
the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while
daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who
know neither victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
When I decided to start racing my bike a few seasons ago, one thing lurking in the back of my mind was crashing. Hitting the deck is nearly inevitable if you race long enough and hard enough. Certainly the more you push, the closer to the edge you get, and sometimes you end up on your hip sliding across the pavement, grinding your flesh away in the process. I've had a racing license since 1987 and have lost my share of skin. Thankfully, that's been the worst of it - no broken bones to date. Still, dealing with the aftermath of these injuries is typically worse than getting them. The searing pain of the first shower, the oozing wounds, the sticky sheets, difficulty sleeping and the annoying, frequent dressing changes all make for a tedious couple of post-crash weeks.