Monday, August 30, 2010

Mean People Suck . . . Better Days Ahead

Sitting before this computer hurts.  Poking at this keyboard hurts even more.  It has been sixteen days since a car full of hoodlums chased me and attempted to attack me with a baseball bat.  Lucky for me, I managed to crash the bike I was riding while crossing railroad tracks just as the window-riding batter swung hard in an effort to put my head in the cheap seats. (Steeeerike!).  Each day I have experienced a margin of improvement, but each day I have also experienced moments of severe pain that are sometimes accompanied with anger and disdain. 

Anyone who has laid eyes on me during the last two weeks has seen the massive bruising caused by the bleeding of the torn hamstring and gluteus muscles.  An observer cannot see the painful and annoying tingling in right hand, arm, and shoulder that is much like that feeling that comes from bumping the "funny bone."  A person looking deeply into my eyes lately might have recognized the pain I have felt from both my physical injuries and from the mental anguish accompanying my inability to participate in the physical activities I have enjoyed for most of my life.  That same person might not have recognized my daily resolve aimed at getting back to normal.

I did not talk much about the incident at first, but a week after it happened a friend asked what happened when she saw the bruises and bandages.  Another person overheard me telling her.  That person then told a person who told another person.  That person then fired off an email that, apparently, made its way into several circles.  So, a lot of people learned that I was struck with a baseball bat while being robbed of a bike (Fuji) that I never owned.  I thought the mix-up was funny.  To those of you who thought the story was funny, well, you just might be "mean people" yourselves!  Sorry, I didn't get hit or robbed.

Yeah, just like that old bumper sticker says, "Mean People Suck."  And just like Paul Thorn sings, there are "better days ahead."  I am bummed that a seemingly random act of violence has made simple tasks like brushing my teeth, holding my coffee, and typing my tests, novel, and blog painful and stressful.  I am equally excited to report that I did not break my clavicle or crack my skull.  It disturbs me to know that I live in a world where a person can swing a bat at another person's head.  It is comforting to know that dozens of people, some who know me well and some who have never met me, contacted me after the story broke to see if I was OK and, in some cases, to offer help.  It is also great to have motivating, uplifting music like Paul Thorn's to keep me from focusing on dark places.


  1. Shane,

    I'm so sorry to hear about this incredibly stupid act on the behalf of some people who clearly aren't thinking about the ramifications of their actions. I've had a number of people throw things at me (not realizing that at the speed their car is going that they're throwing something going 30, 40, 50 MPH). Fortunately, none of the items ever made contact with directly with me (although a tomato once hit my headtube so it was close!)

    I have 2 different sets of friends who had varied experiences like yours. The first group, caught up to someone in a car who'd yelled something and proceeded to kick the car (very manly ). The other friend somehow antagonized someone in a car who then proceeded to stop the car and wrap his bike around a pole.

    BTW, where did this happen? Perhaps we should form a "posse." :-)


  2. Kent: I was on N. Fulton measuring the YMCA's half marathon course when the car first chased me. After going through a few yards and over a few fences I ended up on Maxwell heading toward Garvin Park. It was there, about a half mile from Garvin when the caught up to me at the railroad tracks. Trust me, several people have offered to participate in or help arm a posse! Honestly, one of the first things I thought about as I rode away from the site was your track crash in high school. Still have scars? Thanks for writing. ST

  3. Shane,
    Sorry to hear about the attack and resulting injuries. I suppose you can take solace in the fact that it could have been worse, but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. I thought people like that only resided in the south. Recover well. Michael Walcott

  4. Michael: it is great to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words. I have been following a strict recovery regimen and the damaged tissue is healing quickly despite my age. Though there is still obvious bruising on and below the hamstring, I was able to run a couple miles each of the past two days. Honestly, I am only focused on going back to CO. I want to race. Oth 50'milers next year and, Lord willing, finish the LT100. Please email me at to catch me up on your experiences. ST