Ottawa Cross is the web site of me, Vicki Thomas – member of the 2010 Canadian Cyclo-Cross Team.
My goal for the 2010 cyclo-cross season was to earn a spot on the Canadian team and represent Canada at the 2010 World Cyclo-Cross Championships. I raced in the World Cyclo-Cross Championships on Jan. 31, 2010 in Tabor, Czech Republic. It was an amazing experience. A race like none other and truly my top racing moment ever.
The 2009 – 2010 cyclo-cross season was a dream season for me. Everything really clicked on and off the bike. I had an amazing support crew and super generous sponsors who really helped make my cyclo-cross dreams possible.
Unfortunately the 2010-2011 cyclo-cross season did not work out as planned. I have ulcerative colitis and my season was hampered from the start and then cut short due to a nasty bout of this auto-immune disease. The 2011-2012 cyclo-cross season started off very promising but an unfortunate training accident resulted in my fracturing my L3 vertebrae – ending my season in early November. I recovered and reset – ready for a great 2012-2013 when after only a few months of training I became quite ill with an ulcerative colitis flare. I was forced to put my training and racing plans on hold and get healthy.
I started the 2o13 season with high hopes. But once again ulcerative colitis reared its ugly head and I had to put all of my training and racing ambitions on hold. The summer, fall and winter were really spent on trying to get well. There were patches when I managed to find myself in a remission – when this happened I was out biking and running. But no racing for me at all.
Flash forward to now – October 2016… A lot has happened, unfortunately most of it meant dealing with illness and trying to get myself into a remission. I did have a good summer in 2015 and we had a super trip to France for two weeks of mountain riding and enjoying cafe life. Unfortunately, that was my last bit of good stuff – I got sick again in June 2015…
And now, I’m sitting here with a second chance and a bounty of opportunity ahead of me. On August 8, 2016 I had my colon removed. I have an ileostomy now. In early 2017 I’ll have my second and final surgery to have my rectum removed. This does not cure me of ulcerative colitis but it does remove all of the diseased organs from my body.
While some may see living with a pouch and a stoma as a hinderance, I see it as a gift. A gift to getting back to living a full and healthy life. I’m riding again. I’m training again. I’m racing again. I’m rebuilding. I’m full of optimism and I finally feel like a healthy person.
An ileostomy is not the end. For me it is only the beginning. I’m thankful for my stoma. It has allowed me to hit the reset button. Not many people get a second chance but on August 8, 2016 – I got one.