Team Walsh crewmate Jodi Boettner was nice enough to take five minutes out of her busy schedule to provide us an interview. Jodi plays a crucial role in monitoring and maintaining Bryce’s health, and also happens to be Bryce’s sister (one of two Walsh sisters on Bryce’s crew).
DC: How does Bryce look after the rest?
JB: Great! We stayed at Durango for four hours, and Bryce slept for three of those. The other hour he used to eat, shower, and attend to medical needs. He looks much better now than when we put him down. Right now, we’re following him towards TS 16, and he’s racing strong.
DC: How has Bryce been doing so far, physically?
JB: Well, the first day he lost a lot of weight from the dehydration — almost 8 pounds. Once we got the dehydration stabilized, his weight stabilized too. We weigh him regularly because it’s very important to monitor the rider’s weight at all times.
Bryce is suffering from saddle sores as all riders do, but we think we have these under control now because they don’t seem to be getting worse. They are somewhat painful for him, but they don’t seem to be slowing him down or making him suffer too much. Beyond that, he’s got some more minor concerns like hip pain, swelling in the joints, and some sore hamstrings. Overall, he’s looking very healthy and physically able to compete at a high level.
DC: How about psychologically?
JB: I believe he’s psychologically doing very well. Bryce’s worries are that he’s not far enough ahead, and if he can make up enough time to compete with the riders ahead of him. His mindset is one of competition, not “can I finish the race,” or “can I stay on my bike.” It’s a competitor’s mindset, which I think is psychologically a very good thing for him right now.
…Hold on, I have to feed Bryce, he’s asking for food…here talk to Thomas…
DC: Hi Thomas! How’s Bryce looking right now?
TB: Very strong. He’s asking for food which is always a positive thing. I think we’ll hit the peak sometime before sunset, which means we will be going downhill in the dark.
DC: Is that a concern?
TB: Yes it is, but we’re lighting his path up pretty darn well with the follow vehicle. It’s a concern, but a lesser one.
DC: I have a comment on the blog here, where a reader wants to know, “Who has the unfortunate job of trying to wake Bryce up? Do you have to draw straws? And how hard is it?”
TB: That job falls to Jody and me. It’s definitely tough to wake him up. Back in Arizona, I had to literally shake him for minutes in order to get a response. When these riders sleep, they sleep hard.
But really, that’s boring stuff. A better question is, “Who gets to tend to his saddle sores,” which I’m happy to say is NOT me, it’s Jody. Speaking of which, she’s free again so I’ll put her back on…
JB: I gave Bryce a peanut butter sandwich and told him I was talking to you on the phone.
DC: What did he say?
DC: That’s Bryce all right–never say 10 words when one will do. As long as we’re talking about food, let me ask you: What is Bryce eating and drinking, and how often?
JB: We’ve been feeding him peanut butter sandwiches lately, and he likes those pretty well. For drink, we’ve been switching off between: gatorade and water; pedialyte and water; Ensure; and the occasional Coke with water. We get him 2 drinks every half hour, which is about 28 ounces of fluids. Right now he’s asking us for food and drink which is a great thing, because sometimes we have to practically force-feed it to him.
DC: That’s about it for me, do you have anything you’d like to say before I let you go?
JB: Mom, Dad — I just want you to know, that your son is doing an excellent job, and that I’m just amazed at his ability. Just amazed. All three of us send you our love.