While cruising down a bike route ten days ago during one of our recent spats of hot afternoons, I was observing the neighborhood for a possible move when my front bike tire got snagged in one of the many cracks that seem to now be the norm on Portland's non-arterial roadways. With only one sweaty hand on the handlebar, I slipped and slammed into my bike before ungracefully impacting the street. In a word, it was unpleasant; if we can suffer two words, it was fucking unpleasant.
Nothing like bruises, abrasions, cuts, and a partially dislocated shoulder to start the weekend. The shoulder moseyed back into position after a minute or two, wherein I got my bike functional enough to get to the ZoomCare on Alberta. Alas, they had no open appointments, but a reliable stock of ibuprofen and cleansing pads were available for purchase. A half dozen of each, a few phone calls to friends, and I was whisked home in Dave's stately hybrid.
The Hawthorne ZoomCare cleaned up my wounds with such a thorough scrubbing that I quickly admitted all of my past crimes and made up a few more to insure continued Congressional support. With a sling and stronger pain relievers as my companions, I scheduled an x-ray for the morning and went out for pizza. I am always a bit peckish after quarreling with composite surfaces.
Spent most of Saturday in an exhausting pain and drug fueled haze of barely contained insensibility. I have a vague recollection of switching between grumbling, napping, and watching Batman cartoons for most of Sunday. Now things are much improved. A significant portion of the skin on my arm has returned with minimal scarring. The shoulder still aches, but movement is fully restored and the strength is steadily returning. No pull ups or pushups for a few weeks, but my lacrymal gland output remains steady.
The most frustrating part is the inopportune timing. The workload and weather had converged to finally provide me with an excellent chance of climbing Mt. Hood or spending a long day in the Gorge biking. And even with a minor case of shin splints, my stair running up Tabor was proceeding exceptionally well. Not only did the bike crash annihilate my weekend plans, but I am going to spend the next month just returning to my previous level of activity. Again.
This seems to be a repeating pattern in my life. It is a rare year in which I do not have some manner of accident or injury that incapacitates me and sets back months of work. Part of this is simply that I provide ample opportunities for the conspiring of probabilities. Spend enough time sprinting around a soccer pitch, running through the woods, or zooming down hills on a bike...and eventually you are not going to be paying attention at the right moment or get hit just right. I also have a tendency to be unforgiving in the intensity of my pursuits and also not allow sufficient time to recover.
Being intensely physical is deeply ingrained into my person; I revel in it. Yet, my psychology has not caught up with the physical reality that I am a 35 year old male with three decades of injuries on the books. Concussions, broken bones, dislocations, strains, sprains, and plenty of scar tissue. And all of that damage is not going away; I am more prone to re-injury while my ability to bounce back is no longer that of a 20 year old. It is a problem.
It is weird. I need to be careful; more deliberate and more patient. No more of the consequences be damned approach. I spend more time focusing efforts on stabilizing and preventing issues than kicking my ass. And as result of my previous assaults and offenses, parts of my body are regularly problematic when pushed too hard. It is quite a bother. I do not like it. One bit.
It is quite a hassle getting older and living with the consequences of your youth, especially when your spirit refuses to accept that either need happen at all. At the same time, given the chance to relive my teens and twenties, I would do it all again but perhaps even harder. I feel too often that I may have taken it too easy by surviving this long.