Friday, August 02, 2013

Rebound, recover, rejuvinate

OK, when was the last time I posted here? Well, here I go again. I'm a month into another volume of "This time for sure..." and I've dropped seven pounds. Still not telling you just how far out of control I got. But I'm really exercising a lot, and that's what I'm going to be writing about. So, without any further adieu...

I'll start with a disclaimer: I’m not into pain. Not in the least bit. I ask for novocaine just to get my teeth drilled. When I went into labor, I didn't even attempt to go all pioneer woman and do it unmedicated: “Call the anesthesiologist and let’s get the epidural going....”. I keep the house well stocked with ibuprofen, arnica gel, cold packs, and the like. I don't like pain and I don't invite it into my life. The reason I’m telling you this is that you may get the impression from the rest of this that I am into pain. Not in the least. What it is, I think, is that I respect what pain is about – and further, I respect being able to recover from it. So, while I don’t go out looking for pain – I avoid it at all costs – I acknowledge that there are some times when you cannot escape from it. So that's the disclaimer. 

So here’s the thing that I am writing about here: I’m kind of into the concept of bouncing back from it. Specifically, massive wipeouts, which happen to me a lot because a) I ride my bike a LOT, especially in the summer, and b) I’m  a klutz. I even document my wipeouts. I take pictures of my scars, (except for this recent one, simply because it didn’t look as impressive as it was.)

Because, I have to admit this, recovering from a wipout and dusting myself off and moving is, well, kind of cool. So, here, listen to this while you read the rest of this post. 

Once the pain of the wipout kind of dies down, I’m usually far away from my car or my house, and I still have to get back to the car/house/other safe place to deal with the results of the wipeout, be it some torn open skin (and resulting blood), or a nasty bruise (and that can be plural). So I have no choice. I have to just pick myself up and move on.

Part of the shock of the wipeout is the sudden downshift in your biological transmission. You’re pounding away, heart rate at 80-90% max, body temperature up (especially on those hot days I love to ride a bike), and then BAM! You’re flying through the air or just taking a tumble or whatever, and suddenly, your legs are not moving at the same rate and they’re not pushing anything (because you’re prone!) and your heart doesn’t know what the heck  to do for that first minute. Everything in your body has just gone from Sixty to Zero in three seconds. That’s not good for the tranny. So your brain says “Cue the swear words!” and out they come.

This most recent wipeout was a SONAFABITCH wipe out. Actually, it was more of a (because I kind of saw it coming and couldn’t do anything about it) damn damn damn DAMN OH SHIT! SONAFABITCH!!!! wipeout. That’s as opposed to just suddenly cutting yourself with the paring knife (that’s just a “OH FUCK” or maybe a “OW DAMMIT” wound) .

But anyway, I’m down. Quick look around to make sure nobody saw this, because the only thing worse than a wipeout is a wipeout with witnesses. Especially on the bike trail, because witnesses there tend to be people in great shape, with their tight little bike jerseys and their two still-full bottles of water in cages. I’ve had witnesses before, and they’re perfectly nice about it, and invariably they’ll ask “Are you OK? Are you hurt?” and my response is “ Well, my ego just took a major bruising….”  and they’ll offer a nervous laugh, and you can see in their eyes they understand exactly what you mean. But I’d rather not have witnesses at all. If I need help, that’s what a cell phone is for. So I’m down. Wiggle fingers and toes, and then stand up. Yup, legs still work. Arms do too. Roll shoulders and back, just like at the end of an aerobics class. A little sore and stiff, but they work too. Good. OK, sit the fuck back down and take more inventory. Blood? Yup, a little on my knee. But that’s about it this go round, I think -- fortunately, when I realized I was going down, I headed for the grass as best I could to minimize the roadburn (especially on this crushed limestone trail).

Next: equipment inventory. Holy crap, my bike seat got totally turned. And dammit, the chain didn’t just fall off. It’s stuck inbetween the last sprocket and the derailleur. Oh, this sucks.. Look inside my handlebar bag – there’s my tool that I got as SWAG when I was in the Danskin Triathon. Best piece of SWAG ever. It’s not helpful here, but it’s what I’ve got to try to pry loose my chain from that spot without breaking it. Shift a few times to move the derailleur over – OK, this is taking way too long. Sonafabitch. OK, it’s fixed. Oh goody, my hands are now covered with nasty used bicycle grease. Now, get out the cell phone and call Brian and let him know I’m running late (which means he’ll be late for where he needs to be, rehearsing with his band). Shit, I’ve still got fifteen miles until I get back to the car. "Hon, it's at least an hour before I'm back on the road..." OK, seat’s straightened out. Brakes work? Yup. Gears shifting. Yup. Oh, my ass feels sore. Oooh that feels like a bruise. Drink some water. Pour some on that bloody knee to cool it down, and finish it off with a dab of Neosporin I keep in that same handlebar bag.  Mount the bike and go.

But here’s the thing. Five minutes of riding and despite my sore butt, the bruise that’s getting even more colorful just below my wrist (but not ON my wrist, curiously), and the bloody elbow I just noticed (that’s going to form a crusty scab), I’ve recovered from this crash. And that’s kind of cool. No, it’s beyond cool, it’s downright exhilarating. I had a massive wipeout and I literally picked myself up,  brushed myself off, got back on and kept riding.  Woo Hoo! I’m back! I’m on the trail! Internal transmission still works and I’m moving back into high(er) gear. Not high gear. Need to work back up to that, probably on another day. Being very careful and cognizant of my surroundings, I’m not 100% and I’m not going to ride like it. But still, I’ve got to get back to the car. I rock! 


Ah, the car. Since it was a stinking hot day, I knew I’d want some cold drinks when I was done and thus I had a cooler in the car. With ICE. Iced the bruises for a bit, and then had to load the bike back on the car. That meant lifting it up over my head, like I had 100% of my muscles back. Oh crap, my ass really hurts. Still, I have recovered from this crash. God, that fresh peach and banana I put in the cooler are the BEST DAMN PIECES OF FRUIT I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. 

My car has working AC. Hallelujah. And the Gatorade is cold. Check the rearview mirror. What the hell is that on my face? It's a bruise! Oh, dear God, not the face! Oh, now everybody's going to think I got in a fight. Well, I kind of did. I had a fight with the road and the road won. Now I have to drive all the way up Loomis holding this giant icepack to my face. Still, I'm on my way home, not the hospital. 

And there I am, home. After an OK bike ride, an exhilirating wipeout, recover and regroup. I think I'll just order a pizza.