It can be pretty hard to get going again once momentum is lost. It’s uphill for forever. There are rocks for forever, that shim under the right cleat makes it so impossible to clip in…
Just walk the bike.
Which is stupid in cycling shoes. And there are probably rattlesnakes at ankle height under those rocks. Those rocks that are in fact ridable on the big wheels.
So just ride the bike.
And hope many are within earshot because they must notice how good I am at whistling “Clementine” and Beethoven’s 7th. Being scared or frustrated while whistling is like keeping my eyes open while sneezing, I can’t.
For those who wonder about my silence, and now my reliance on metaphor (and also for the peanut gallery), here is a substantive update: I had hip surgery in October. I quit triathlon in January. I did not pass my comprehensive exams in January (my analysis of this is not stuff for blogging, but on the whole it is positive, because I will be smarter in the end). There was a breakup, which, these get obnoxiously more upsetting as they accumulate, regardless of how much the patterns within are reruns. I moved into my own place in February. I resumed running and cycling in February. I started climbing in March. I presented a paper at a conference in April and felt reasonably un-stupid, maybe even smart. I wrapped up a hard but rewarding semester in May, and promptly took a 5 day vacation in California:
I’m taking exams again in August… And my current favorite possession: resilience.
“If you want to know how I am, go figure it out yourself! We have mutual friends! And I have a website!”
Yelling this at someone really only applies if the website indicates something current about how I am. Not to mention, yelling this at someone out loud would have been better than yelling it in my head.
I am fine. Like this post, things feel faltering, like I am still picking myself back up with distraction as my crutch of choice. This is not a complaint, it’s just a fact. Leaving a sport, failing exams, being rejected, these are all common but still difficult things. I am fine.
Anyway it’s an exciting day to be procrastinating spring-break-work with news items. Likewise I think SCOTUS may be distracting itself from the issue of basic civil rights with questions about the duration of male fertility and the age of the internet relative to other human constructs. The Supreme Court does what it wants. Here is what I want:
Finally: I am curious and yes, apprehensive, to see what North Korea’s militaristic posturing becomes. That country is such a black box to me, I feel like everything I have learned about international norms and what drives state preferences, indeed what pays for them, just doesn’t quite apply. What is this really for?
So at some point shortly I will shelve NPR and wordpress so that I can resume codifying endangered species protection laws for African countries. Their existence, their strength, their integration with other laws, and their enforceability.
Because it seems that if I really want to make a difference in fighting illegal wildlife trade, I might find better support if I propose studying the political institutions involved than if I propose laying on top of a rhinoceros and yelling* “it’s me or him!” at poachers.
*Whether out loud or in my head.
It’s snowing and it’s March and I’m going to keep my blog. Who knows, life may be more interesting now outside the confines of swim-bike-run.
Also recently someone read the entire blog. Entire. Which not even my mother has done. Imagine learning that someone you have met one time knows your 2008 opinions and occurrences better than you do! So, odd, but also perhaps a testament to the entertainment value of at least some of this. And how else would I remember the time my mom made my sister call me to ask if I had eaten half a fig bar at Christmas? Thus: on we go.
So like I said, it’s March and it’s snowing. I now live in the foothills above Boulder, a little higher elevation than when I was in Tahoe (speaking of 2008). I like to meander around saying “here kitty kitty” because there are definitely mountain lions but I’ve not seen one yet. Wish me luck.
Or in my current situation: thanks for a great water-run! Because I still can’t run for real until the end of January.
I’m closing in on my last couple of days of being a triathlete. In the wake of a bunch of things, and looking forward to a bunch of other things, I have decided that I won’t renew my USAT license. Not as a professional, nor even as an amateur.
What I kind of wanted to title this post was “hey internet, I quit!”, retiring is for the fancy pros after all. But out of gratitude and respect for all the wonderful people and organizations who love the sport and who contributed to my love for it, I decided not to .
Thanks, all. See you from the sidelines.
Recovery seems to be going pretty well. I’m finished with 2 weeks of my prescribed 6 weeks of non-weight bearing on my right leg. I can do lots of things on crutches, for example I can carry a full hot mug of tea from my kitchen to my room without spilling, I can go up and down stairs, and I can balance with my feet suspended for over 5 seconds in a totally safe manner. I can also use them to vault myself onto my bike without breaking rules of how much I can bend my hip, which is not much! (I get to bike 5 minutes a day on the trainer with no resistance, it’s for mobilization not fitness.)
Today I saw my doctor for a checkup. He asked how everything has been since the surgery but quickly he got bored and started instead to tell me what exactly he did during the surgery. Which was indeed more interesting, and met with less disapproval, than “I went to PT and she didn’t do anything” and “I took off the steri-strips 5 days early because they smelled” which they did, even if I took 2 showers a day.
Anyway today I learned what he actually had to do to fix my hip, here’s a list in layman’s terms:
- removed damaged cartilage from femoral head
- fixed cam lesion in femoral head<–this is something about the bone hitting the socket a lot so you have to shave it down
- stitched together something in there
- fixed labral/cartilage bubbling resulting from cam lesion and associated friction
- fixed (removed?) multiple cysts resulting from generally pissed off hip
- fixed a labral tear
- removed mysterious accumulation of soft tissue resulting from generally pissed off hip
- microfractured cartilage at head of femur so it would regenerate<–this is the main reason behind the 6 weeks of crutches because it takes a long time to regenerate
Also in the process of this the cap on the femur head had to be un-sealed and will over time re-seal itself.
So basically it seems I kind of did a number on my hip. Which, STOP the Q-tip when you meet resistance right. Ugh. Sobering phrases like “worse once we got in there” and “5 to 6 months” were hard to ignore during today’s appointment, although I tried.
On the plus side I get to go to the pool starting this weekendish!! Water-walking, then water-running, and a bit of swimming is allowed too. With a pull buoy. Open turns. I can stand on both feet in the pool too (as long as the water is at least chest-deep)! I can’t wait. I can’t wait to feel like I can move on my own.
I went in for surgery on Wednesday. My mom arrived here in Colorado that evening, just in time for my discharge from the hospital, after dealing with Hurricane Sandy back home in Maryland. I got her to take a couple of photos of me at the hospital, which, now I understand why she hesitated. I looked a wreck! But after being under general anesthesia for 4 hours and having cartilage and bone in my right hip pummeled into place, of course I looked a wreck.
I also talked non-stop from when I woke up until when I went to bed, close to 5 hours. Heaven!
Then my mom went home yesterday morning, she was just here for a couple days but it was enough to help me get into a moderately self-sufficient routine. I’m grateful to her for thinking of the little details (I have a shower bench and PowerBar water bottles strategically placed around my apartment), to my friends for taking me places, to RecoveryPump for helping my injured leg get some lymphatic drainage, and to myself for doing thousands of one-legged squats over the past several months. I’m so good at crutches!
5 1/2 weeks to go…