Friday, October 05, 2007

Well, At Least I get a Good Story Out of It

In the past couple of days conversations about getting hurt in really dumb, unexciting ways have come up. Things like tripping on a stair and spraining an ankle or yanking on a heavy package and tearing a rotator cuff.

It occurred to me that I get hurt in the same silly ways, but I seem to be better at picking the setting and hence get a decent story out of it.

Things like (why don't the bullets show up in this format I wonder?):
  • - falling down embankments on a mountain bike (multiple times)
  • - doing the above and having to climb back up using poison oak vines with predictable results
  • - crashing on a mountain bike, passing out, coming to finding myself helmet in hand, walking the bike, in the middle of a conversation with two hikers I had passed a little while back. This was seriously disconcerting to me that I had no idea what I had said - who's running the show here anyway?
  • - continuing on, after convincing the above hikers that I was fit enough to drive, I cleaned up, and then got in the car to drive back home only to realize that I was starting to go into shock. I rolled down the windows, played and sang to the radio, but that just bought me time and this is before the days of cell phones, so I struggled to make it to a gas station where I was able to use a pay phone to call my partner at the time who came and got me and took me to the Urgent Care center. Turned out I had a concussion and a somewhat banged up knee.
  • - last week I took my new bike out and managed to do a nice 1 mph tumble down and embankment, had the bike fall on me, and opened up my chin which then proceeded to bleed for 6 hours More info here.
Ok so mountain biking is risky, so how about hiking and running?
  • - insects and other crawly things sometimes seem to have it out for me. Three separate times I've had a bee, yellowjacket, and I think spider land on me and instantly sting or bite me. 2 of those times, I was out on a hike, several miles out. with a swelling hand or arm, and wondering what was going to happen next. (Fortunately the most severe reaction was an infection and it was the one time I was near civilization.)
  • - on a run on Mt. Tam I was feeling great and was just following along on what I thought was the trail and took a wrong path and found myself part way up a ridge instead of on the fire road below. Turning around and retracing my steps would have been the prudent thing to do but oh no I decided that I could just parallel the fireroad and work my way back down to it. This went fine until I got almost back to the road and then slipped down a very short steep embankment. The net effect was that I burst out of the shrubbery rolling and crashed hard on the road, and opened up a really nice gash on my knee. Then I had to walk a mile back to the car and then I had to drive to where my cell phone would work. Got the ok to got to the Emergency Room and after contemplating the long wait times at other hospitals drove myself back home and went to Alameda Hospital who tries to see people within 30 minutes. In my case they saw me nearly immediately, and proceeded to pull out lots of flora out of my knee, and gave me lots of stitches.
  • - I seem to have this cat-like love of climbing up things and not being able to get down in a smooth way. Actually, that's not quite correct as I'm really good at downclimbing things that I've climbed. Where I get into trouble is steep, slick, gravely fireroads that we have here. I charge up them and then can't get down without slipping which is really annoying, irksome and not fun when I do slip (even with trekking poles). I'm still trying to figure this one out.
Then there's agility, which soon after I started seriously competing I was diagnosed with MS and was having balance issues then. I had many dramatic falls though fortunately nothing very serious. Now that I'm no longer having MS issues, hopefully I will have fewer agility misadventures. (Well one can always hope.)

And there were many horse and tree related falls when I was much younger. Believe it or not so far I've never broken a bone and hope to keep it that way.

And guess what I'm doing Saturday? Going on a mountain bike ride. :)

Actually it's my first "WOMBATS" ride (Women's Mountain Biking And Tea Society) and it's supposed to be a mellow ride. But we are talking about a group led by Jacquie Phelan who raced mountain bikes for years, so I'll have to see what that means.

No comments: