Friday, July 15, 2016

I Must Survive.

28 May 2016
Caleb and I have recently been told about a Demo Day at Angel Fire Bike Park in Angel Fire, New Mexico. We feed our dogs, pack up our mountain bikes and gear, and point the truck south. We've never been to Angel Fire before, nor have we ever been to a bike park like this. We misjudge how long it will take us to get to Angel Fire, it takes a little longer than we would've liked to find the bike park, and find where we buy lift tickets. Since it's already past noon and the lifts will stop mid afternoon, we only buy a two ride pass for each of us. I ride my Gary Fisher with barely enough travel on the front end to avoid breaking it under my own weight. Most of my day is spent on the easiest trail there.. It's basically a fire road with small jumps that are easily avoidable for those who aren't so brave. I am incredibly brave. I net a grand total of twenty-one and three-quarters of an inch of air the whole day. We're invited to stay at the hotel in town with a friend who will be there for the weekend. We have dogs at home who already hate us. We head home.

29 May 2016
We are determined to arrive earlier, get full day passes, and rip up the mountain the entire day. We get an early start, and because we now knew the appropriate locations for parking, signing in, bike rentals, and everything else, we are on the mountain fairly quickly. This time, I'm riding a rental bike. A GT Fury. Caleb is riding an Intense M9 borrowed from a friend. After the lift is stalled due to weather, we finally make it to the top. It's snowing. We look pretty bad ass. We take photos of each other. 

 We quickly descend the mountain. It's cold. It's so cold my fingers have lost all feeling and I can't tell if I'm squeezing the brakes or the handles. It's a sick ride. In this descent alone I  net several feet of air for I am brave.

At the bottom of the mountain I return my rental GT and discover there are no available bikes my size. Caleb decides to ride his GT Sanction Pro while I take the Intense M9 for a rip. We ride a sweet, smooth trail together for a while. Eventually we wind up on a trail called Lower Boogie. Caleb passes me and adjusts to his own pace, leaving me in the dust. I am fine with this.
I am not afraid to ride alone. I catch very little air as most of the trail as been swooping turns. I finally spot a gnarly looking jump. Finally! It was time to get more than one foot of air in a single jump! I hit the jump and immediately regret my decision to hit this jump as fast as I can. I haven't reset the rear suspension for my 130 pound frame. Caleb is 215 pounds and the suspension is still set up for him. I find the rear wheel to be above me, the bike doing a front flip with me at it's center. "Ride it out," I tell myself. The next thing I know, I'm on my back sliding down the back side of the table top and I've allowed my body to go limp. I lie still for a moment. "I shouldn't have hit that jump so fast.." I stand up and walk over to the large, green bike, thinking I will ride a little more slowly down the remainder of the trail. I pick up the big green giant and realize I cannot lift my right arm. I sit on the side of the trail a moment longer and eventually come to the conclusion that I must walk to the base of the mountain. I grab the bike with my left hand and begin to trudge down the mountain. I arrive at the clearing beneath the lift and sit. I begin to search for my cell phone to text Caleb. A bike patrolman arrives to assist me with my injuries. "Are you ok?" he asks. "Yeah. I broke my collarbone." "Do you know your name? What time it is? The date?" I resist the urge to tell him I don't keep track of those things and tell him what he wants to know. He determines I do not have a head injury and removes two triangular bandages from his bag to form a sling for my right arm. A side by side arrives to take me down the mountain. I've made it easy for them since I am on the poor excuse for a road. Before now I hadn't noticed the pain, but every bump on the ride down to the medic's lodge makes me more and more aware of how much I hurt.

I've made it three and a half rides into the summer and my new sport of downhill before I've ruined the remainder of my summer.

Caleb meets me at the medic's lodge where the PA takes a floor scan and tells me with utmost certainty that I will need surgery. They put me in a sling and give me some narcotics as well as muscle relaxers and blanket. I don't think it's cold out, but I can't stop shivering. Caleb and I stop for dinner on our way out of town and I almost ask for his assistance with removing my own pants in the bathroom. God did not make me ambidextrous.

10 June 2016
My surgery is scheduled for today. I've never had a surgery before. I've never even broken a bone before. The surgeon tells me I will wake up in much more pain than I've been in since the break. I'm not looking forward to it. When I wake up I do not notice any pain, I simply know the bracelet on my wrist says I am a fall risk. Someone shows me a photo of an x-ray that I assume is mine. I insist on getting into the truck on my own power. I must prove I am not a fall risk.

12 June 2016
I've worn my hospital gown for two days. I can feel my plate and the screws drilled into my bone. They are ever present in my mind. I hate them, though they allow me to move better. Caleb has been waiting on me hand and foot. Were I a lesser person, I would easily become addicted to these narcotic pain killers. It's like being drunk, only better. But I can't stand being a drooler for so long. I quit taking them within a few days.

20 June 2016
Caleb has returned to work and I don't know what to do with myself. I'm not due back at my job for another week. I practice eating left-handed, but still wind up with food on my shirt at least once a day. I've been playing video games. I don't know who I am anymore.

15 July 2016
I've been back at work for a while now. I'm not longer wearing my sling. I even went running several times last week. My doctor has scolded me for this activity and I must desist. I still need to keep my arm below 90 degrees and cannot lift more than 5 lbs. Come the 22nd my range of motion should return to normal and I may run and ride my bike on fire roads again. The date nears and it excites me, yet the inability to participate in my usual activities drives me to insanity. I download Pokemon Go. My former identity slips further away. I will be fully recovered the first week of September. I debate trying to go into cryosleep until then. Research tells me this is not a feasible solution. I must survive. I can only hope there is enough left of me to recover come September.

I will post again. 

It's Time For A Rant

There's a little something I need to get off my chest.
          People are retarded. We've all seen videos like this where a Hillary supporter is asked about whether they support her tax policies and when they keep saying "yes" the inquirer then lets them know those are actually Trump's policies. Now, I'm not going to say only Hillary supporters are that dumb. I mean, let's be honest, you could pull the exact same trick on Trump supporters. Also, how many random people off the street even know what the Alternative Minimum Tax is? Even if you do know what that is ( it's basically a way to keep people from going through a loop hole to pay fewer taxes. It's been amended over the years  to ensure that the rates keep up with inflation), to know whether or not you support it, you probably want to know if it's being replaced and what with; and even then you probably have to have more than a basic understanding of how the tax system for those people works.
          The point here is that people are stupid enough to say "I support Hillary because it's time for a woman to be in the White House." or "I support Trump because he isn't Hillary." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! No one should care whether our next president has a penis or a vagina, if they're black, white, or green, or how politically correct they are. (If you really want to vote for someone other than Hillary, Trump isn't your only option! There's this wonderful libertarian party with a candidate named Gary Johnson.) You can like those qualities, but they shouldn't be the main reason you vote for that candidate. The main concern that should be in everyone's mind is, "If elected, where will this candidate take us? Will we be better off in four years? What about in eight?" If you begin your answer to those questions with anything remotely close to their race or gender, you're a problem and I pray to God you don't go to the polls this November. Yes, you have the right to vote and you should exercise it. But exercising your right to vote doesn't mean going to the polls and putting an "X" by whoever is a female or isn't Hillary, it's a right our service men and women have fought and died for, so take it seriously, and do YOUR OWN research. And by "your own research" I don't mean watching only Fox News at dinner. No one ever made an informed decision by listening to only one side of an argument, or even an opposing view that you couldn't really hear because people were shouting over and at them . And believe me, Fox News and CNN might invite someone from the other side to be guests for their little discussions, but even if they chose a good representative of the other side, they're so outnumbered and the debate is so unsportsmanlike that you would never know if they had a good argument or not. Honestly, when is the last time you saw a Democrat on Fox News be allowed to engage in a calm debate where their views were respected enough that the other four Fox anchors weren't talking over them and degrading their point of view the whole time?

          "Your own research" means you go on the internet to multiple sources (preferably not big main stream media names) and read about the pros and cons of each candidate. Then when you see that Trump is proposing getting rid of the Alternative Minimum Tax, you look up what that is. Then you look up if and what it's being replaced with (according to his website, it's simply being eliminated and a flat tax rate will be imposed on everyone instead.) Maybe you look up the accusations that Hillary leaked classified documents by handling them improperly. Maybe you decide to read 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff and decide whether you think (based on your even more extensive research of the Secretary of State's position and capabilities) Hillary could have made an effort to save the lives of those men. Or maybe you decided to ignore the evidence that suggests Benghazi was a coordinated attack rather than retaliation to the Innocence of Muslims trailer released on youtube.

          I have faith there are some intelligent, capable people out there who will do their own research on our presidential candidates and come to a logical conclusion on who to vote for - even if they come to a conclusion different than mine.

          ..... But then again, in 2012 I had someone ask me if Syria was in Benghazi and had someone else tell me they wanted Obama to win the election because they wanted free birth control and no gun control.. So my faith in 98% of the US voting population is shot. I'm relying on the other 2% to do their own research, provide logical arguments, and make informed decisions when heading to the polls this year.