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.