Thursday, October 15

Enough!

Warning: This post is not sexy, there are only two pictures and it's not much about bikes. But it's my blog so I'm posting it anyway.

Sometimes you really have to be hit hard and knocked to the ground, figuratively and literally, to be able to get up again with conviction. Nothing brings out passion like a fight.

And if those sentences don't make your blood boil inside just a little bit, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore ;)

To say things haven't been going well lately is about the understatement of the century. First the miscarriage, a week later I get swept off what should be an easy alpine mixed route by an avalanche and luckily walk out with my partner, each of us crawling and hobbling for 7 hours on broken ankles to self rescue. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd ever fucked up before bad enough to cost me my life. Pain in every single tiny step reminded me both just what I have to lose and just why I had been there. Some people would want me to quit, never step foot on snow again. But those people don't really know me. If it wasn't a passion, I wouldn't have been there in the first place. All I can do is promise to learn more, train more and continue to listen to my gut instincts. Fear of the white death grows stronger when you feel it's power.

Since getting booted up at the hospital, I've spent the last 9 days primarily laying on my back in bed healing. At first I was cursing pain meds that made me feel goofy and stupid. Now I loath insomnia worse than I've ever had. I cannot sleep more than a couple hours at a time without waking up aching and extremely uncomfortable. Weird positions cause new pains in a self perpetuating cycle. Sleeping pills are not the answer for me. I've never taken them and don't wish to now. I think there is a natural answer or maybe I just need more patience. My wife, family and friends are amazing as always. They've stepped up without hesitation to send me emails, pick up slack, calm me down and keep me sane. My thanks to them cannot be stated enough and they know who they are.

I have a long way to go. I've never been injured this badly before. There will be no shaking it off. No White Rim weekend a few days after an ultrasound on my leg. No couple extra Advil with my recovery drink. No hobbling around the office but still pedaling easily. After a week and a half of laying on my back as much as humanly possible, taking Tylenol and icing my foot, it's still very discolored and swollen. It's much better, but it's still ugly. It took me 3 days alone to be able to bend it to 90 degs in my boot and remove the two cheater heel shims. It took the rest of the week to be able to stand without screaming pain, very literally. I probably scared the neighbors a time or two. There have been plenty of tears. At least I can shower alone now and putting lotion on my injured foot afterward is cathartic. I apologize. I promise to fix it. My foot can't answer but it makes me feel better anyway. It's still hard to look at and touch my injured body part.

But I have to move on and move forward. My good buddy Dave promises I will wake up one day in much decreased pain and with a thirst for knowledge. I believe him and hope the pain fades eventually. It's not as bad now, but it's ever present. At least I don't have to scream or grit my teeth. I already want to move forward. Simple things like taking Turbo for a walk last night or being able to help Marni by emptying the dishwasher are small steps. It takes far too long to shuttle plates and bowls on crutches but I do it anyway. Marni and I sorted out the gear I was wearing and carrying that day, taking inventory of things to be cleaned, fixed or replaced. Bent steel crampons drive home the beating I obviously took. Today Bill took me out to lunch and I put on "real" clothes for the first time since the avalanche. It went well and I smiled genuine smiles. I'm looking for more things I can do. Moving forward on applications, planning races for when I'm healthy again, reading, studying, eating well and hopefully soon, exercise. Many have cautioned me against moving too fast, pushing my recovery. I hear that and do not want to cause myself future pain and suffering just to get back on a bike or my feet a couple weeks sooner. But I know that I recover faster than most and that there must be positive no impact things I can do now, or at least soon. Core work, hangboard work, crutch walks with Turbo...something. And hopefully those things will encourage healing in a multitude of ways.

So check back soon. There are more blogs to come. If I'm stuck in bed much longer I'll just have to go back in time and start telling some old stories. I know there are some good ones you all want to hear. In the meantime, give the phone a few extra rings or the front door an extra knock. I've been knocked down a peg on crutches.

10 comments:

Ed said...

Hang in there Chris and Marni. This too will soon be an "old story" to tell.

Heal quickly and well!!

Ed

LyndaW said...

Ah...we all take a turn at this game sooner or later when we play hard...You'll be back. For sleep try some melatonin or serotonin. I wouldn't call them sleep meds but they help me log a full night when I am not on top of it. Valerian Root works well for some folks too.

Heal fast and whole.

Marshal said...

When I fell & got hurt in last yrs CTR there wasn’t a lot of pain like you have, and recovery was pretty easy relatively speaking. However there was a lot of mental damage, followed by, doubts, fears, defiance etc. My guess is that for you, like for me and countless others, time heals all...

Get better fast as possible…

Fonk said...

It might be hard to see it now, but you'll eventually look back on those couple weeks and see they probably made you stronger than just about anything else in your life has. Adversity sucks, but it's also what builds us up. Stay strong.

Jeff Kerkove said...

Eeeek! Saw the blurb on Facebook...and now this. Heal quickly and hope any rehab is fast and not frustrating.

Matt said...

Oh man Chris, I had no idea! So sorry to hear this news about you. But just remember that life is full of peaks and valleys. Patience is tested when things suck, but when the good happens return you will understand how to enjoy them to the fullest.

Can't wait to see you back on the bike next spring.

ojulius said...

Heal quickly, Chris!

ScottM said...

Dang, a good, but sad, post. We missed you at the Coconino. Heal up quick and I'll look forward to seeing you on a bike again soon.

grannygear said...

It is these things that make us and shape us to what we will be when we are the age of our fathers.

Experience should be the great teacher.

Heal well!

Cornbread said...

Heal quickly and keep your chin up. Things will get better soon. Take care Chris.