Hobbled by a fractured scapula on November 24. Shady Black Ice, you know. Without cycling daily, my sanity is constantly tested. Without work and cycling daily, my sanity has been pushed to shockingly unforeseen boundaries. Ah, the affliction of loving my work as much as I adore cycling. Thus began my struggles with this unemployed recovery.
Fortunately, technological advances in competitive home recovery have spanned decades in my favor.
With a recently fractured scapula my 2023 recovery out paces my 1969 sled race recovery.
I had General Hospital in 1969. I had no Kinetic Trainer. I had no 4K video of touring the Alps in my living room through YouTube. I had no Go Pro footage of my favorite rides around Golden, Colorado. I had no Bluetooth pumping In Memory of Elizabeth Reed into my auditory system while chasing Lance Armstrong up Alpe d’Huez again. Man, he’s fast! I had no Sativa Vape Cartridges at 88.7% THC at my fingertips and a four-shot Americano at my side. No way I was only eight, and four espresso shots would be out of the question trapped in that cast with black and white television.
I was somewhere between 8 and 9, going into the third grade. I was and still am A Big Brother. It was 1969 or 1970. A big Christmas party at our childhood home there were six of us plus cousins everywhere. Thirty or Forty adults and numerous children, all ages, all sizes. A full-on Christmas blizzard in the Pocono Mountains. Cocktails flowed inside as sleds and ice skates raced about outside.
A good 1/4 mile hill behind my home was our personal bobsled run with our lake awaiting below as the finish line. I’m on a full size Flexible Flyer. Head first until my younger brother Bob had no sled to ride. I move up to steer with my feet, making room for Bob. A tight squeeze, but we had plenty of weight to win this run, and it was good to have my younger brother aboard rather than stranded with no sled to ride.
We’re off in a field of eight to twelve sleds or improvised sliding devices.
Snow was blinding as feet piled around us. Off we went surging to the lead, having weight over this field. Nearing the lake with one road to cross suddenly a pickup truck. Next thing I know, I’m relatively sure, I’m in shock. Our local plumber just ran over my left leg breaking my femur in three places. I think that’s a total of four pieces.
Carl, our plumber, out on a frozen pipe gig, picked me up and carried me to my home full of most certainly inebriated adults. I don’t recall that ride of approximately thirty-five miles in a whiteout blizzard to the hospital that miraculous evening.
I knew my leg was fucked up. I also knew I was extraordinarily lucky to be alive in that moment of terror looking at my leg and scenting the profound trauma my femur was in.
I can still feel my wizard of an Orthopedic Doctor setting my femur back in place that night. He said. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it, Frank; this will hurt.” I recovered fully with no sign of this trama in my gait, understanding comprehensively again how fortunate I was to live to sled again. To this day never underestimating how skilled my Doctor was that evening. Dr. Smith, if you can believe that. A golfing buddy of my Dad’s.
That night was a hole-in-one in many ways for me. Suppose my younger brother Bob had not boarded my sled in that moment. I would have certainly died when my head struck that truck’s wheel just down that road. This thought bobbed about my head as Carl carried me toward that cocktail party’s destiny with my shattered femur. My younger brother’s need for a ride and my willingness to share my sled saved my life.
After what seemed like a year in traction on a children’s ward. I was in a full body cast for the better part of six months at home. I was a General Hospital addict in third grade with my school’s Principle as my tutor through this long home recovery. Private schooling in a full-body cast and Soap Operas were my third-grade recovery experience.
I know I’m comparing tricycles and e-bikes here with the recovery thing, and the full-body cast ruled out any possible cycling regardless of the day’s technology. I did become reasonably adept at sliding down our semicircular staircase in a body cast.
At issue here is the importance of work and exercise in a vital life. Work is a critical part of our essence. It provides essential purpose to a lifetime of searching for meaning. Choosing work you relish, as culinary arts, emulsified my lifetime and talents. It’s never too late to shift the gears of your life’s drive train.
If you are miserable at work, get out. It is your life we are talking about devolving at work. Why spend all those work hours in a wretched state of mind surrounded by miserable people who worship the dollar more than life itself?
You cloud be run over sleigh-ridding tomorrow!
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