By now, I’ve spent enough time disabling and rehabbing limbs that I have a good grasp on the injury gods’ peculiar humor—a potent and sophisticated blend of irony, caprice, and comic timing. So as the date of my return to weekend-warrior-ing approached, I grew wary. A long and challenging work project finished, a semi-frantic house-hunt happily resolved, all my bikes and knees working, and my very own trad rack: that only sounds like a setup for an excellent summer. In reality, it’s just asking for it.
Therefore on Thursday, as I test-rode my new motorcycle, I honored the speed limit and scanned the road for errant deer. I came home, did my PT exercises with the fervor of a rosary, and ate token salad. I packed my bags for Tahoe with every piece of mountain biking armor I own, making a solemn pledge to check my ego and walk any obstacle anywhere near the limit of my abilities. I brushed my teeth, popped some echinacea, slipped on the stairs like a goddamn grandma and broke my foot.
The emergency room never fails to entertain. The surgeon on duty, bald and mad-eyed, cruised the hallways in scrubs whistling “Ode to Joy” while a collection of strapped-down drunks raved at him from various parked stretchers. I chatted with a girl whose muggers had punched her—quite unnecessarily, I thought—in the nose. Around 4 a.m., the PA brought me some graham crackers and prepared a splint. “Is it possible to tape it at, like … maybe an angle that doesn’t hurt as much?” I inquired. “Sure,” she smiled, serene, “if you’d like for the doctor to have to re-break it later.”
“Never mind,” I said. The mugged girl made a sympathetic face.
Since I can’t get a surgery verdict until later this week—and since Jack promised me cookies—I went to Tahoe anyway. One short-lived attempt at “hiking” on crutches was enough to put the fear of fractured wrists in me, so now I’m in the market for some other way to get out on trails, short of crawling. (Current front-runner: pony). Let me know if you’ve got ideas.
In the interim, I’m dusting off what I learned (or hope I learned) the last time around: perspective and patience, grace and gratitude and grit. And I ordered myself five pounds of pancake mix on Amazon Prime, just in case I get too tired to hop down the hill for food. So, you know. Pretty much invincible.