I Crashed HARD
In the words of my oldest brother, the one who played Rugby into his late forties despite being half the size and twice the age of the other players, “that good health stuff is going to kill you.”
I do try to stay active. Despite the snowy and cold winter to which we have been subjected, I have tried to keep moving. Not always have managed but I have tried.
I have not ridden a single foot outside on my bike this year. Too much snow, too narrow and icy roads….
I did, however, have an opportunity to get in some cross-country skiing.
High Point State Park is, as the name implies, the highest point in the state of New Jersey. A mere 1803 feet above sea-level, it does not impress people from New England and it is barely a foot hill to people from the west. It is ours and we love it. The state runs cross-country ski trails around the park when the snow fall will allow and this year the snow fall allows…
I asked the owner of the Bike shop if I could start and hour late on Sunday, he said yes and so early on Sunday morning I drove the 45 minutes from my home to High Point, paid my $18.00 for a trail pass (which is ridiculous…) and off I went.
I was the first person out on the trails! Fresh snow! I was having a blast! About 1 km from the lodge I had to cross an asphalt paved road. Now here is where we come to the part of the story where I say “I knew better” because I did. I do. I know and I knew better than to do what I did.
You see, though I have been cross-country skiing since 1990 (there was a ten-year period when I didn’t at all) I have never been “Good” at it. Truth be told I am pretty bad at it. I am clumsy, not at all smooth, never get in to that nice rhythm that “good” skiers get in to. I consider it a great day on the trails if I only fall 4 or 5 times. I know it will happen and so I have become quite good at falling. Despite this I really enjoy the skiing and I love the feel of the cold air and the special quiet of the woods after a snow fall.
So I came upon this asphalt paved road. Covered in snow. Sloping down across the level trail.
I knew better.
I knew I should take off my skis and walk across. It is exactly what I did when I skied the same trail last year.
I didn’t do that. I got stupid.
I tried to ski across the road.
If it had not been snow-covered I would have walked across because I would not have wanted to damage my skis on the road surface.
It was snow-covered.
I got stupid.
I tried to ski across.
Now to understand this you need to understand what I mentioned above. The trail was level. The road crossed it at 90 degrees and sloped down to the left.
If I had entered the road left ski first this probably would not have happened the way it did. I would have ended up sitting on my rump, questioning my sanity. I would have kicked the skis off, stood up, walked across the rest of the way and reminded myself to walk across on the way back. It would have been an amusing little story to tell on myself.
I entered right ski first.
There was ice under that snow.
The right ski slid left and before I could even think about the fact that I was falling I hit the road HARD. Damned HARD. Painfully hard.
I landed on my right side. My shoulder taking most of the impact. That drove my arm in to my ribs. My head snapped violently to the right and hit the road. I rolled on to my back and laid still for a moment, assessing the situation, hoping the stars would clear out of my eyes, trying to determine just how bad this fall was.
It was not good.
After a moment I figured out nothing was broken (as far as I could tell) and I could probably get up OK. I popped off the skis and I did get up just before the plow truck came through. Despite the ringing in my ears and the pain on my right side that started at my lower rib cage and continued unabated to the top of my right ear, I crossed the road and continued skiing. For about 200 yards. At that point the pain in my right side and the ringing in my head convinced me I should start back towards the lodge.
Here is the kicker: I was still having fun. I was hurting. I was hurting a great deal but I was enjoying being outside, skiing and feeling the cold and that special quiet after a new snow.
At some Point I noticed that I had broken my left ski pole and I was having trouble controlling the left ski due to problem with the binding. I actually skied past the lodge and went up a side trail when I finally gave in to the broken equipment and the aching body and I went home.
I showered and dressed and I drove to the bike shop to work, arriving on time for work despite it all.
All day long it sounded like I had my head in a bucket. I felt light-headed and I needed to sit down often. My neck was now tightening up and I was exhausted.
I went to work on Monday and after not sleeping well Sunday night I was really feeling it all over. I couldn’t turn my neck to the right, my shoulder wouldn’t let me lift my arm over my head and my head was still not feeling right.
Missus made an appointment with the Doctor for me and after the usual tests and such he declared that I had suffered a head concussion. He sent me for x-rays on my neck and told me to get a few days of bed rest and be prepared to not feel right for a week to ten days, go to the emergency room if I start to vomit or lose consciousness….
I rested all day yesterday. Really had no choice. I would not have been good behind the wheel of a car. I went to work today but came home early. Too light-headed and out of balance when I was standing. It is the tiredness that really bothers me. And the Nausea. Well Ok, most everything about this bothers me: neck pain, rib pain, arm pain, headache, dizziness… Crashing is not fun at all.
I have to work tomorrow and Friday. I am conducting the monthly safety training. The Topic is “Slips, Trips and Falls”. I couldn’t make this up.
I wish I could say I have learned some sort of lesson beyond “don’t try to cross a road on your skis”. I haven’t. At least none that comes to mind right now. I am only disappointed that I won’t be able to get out and ski again next weekend.
Maybe the lesson is to listen to the owner of the bike shop and take up snow shoeing.
The Journey and a Detour
I wish I could report that my weight has held steady and I have been keeping my eating in check as this cold winter has moved along. I can’t. I am over 215 pounds right now. I am not happy with myself at all. I can think of many excuses for this slip but they are just that, excuses. The simple fact is I have slipped. I have been eating more than I have been burning. I have been finding reasons to eat more than I have been and I am paying the price with a climb in my weight.
Today I got back to the plan: Light breakfast, light lunch, light afternoon snack (an orange today) and a good dinner. Later I will have a simple light snack of a slice of bread and a slice of cheese. This is what got me to 200 pounds. This is what will get me back there.
I will write daily again. Even if I think I have nothing to say. That focus of reporting on the Journey helped me get there. I slipped away from it and I have paid the price.
I suppose we all have slips and trips and falls.
The real problem isn’t that you slipped or tripped or fell on your Journey. The real problem is failing to get back up.
I am getting back up.