Saturday, October 17, 2009

3.4


It's a great bone density T-Score, but it wasn't the first thing on my mind. Neither was I contemplating the beautiful northern Wisconsin leaf colors, the kick-ass singletrack built by CAMBA, or the great fall afternoon. Moreso, I was thinking that it would be nice to just lay there for awhile.

The bicycle laying across half my body wasn't a huge concern, nor was the one foot that was still clipped-in.

I found the situation interesting and decided it best to ruminate for a bit.

A few friends gathered around...I didn't really see them standing, but it was fine. I was fine, just needed to take stock of a few things.....a measured inward examination, if you will.

I felt some soreness near my backbone and near my sternum...odd, given I'd hit ground on my mid-back off to the side.......

Leaves covered much of what was on the singletrack. I had been on a slight downhill at the day's end when the front wheel knocked something . My weight must have been a bit too far forward. I hadn't quite recovered when I bumped something else, the front wheel jammed right and the bicycle stopped dead, pitched left, dropping me onto the ground.

It was nice to simply lay there and breathe for awhile....sternum was sore...I didn't land on my sternum. And my left chest wall hurt...or something in that general vicinity...or underneath it. But I didn't land on my chest.

This was a conundrum.

I pondered it for a moment.

I was deep in quiet concentration, ticking through the flow chart in my head, waiting for the experience and results to fall into the correct silo so I could determine a course of action. There were none of the sharp pains that typically accompany split skin, pulled muscles or worse, so I knew nothing was broken, cracked, popped or bleeding...everything was filtering into the get up silo but I needed to do a couple more checks.....

Wind, I said.

It was only part of what had happened, but it was the thing that would give people comfort: laying still makes sense to onlookers if there's a neck injury or if the wind is knocked out of a person.

It was about then that WD arrived and grabbed the bike off of me.

I was disappointed to have it gone, really. It was comfortable where it was lying on top of me...felt almost like a covering, blanket-like. Odd how things like that bother onlookers. They need to make it OK...dignified, I guess.

He squatted at my side, then held out his hands for me to grab. As soon as I said no I could see it wasn't what he wanted to hear. His face wrinkled with concern. I shared some tentative words, and eventually was ready to sit up, mostly because I figured it would make people feel better. I would have enjoyed resting a bit more.

I don't really have many impressions from that point on, but I assume I stood up, moved my torso from side to side and did a few contortions with my shoulders and arms...because that's what one does. Maybe I hopped up and down a time or two. I do remember that the rocky, root-strewn trail was a challenge for my concentration and my ribcage over the couple-mile return. If I put my weight on the seat I'd feel the bumps where it hurt.

Any time there's a spill on the mountain bike I'm thankful for having been an athlete as a kid. I've inadvertently developed some off-the-charts bone density scores over my lifetime, but the stage was definitely set before I hit 30. I've not ever fractured a bone, and I figure this last spill could have resulted in one. Instead, the cartilage that connects ribs to sternum appears to have experienced some give and a week later it STILL hurts.

Turns out the "vices" we have in our younger years do affect us, still.


-ob and I did put in another couple days of good riding...we were in Wisconsin, after all!

14 comments:

Notorious T said...

It's no fun lying on the ground and taking inventory. Sounds like a hard fall. Glad you're OK.

Once known as The Badger said...

What a great piece of writing, though! I was pulled in even before I knew exactly what I was "seeing". I don't think I've ever read an account of a spill that was really able to put the reader right there. Sorry about the fall, though! But it was Wisconsin, after all...

KM said...

Glad you bounced back. Those trails are fun but can bite you back once in awhle.

Groover said...

Damn, you had me worried. I'm glad you are ok and I have to agree with the Badger. Great piece of writing.

Mike J said...

It's really nice to fall and finally figure out that you can eventually walk away.

WheelDancer said...

It's quite disconcerting to come down a ribbon of singletrack and see the love of your life lying under her bike with a cluster of folks standing around the motionless figure. You still had that sparkle in your eye so I figured you were OK but it did catch me up when you didn't want to get up since I had only seen that from you when you were laughing too hard to get up which wasn't the case this time.

This is an amazing account even more for how it dovetails perfectly with the reality I observed, nice work!

Doozyanner said...

Ouch! I'm glad nothing was broken and hope you start to feel better soon. (My word verification is badas...you're a badas(s) biker!) hehe

rlove2bike said...

The last time my sweetheart and I rode some of the CAMBA was in, I think August and I know first hand how WD felt. Unlike yourself though, Janice has not been a Mtn biker. She took 4 tumbles and three of them were hard tumbles. It was freaking me out. She ended up black and blue everywhere...even a black eye. I was so happy when we got back to truck. Although she is a trooper, I feel guilty for taking her there. Very nice write-up, again.

Snakebite said...

I'm glad you're not broken. Those chest / rib cage thingies do hurt, though.

C. P. said...

...and that 'hurt' makes you feel pretty damned alive!

juancho said...

I love the clarity that comes in the moment after a hard slam. Like a big cosmic enema.

LimesNow said...

OB, my most recent dive was in front of the Starbucks located 500 steps from my front door. I was in good work clothes, not grubbies. I came out with my tray full of containers, hit the concrete parking guard, and . . . not nearly as you heroically pedaling down the path, threw my $13 worth of stuff all over the parking lot. Without fail, in that surreal moment . . . "please don't let anyone hear my mighty 'ugggghhhh' as the air expels forcefully from my lungs. It's funny what bothers us. Skirt up above my rear end not shameful. Grunting lungs shameful.

shawnkielty said...

Hi Jeanne ... How are you? You know I made a mountain and crashed really hard the first time out ... anyway, I am glad you're ok.

Emma Pod said...

Glad to hear you're OK and that you didn't crack your head! Are you all recovered now?