Well, I did it again: out for a nice casual group ride and I decided to jump up onto a log…it turned out to be wet and really slippery, so after a minor mishap and an awkward tumble I have a broken rib.
No big deal, I can still ride and function almost normally, it just hurts a bit to laugh, or cough, or sneeze, and lying down isn’t very comfortable either, but I can still ride so it’s all good!
Jump forward a few days to our next group ride and off we go for a technical spin in Snowden. I was taking it easy and being safe, but then slipped on a wet rock and without even crashing, managed to twist my shoulder so far out of shape that I couldn’t move it for two days. (I’m blaming this one on being careful and safe – bad plan). Between the broken rib on my left side and the tweaked shoulder on my right side, sleep was not an option, so I got to lay there all night thinking about how to avoid this in the future.
I came up with a few options that might keep me safer, but don’t think they’ll work very well. Ride slower? NO! Only ride easy trails? NO! Dress in full bubble wrap? NO! After a couple of hours of serious sleep deprivation I had a realization: If I trade my bike in for a recliner chair and a big TV I can probably go the rest of my life without another injury.
Just imagine how comfortable I could be for the next 20-40 years. No broken bones, no sprained ankles, no more stitches, this could be amazing. Never feel the burn from climbing a big hill, never have my heart rate max out again, no more sweat burning my eyes, why didn’t I think of this earlier? Yep, this is a great plan!
So I have set up my house with comfy recliner chairs for the whole family. My kids can now avoid an exciting and adrenalin filled life that will lead to injuries and pain right from the start. This is good parenting, right? Now I just need to order up every channel possible from our cable provider, get a beer fridge and we’re set.
I think this plan can actually work. We can live a peaceful life in front of a TV. I can still watch mountain biking, and watch rock climbing and maybe I can even get back into lacrosse – on TV of course – so I don’t get a bruise.
Then I woke up in a sweat, shaking with fear. This was a horrible nightmare that felt so real. I hobbled into my living room to confirm I didn’t have a collection of big chairs. Then I grabbed my bike and went for a ride in the rain. I was freezing cold, soaking wet and my rib and shoulder were aching constantly. It was a three hour sufferfest…and IT WAS AWESOME!!! When I got home I was exhausted, but felt strong and healthy and relaxed. Something you can never get from surfing channels in a big comfy chair.
So I get a little banged up once in a while on my bike. I’m sure in the end I am way healthier and will live a longer life because of the bike. When we challenge ourselves, it sometimes goes wrong, but I’d rather live with a few scars than watch from the sidelines.
Now I just have to explain to Chenoa why our most comfortable chair and our flat screen are out in the garbage.
I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…