Monday, August 23, 2010

What's black and blue... ?

and embarrassed all over? Me.

For this I have to back pedal. Last week Viper and I headed out to the bike and hike trail in the Summit Metroparks. He was aiming to log his longest/fastest run barefoot. I was aiming to be course support on the bike. We started and immediately there was a hill. I hate hills on the bike. I was ready to just walk the bike up- but then a sudden urge on inspiration came over me - I was going to own that hill. I got my momentum going, got out of the seat and went to shift when the panic set it. I totally utterly and completely forgot wether or not my left thumb or my left index finger would shift me down. Fuck. I was so out of practice with gear shifting and so overwhelmed by my enthusiasm in taking the hill I drew a blank and shifted up, more panic followed by a rookie mistake, a too quick downshift.

The result.

Me, pedaling faster than hell on the steepest part of the incline out of my seat with my chain helplessly off the gears. I don't know much about physics, but I 'm sure there's some law that could explain the inevitability of my falling. (Or is that just gravity?) My right calf slammed against the pedal as I did everything in my power to stay upright.

The result.

Two very nasty bruises on the inside of my right calf.

Wait - it gets better.

This past weekend while in Fort Wayne Dobson and I were out to enjoy a leisurely walk on the Rivergreenway. My goal was to walk from the trial head to the old fort in the city. I knew Dobson would be up to the challenge so we set out as Viper was aiming to do his 20 miler. All was well, the Dob and I passed points of interest (who knew a water treatment plant could be such a fine example of American architecture) and finally made it to the fort. I was disappointed when I got there for two reasons: 1) the bathrooms were padlocked shut and Dobson desperately needed water, 2) and there were no historical placards in sight. There's nothing worse than being in a historical sight and not being able to read up on why it was so damn important. We turned around, eager to finish the walk.

About a half mile in a biker whizzed past us from behind and Dobson was startled, he jumped and his head hit the outside of my left calf. I felt an odd sensation at that moment. Pressure followed by intense pain. I looked down and saw a blood-filled bump on my calf about the size of a dime. I kept walking and the pain got worse, my calf felt as though it were on fire - the next time I looked down the dime sized bump has literally turned into the size of a golf ball. SHIT. I had a huge visible clot of blood on my calf. The skin around the whole calf was dotted red and the bump was growing in size. I was in the middle of a long stretch of scenic pathway and I was getting scared. I called Viper, but I knew he wouldn't answer - he only turns his phone on to call at the turnarounds. I left a panicked voicemail. I'm not a doctor. Was it a blood clot? Did a vein burst? Was this thing going to travel up my leg and kill me? ( A bit extreme, I know, but I was scared.) The bottom line, if I walked it hurt and got bigger. So I stopped walking. I called my future sister-in-law and explained the situation. Within the next 20 minutes future father-in-law and sister-in-law were at my side getting Dobson and I situated in the makeshift ambulance.

In the meantime Viper called to let me know he was at his turnaround (unaware of the voicemail) and I'm sure I gave him one hell of a shock. I knew he was too far out to be of any timely help and I didn't want him to feel helpless so I finally told him just to finish his run. In the ambulance we headed home to coffee, homemade pancakes and sausage. (Much better than any ER.)

The result.

I still don't quite know what the thing on my leg is. My mom has a history with stuff like this, she told me it was burst blood vessel and that it will eventually go down and turn into one hell of an ugly bruise. If I see red lines or if it migrates I need to haul ass to the hospital. If anyone knows better - let me know. :-)

I have to very bruised and sore legs now. I feel rather silly and embarrassed when I look down and see so much black and blue. Here's to hoping for cooler, long pants weather.

Friday, August 20, 2010


It's been forever since I've posted. I know. Why, you ask? Life. Half-marathon training? Nope. Working? Yes. Thesis-ing? Sorta. Prepping for my now three (previously two) courses this fall? Not really. Recently finding out my Art History II courses at different campuses (at the same university) are using different books? Undoubtedly. Getting ridiculously excited for the wedding? Yes'sir.

I haven't posted because I just haven't felt all that enthusiastic about anything lately, aside from wedding plans, and who wants to read a wedding planning blog, really? This summer is almost over and I've accomplished just about nothing on my list of things to do. I am determined to graduate this fall, but with three courses on my plate and prepping for two of them as first-time courses my confidence is wavering. I stopped training for the half when it stopped being fun. I started dreading every day on the calendar that had a small circled number in the corner "to run." Anxiety would creep into my muscles when I would realize after a 10 hour work day that I was supposed to go home to work on the thesis stuff and run. The reality - it wasn't going to happen.

I beat myself up over all of it for quite a while. I didn't understand why I couldn't be more productive. Why couldn't I work, run, prep for classes and work on a thesis? I had a really hard time understanding what was wrong with me. My enthusiasm was gone and I felt defeated.

Then it happened - the unpredictable.

I was on my way into work on a Monday morning, dazed, tired and in no mood to be getting off the highway. I wasn't paying close attention the the queue of cars in front of me waiting to merge onto the exit and then - THUD. My head was looking left, my car was facing right and my front bumper had shoved itself into the rear end of a small s-10. "Shit, I just got into an accident." An old man emerged from the small truck, looked at the damage and took out a cell phone - he documented the damage. Meanwhile all I could think about was the long line of cars behind us waiting to exit the highway. The last thing I wanted was to hear about my idiocy over the radio traffic report. Finally, we pulled into the nearest gas station and assessed the situation. Not too bad, his car looked much worse than mine. I went to my folk's place (since they live closer to my work than I do) and started with the insurance stuffs.

Long story short. My car was totaled. Apparently the force of impact shoved around the inside parts of my car - a.c. was done, radiator was cracked - in the end, it would have cost more than the 2000 Hyundai Elantra was worth to fix it.

The Viper and I are just getting our bearings as a financially responsible young couple so I spent days stressing over the car, wondering how we could afford a new car, feeling silly for having gotten us in this situation. He was my rock, he reassured me we would figure things out and not to worry. I tried, but let me tell you- trying not to worry can be pretty damn stressful.

Then I let go. My family stepped in with amazing generosity and I realized that life happens. We don't have control - really. I plan, I organize, I stress and I put ridiculous amounts of pressure on myself to perform extraordinarily well. And for what? Success? Success by who's measure? Mine? Yours? My advisor's? My parent's? (See where I'm going with this....)

I wear the pollyanna hat best, I just need to don it again. My new goal. To be enthusiastic about what I pursue. Simple. Easy. Stress free.