Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Crash Landing

So I made it through a week of skiing on Spring Break for the first time in 15 years without falling. Then my boyfriend and I traded shifts to get us back to Little Rock from Colorado in one day - 18 hours of driving. During the drive, I texted dad and stepmom. "The kids want to see you Sunday. We should be back around midnight or so. Does any time work with your schedule?"

"Yes. Absolutely. 10-4 ok?"

More than ok. That would give us time for grocery shopping and our first 20 mile bike ride in 5 months.  It's been an unusually long winter. It was supposed to be 65-70 and sunny on Sunday. Yippee.

We did the drudgery shopping first then geared up for the ride. We go from Two Rivers Park across the Big Dam Bridge into North Little Rock- it's much prettier to ride over there. The halfway point is the Clinton Bridge. After having been gone for a week, the landscape changed dramatically. The grass was turning green, the Carolina Jasmine and Tulip trees were blooming, the River was high from a late week storm, and the scent of Spring was palpable on our tongues. The bridges were crowded, but it was manageable despite wayward toddlers and pets. Until we got to the Clinton Bridge.

I was riding in front, but slowed down after the crest because of the high pedestrian traffic. Despite the congestion, I found a path. It was near the rails. 2-3 feet wide, plenty of room for me and bike. But as I approached, the 60 plus woman with earphones on the right took a sudden horizontal to the left, closing my nice window. I veered to the left to avoid crashing into her, and instead crashed into the rails. My imbalance threw me to the concrete on my knees. Embarrassed as hell, I tried to right myself but telltale vagal stars that I hadn't experienced since I was preggo with C and getting blood drawn brought me back down to the concrete on my back. I passed out. Woke to my boyfriend Stephan (pronounced Steven) asking me if I heard him querying my need for water.  Maybe? From the bottom of a well?  No matter, I was back, but he was suddenly kidnapped by a touring group of seniors from Burbank, CA. "Can you take our picture?"

I think they thought I was resting, but two stragglers realized I was hurt and asked me "Do you need a doctor?" I smiled and refrained from telling them I was a doctor. "No, I am just a little dizzy from my fall. Resting." "Ah, you need sugar!" I thought yes, I didn't realize it until now, but that was exactly what I needed. As they dug around in their purses for Lifesavers (Ugh green and purple really? My two least faves?) and Peppermints, I anxiously awaited the candy deliverance of my resurrection.  Meanwhile, I heard my boyfriend talking.

"You are from Burbank? I lived in L.A. for two years? Where? Yes I know exactly where that is!"

Later he lamented over leaving me for the group pic but I was silently glad for the relaxation and lack of attention for a bit. I got lots of sugar. As the ladies retreated to their group pic, at my urging, they worried about leaving me. "Don't worry, that's my boyfriend. He will help me get up." "Yes, but we are MOM's. And Grandmom's. We are better equipped to take care of you than a boyfriend."

That made me smile. "I'm a mom too", I said, looking at my bloody knees and wishing I had shaved in the past 48 hours. Oh well who cares. But I did care about the 10 mile bike ride back to Two Rivers. Why did this have to happen at the halfway point?

I think the exercise ultimately reduced the swelling. The effect of the post adrenaline from the crash made me loquacious for 7 miles then exhausted for the last 3. But I made it. And the bruising wasn't bad at all the next day. Yoga was doable tonight, despite a little knee pain. It pays to be in shape when you crash.

Incidentally, the scars on my boyfriend from bike crashes (he was practically a professional) make mine look shameful. But no matter. I survived. I may not be running a marathon, but I can somewhat bike. As I was telling my story to my partner today, and he was joking about pulling out a magnifying glass to see the abrasions, I laughed. It doesn't take much for me to see stars. But it takes a freak accident for me to lose control - I am all about control. And I learned Sunday that I can handle the lack of it. 


Liana said...

You're posting again! I was delighted to see you turn up on my blog feed this morning.

Ouch. I hate that vasovagal feeling. Glad you had someone (many someones) to help you!

Gizabeth Shyder said...

Glad I still show up in someone's feed Liana. Good to hear from you. I'll try not to be so much of a stranger.