~ finding amusement in the simple things in life ~

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thoughts of a Female Mountain Biker

Matt and I took our bikes on a recent trip to Island Park/Yellowstone/Tetons and have been mountain biking regularly here in Pocatello. (LOVE City Creek trails!) Narrow trails and heavy breathing don't invite stimulating conversation, so sometimes I simply pedal and think thoughts to myself. (stimulating or otherwise) Here are some of those thoughts in written form:

- 'My arms are itchy' (10% from the seeds and weeds that flip up and 90% from the jiggling action of the redundant flesh I apparently pack around on my upper extremities)

- coming up to a steep incline 'PEDAL HARD, GO, GO, GO!' I'm self-taught, but I'm convinced a big part of successful mountain biking is successful shifting which (I know you're surprised) has been more difficult for me than I would think. It also doesn't help that the shifters on my road bike are completely opposite.

- I endured an impressive wreck last year, and since then have decided Matt should always FOLLOW me in case I have another. (he was long gone before he realized something must have happened to me) After a steep incline I sometimes reflect on what Matt's thoughts might be. Usually I come up with '... well, if she can do it, then I can do it.'

- 'Oh, geez. This is scary. YIKES! Don't wreck. Well, at least if I endo and break my clavicle I can call one of the ortho guys and have him set it...and then I'll get some time off work! Hmmm, I could break my clavicle.'

- 'Good for you!' I think this almost every time I see an overweight and/or older person going for a walk on the trail. I don't mean this condescendingly. I see so many patients living in misery due to aging poorly and/or obesity, it makes me sincerely happy to see a person doing something good for their body.

- 'No, FOCUS' talking myself into keeping my eyes on the trail when a scampering chipmunk or other mobile wildlife tempts my attention. I've had some intense near-misses on this account... you'd think I would learn.

- I RAN OVER a good sized snake sunbathing on the trail. I also screamed bloody murder. I think the scream was more about my wheels leaving tread on this animal's body than just seeing a snake. Either way, I think it was more distracting for Matt, who, by my dramatic reaction, must have thought an Anaconda was eating me alive. I still feel squirmy and icky inside thinking about this.

- I endo-ed coming down East Fork (of all places) about a month ago. True to our guidelines, Matt was behind me and witnessed the whole thing. I landed primarily on my right elbow (and I have the scar to prove it) and my anterior torso. I was going fast, landed hard, and ended up hot, sweaty, dazed, confused, unable to catch my breath, and facedown in the dirt. Matt was very sweet and actually stopped to see if I was alright. Actually, he wouldn't shut up and asked, "Liz, are you okay? Did you hit your head? How's your arm? Is there one area of your body that hurts worse than the rest? Did you get the wind knocked out of you? Are you just having a hard time breathing? Do you need a minute? How's your bike? Are you okay? Where's it hurt?"... all in rapid succession. I may not have been the most responsive, but I was definitely still conscious enough to be irritated. (slightly)

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