I know thanksgiving is still several weeks away, but I have a lot to be thankful for. Last Friday, while riding my bike home in capitol hill, a car opened its door at the very instant I was passing it. I launched! Like 8 feet out. That in and of itself is horrible. It’s one nightmare that every biker or cyclist has had. It’s always in the back of your head. What made this even worse was the car coming up the street from the other direction. Not a bad thing, in and of itself, but if you’ve been in cap hill before, you know how narrow the streets are. So I was flying directly into oncoming traffic.
You always hear that peoples lives flash before their eyes before they die, or think they’re going to die. That’s horse shit! As I flew through the air, all I could think about was how this was a really lame way to go out. I was certain I was going to get hit by the oncoming car, and I accepted that fate. My body was limp.
The instant I hit the ground I heard the screeching tires and brakes as the driver mashed on the pedal. I could do nothing but lay there, helpless and vulnerable. I opened my eyes to see the car tire stopped 2 feet away from me. My shoulder hurt, my hand a wrist were bruised, but nothing was broken. I had hit my head pretty good, but had my helmet on. I should be in the hospital, or worse. But I rode the 1 block home and ordered a pizza. For all intents and purposes, and against the odds, I was fine. Someone or something was looking out for me.
On Sunday I tried to go climbing with my friend Bobbi. I was hungover and sore (post Halloween costume party and bike wreck, respectively). I played around, but my shoulder was def on fire. It especially hurt to belay. It’s a great excuse to get out of belay duty, but in all honesty I’d rather not have the pain and be forced to belay. After we wrapped up, I started to contemplate what would happen, what my path would be, if this became a nagging and chronic problem. What if my shoulder didn’t get better? I was bummed out and slipped into a funk.
The Monday setting session at the gym brought little in the way relief, either physically or mentally. I struggled to move our 35ft extension ladder, “widow maker”. While you’re never fully comfortable moving it, I was really out of sorts, and it seemed heinously difficult due to the shoulder. Tuesday we set the boulder, and I was very gun shy about forerunning the problems. But once I got warmed up, I felt a bit more confident, and the shoulder felt a bit better. It didn’t really hurt for the rest of the day. There was a slight dull ache, but that was it.
I awoke this morning with the same dull ache, but no sharp pains. I was slated to work for a bit at the gym, then head out to get on my project, ‘public inclinations’ (13d). I finally got into the canyon about 45 minutes late, just due to errands and traffic. I was nervous, but amped when I started hiking. I felt good warming up, and while lowering, I brushed holds and did a few moves on the proj. After belaying my buddy Kris on ‘sonic youth’ (he managed a 1 hang), I tied in for a burn. 1 shot, 1 kill! With significant effort I was able to get through the 3rd crux (where i had fallen the last 4 goes) and found myself clipping the chains. This one was a physical and mental battle. Falling at the same spot 4 times in a row had me wondering if I had trained myself to fail there. I was questioning my physical health. But it all worked out, and I thankfully notched a new grade. Well earned, I think.
On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for the kind words and well wishes over the last several days. Wonderful people in my life, just one more thing to be thankful for.