As I sit here on my comfortable couch, I am thinking about how it feels to be on my own “injured reserve” list. It’s been two weeks since I suffered an injury in a dirt bike crash. At the time, I thought nothing of it, but I should have known that the familiar pattern would repeat itself: the longer I am bruised and healing, the worse it is for me. I am still not sure why I am having such a problem with my knee. I don’t know what happened to it because when the crash happened, it was over so fast, and I was more concerned with the handlebar buried deep in my upper thigh! I wasn’t even paying attention to my knee trapped under the bike. It has happened to me so many times before with almost no consequences. A few days later, my knee was the thing that hurt the most, and has ever since. I think something is torn.
I experience these same feelings every time I crash significantly. I am not counting the small scrapes, bruises, or even the large bloody gash in my elbow the time I was on my mountain bike and crashed trying to beat my own lap time on a familiar loop. Nor am I even counting the time I broke three ribs in a mountain bike race. This time, it seems like the bruises are taking too long to be gone, although a friend who is a nurse says that “it takes time for bruises to heal.” Maybe she understands that a 200 lb. motorcycle in motion has a lot more energy behind it than I think. She is thinking that I’m actually healing fast. I am too impatient. I want to be healed “yesterday.”
The pattern is always the same: the glory and bragging directly after it happens, then the humbling pain that follows, along with the re-learning that I am vulnerable after all; then the fear, and temporary unwillingness to put myself in harm’s way again. I always get over it. Sometimes it takes longer than other times. The worst was the crash on the track a few years ago when I suffered a head injury.
So, I sit and watch the colorful transitions of my leg turning from black to blue to “lovely” shades of green and whatever that color is. It’s healing, and I’m doing the best I can to help it along. I grimace when it hurts the most, I kid myself that it’s over when it hurts the least. It’s going to do what it’s going to do, no matter how I feel. Meanwhile, I do the best I can to ignore it, and continue with my daily activities.
The bike’s fixed, new tires are on it, now I need to get healed. The unpaved road ahead beckons.