Wednesday, October 5, 2016
"You are the type," the surgeon said, looking at me over his glasses, wagging his finger, "that I see again because he is back for a second surgery."
I nodded, contrite, wondering what, exactly, my "type" was.
"It's the older guys, 40 -50 and, in your case, up, who go out and think they can play soccer or basketball or do gym-NA-stics (his emphasis) who end up with a second surgery to repair a re-ruptured tendon. I'm just telling you..."
His words were bouncing around in my thick, hollow skull as I bounced down a trail in the Zuni Mountains on my mountain bike. Cycling, I reasoned, was fairly "safe" because there was no jumping, no cutting in front of a soccer ball, no explosive leaps, just safe round pedal strokes, right?
So there I am on this downhill section that is a rutted labyrinth of deep gullies. The trail snakes around and through them until I see where it has been cut by recent rains. I will either have to dismount or bunny hop across the gap.
Well, of course, I decide to bunny hop and lift the bike neatly over the mini defile. All well and good. Until the landing. I forgot that what goes up also comes down, sometimes hard. The shock of the landing traveled from the wheel through the frame and crank to my foot, which took a hard hit.
A bolt of pain shot up from the still healing, and quite stiff tendon through my leg and into that place where nausea originates.
I hid my grimace from my fellow velo fellows and kept rolling, hesitant to put weight on the tendon. I slowed and let them pass. They gave me looks that said "weenie" and "slacker" and "when are you going to get back in shape?"
When they had pulled ahead enough for me to just focus on my foot, I put weight on the pedal. It held. It hurt like hell, but it carried the weight. The intensity of the pain told me there was a bit of a tear, but nothing too serious. Dodged another bullet.
Slowly, easily, I found a rhythm that felt sustainable given the throbbing down there in the tendon.
It hurt for the next two hours, and blood had gathered around my heel. But I could still walk and I was not going back to visit the surgeon.
I went out on another ride and saw a chance to bunny hop a log.
Think I'll walk.