So, the last time I was on the slopes of Shredward, I was all like, “Oh man, I gotta get surgery on my elbow. Dude, I’m so bummed, I won’t get to mountain bike for six months. Boohoo for me,” you know, all cryin’ like a bitch. Well, fuck you. How would you feel if a big sliver of your life was about to get taken out like one of the only slices of pepperoni left in the foraged over pizza boxes, and all that’s left is a bunch of shitty weird pieces that have potato slices on them. That was a poorly constructed sentence, but people who have had pizza brought in to the office know what I mean. I’ve got a lot of good stuff in my life, but one of the best parts is being removed, which ups the ratio of lame to good stuff. Why can’t they be like, “Hey, your elbow is pretty fucked up, so I’m afraid you’re not going to have to pay rent for six months.”
But I digress. What I’m tapping away with both hands about is that I actually haven’t had surgery yet. I was on the hospital bed, IV in my hand, getting ready to get a nerve blocker, when the surgeon’s intern came in to chat, and noted on my chart how I had noted that I had a weird rash on my elbow. THE elbow. “Hmmmmm,” he said. He went and got the surgeon. She looked at it, shook her head and said, “I can’t do it.” Bummer. So my surgery got postponed and went to work, which sucked. I went to a dermatologist, they checked for fungus or infection, and I’m good, on for August 28th.
So I thought, I’ll spend some time in the saddle! Awesome. I love mountain biking! I’ve been riding all this time with a jacked elbow, what’s a few more rides? I’ll just be careful. Well, what those few more rides have been, is pathetic.
There’s the school of thought that cautious riding is better than no riding at all. And I can’t really dig up good evidence to totally dispute that point. But holy shit, is it a far cry from the riding I was doing before I was clued in to the damage beneath my elbow skin, as well as the potential for dislocated disaster if I go down hard. They may as well have told me that another consequence of this type of injury is that the circumference of my balls would also be aversely affected. It’s given rise to a troubling concern: is it going to take a long time for my stones to heal and start pumping some courage again? I know getting my maneuvering skills and balance back is going to take a few rides. Maybe more than a few. What we regular riders can do on a bike isn’t totally natural. It takes reps. I get that. But how long am I going to be afraid of hitting the deck and re-injuring my repaired hinge? Because I gotta tell ya, being cautious isn’t that fun. I’ve always ridden in what I call “I’ve got a kid mode,” which keeps me from just saying “fuckit” and going off a big drop that can eat my spleen if I shank it. It’s just not worth it to me. There’s enough fun stuff out there that has a lower likelihood of causing me to know a group of nurses personally. But ever since I did a week in Moab, I’ve learned that me and my Blur are capable of going down some substantial stuff. But it took a bit of work to build to that point, and it certainly didn’t involve worrying about crashing and re-mangling an old war wound.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m worrying about worry that will never materialize once my elbow is recovered from its fixin’. But if not, I may be going back under the knife again, this time to get elective surgery to have my permanently shriveled plumbs replaced by those of some bad ass who died base jumping or something.