Hey, it’s Shredward! Ug. Maybe it was better when he was gone.

Hi. I’m back. Feels good.

But why did it take so loooonnnng? Why is it so hard for you to just write something, fuckerrrr? It’s been like a yeeeearrrr. No, that’s not what I’m imagining my faithful readers are saying, seeing at long last that their favorite mountain bike blogger—NO—their favorite blogger—NO a second time—their favorite writer, period, has returned, ending their sleepless nights full of restless anticipation. No, it’s what I say to myself as I contort to kick myself in the nuts for not doing enough side projects, written purely out of a constant gnawing desire to create.

Uh oh. I sense some self pity coming on. Yep, here it is:

A little bit of background (Which is kind of silly since there’s a decent (97%) chance that I will be the only person to ever read this. But, c’mon, when a dude jerks off, the movie playing in his brain theater is not of realty. Otherwise a fella is imagining himself sitting on a toilet filled with shit slowly dissolving in a porcelain bowl of piss water, pants and boxers around hairy ankles, eyes closed as he works a two handed fist slicked by Walgreens brand hand lotion. That’s not hot (I guess unless you’re a guy who has a thing for guys who look exactly like yourself jerking off on the toilet). So he maximizes the experience by fantasizing that a spank-worthy co-worker, actress or spouse’s friend hates herself enough to allow vaginal or anal penetration by the average sized, semi-erect phallus in-hand (let’s pretend he’s beating off in a hotel room where they charge for wi-fi and it was too expensive, so he had to fantasize ol’ skool). So I will act as if many new readers, turned on to my work by my fans, are discovering Mt. Shredward for the first time and are in need of some context.): I’m in the midst of a 13-year career creating advertising through my in-born grasp of the written word. I’ve seen my stuff on TV, in magazines, on freeway-side billboards, on movie screens before the trailers start, on internet connected computers. All that stuff. It’s pretty fun, and I earn a nice checks doing it. Like a several-multiples-of-my-hard-working-blue-collar-dad’s-best-salary-ever checks (I’m proud of that stuff, but I’m not just bragging here, I have a point).

So I have a cool job and haven’t had to worry about being able to pay bills in a long time. But, there’s an issue: I’m of the species homo sapien. We’re kinda fucked up. Like, the most fucked up of all species. Example: some of us homos slid out on a slick of baby slime into a horrible existence where it’s a good day if you don’t witness a loved one being hacked up by a machete wielding rebel guy and then ear raped by his equally maniacal pet dog. Yet this person living this unimaginable life will still be so driven to survive that they would eat the loved-one-derived droppings of that same dog just to take in enough nourishment to last another fucked up day—a day that probably won’t be as good. And on the same day another homo who has surpassed his wildest childhood fantasies of success, and has enough money to ensure his great grandkids are ungrateful pukes that never have to work a day, will put a fancy brand name hollow point slug to work shredding the grey goo of his sad, one-in-a-million brain. What’s with that? People who live in Genital Punch City do everything they can to survive, yet people who reach their lofty goals call it a life. What I’m saying is, as a homo, things are bit complex. I’ve got some mental issues that I’ve had to deal with (thank you genetics), but I’m not going to pretend that I’m not a pretty damn happy guy, BUT for some reason I don’t get to feel fully satisfied with the great life I’ve worked hard for. Why not? Because that’s not in the cards for this homo. Instead I often go to bed giving myself shit because I didn’t work on the next revision of the feature length script I wrote in my spare time, or start another one. I also wonder why I’m such a loser who can’t even manage to put in the effort to promote the book I wrote. I wrote a fucking book and a full feature length screenplay (good ones too, from what I’m told). That’s not even how I provide for my family (although believe me, I slap myself around plenty for my perceived career failings as well), so I’m totally free from that burden. But still, Andy’s brain is all, “Yeah, but you haven’t promoted the book, like, at all. And the screenplay didn’t make it through the first round of any of the shows you entered it in, so you should be doing revisions, loser. Never mind that you do this side stuff for fun, and not to support you family.” (Christ. Now I hope no one reads this. I’m really getting off the rails here and there’s really no hope of me not coming off like a drama queen self pitying asshole, is there? Didn’t think so. Bummer, but the purge must go on). It gets even better (worse?), and finally brings us back to the point (or not. I don’t remember my point), I also use this little mountain bike blog of mine that I haven’t posted on since October 12th, 2012 as ammo against myself. How can such an insignificant, dumb little no-reader, no-money-making bunch of pixels be a source of more artistic self flagellation? The thing is, I love some of the stuff I’ve written in here, and for a while there was rollin’, writing my brains out and actually building up a little bit of a readership. Then my ligament tore, and with that tear, the enthusiasm, along with my elbow, was also heavily compromised. This, after all, isn’t an elbow reconstructive surgery blog. Shredward isn’t because I like to fall and shred connective tissue and get it surgically repaired and then share my experiences. So I went a bit easy on myself at first for abandoning this blog. I’m not riding, so how could I expect to be geeked about riding writing? But then I got back on my bike. One month. Two months. Three. Nothing. And I felt bad about it, of course.

But finally some shit has sparked me!! Uninterestingly enough, it’s not this rant I’m on. It’s actually going to be in my next posting. But when I started writing what I intended to write about, low and behold, I started bashing myself, and boom, words. Purging, self-serving words. That’s the mtshredward.com I remember! Actually it’s not, but I’ve gotta put this wallowing somewhere.

Enough, Beach. You’re here. You’re writing stuff. Stop with all the over the top introspective self pity. Tell the folks about how you’re back mountain biking.

Sounds like a plan.

So, while I’ve gotcha, I’m happy to report that my surgically repaired elbow is feeling more like a normal elbow and, despite the pretty cool six inch scar, it even looks like a normal elbow than it has in ages. And most important, I’ve been back on the trails for a while now and am probably back at about 90% of my former skill level, and damn near 100% of fitness. I have some doubts that my hinge will ever be how it was pre-injury/surgery. But in the last couple months it’ of surprised me, putting in the rear view mirror comfort levels that I figured I’d have to make due with, and moving into new realms of stability and strength.

Let me go back a second. The shit thing of it was, I actually had to have two surgeries. First the big one to replace the torn ligament.

Oh yeah! Let me digress another sec about my ligament replacement procedure; check this out. Being the curious fellow that I am, I asked my doctor, and was educated that they didn’t replace my torn lateral ulnar collateral ligament with a dead guy’s lateral ulnar collateral ligament. No sir, ulnar lateral collateral ligaments are weak as fuck. Instead they use hamstring tendon from a dead guy. It’s stronger!

So, I had that original reconstructive procedure done, followed by an agonizing six month recovery (not so much pain agony, but inactivity agony. Though the first week huuuuuuuurt. Damn did it hurt). Then, goddammit, eight month after the first surgery I had to have another one to retighten a suture holding together the slit where they cut into my elbow capsule to do the repair. It had pulled open just 2 mm, probably around month 4 of my recovery, but the gape was big enough to leak elbow juice. It was most likely as a result of me overdoing it during my recovery. It made a pretty nasty looking lump, like the size of one of those big white, speckled jaw breakers they have in gift shops, but it was soft and liquidy. My wife and even my ex-wife were like, “Got-damn. You need to get that gross thing removed.” That set me back about 6 weeks or so. But I got a carelessly large prescription of Percocet from it. I’m not the addictive, abuser type, so having those around when the mood strikes from time to time is kinda cool. So, what did I take away from the experience other than hillbilly crack? Well, not much. It was just an extra long reaffirmation that not getting to ride because of injury sucks. That’s about it. I was sure that I’d have deep thoughts and philosophical learnings from suddenly not being able to ride for such an extended period of time. Nope. I’ve just moved on and have quickly built back my fitness (which was heavily aided by the fact that I was able to hit spin class twice a week) and have worked on getting back my confidence, which has happened about as slowly as I feared, but it’s coming.

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