Mountain Biking Sucks and It is Stupid

I fell yesterday. It wasn’t a big deal.

The trail got really steep downhill and I was slowing, slowing, slowing down, but it was too rocky and there was a ditch/crevass/rut and I was going too slow. I knew I wasn’t going fast enough to clear it. I knew. I even tried to speed back up and hit it at the right angle.

And, I did an ok job. But, I started wobbling after my back wheel clipped the rut and lost control. I knew that was coming too. I knew. I unclipped and started to roll and it seemed like I was just going to fall down on my side. No big deal.

But, it was so steep I bounced and slipped for ten feet or so.

I sat up and did the check over. No cuts. No broken bones. Didn’t hit my head. Felt fine. Everything was fine.

Then, I passed out.

If you know me, you know this happens. I’m prone to passing out. It hasn’t happened for a few years and it only happens after provoked by something: altitude sickness, falling, bloody nose — something that changes pressure or heart rate or rush of blood to the head. I have had other heart rate episodes during races and after races and during hard workouts. I’ve been through all the tests (and, clearly, we’re about to go through some more) and I always get the ‘a-ok, you’re totally healthy, except for the predisposition towards passing out.’

So, I came to and sat up and did another check over: nope, still ok. I checked over my helmet: no dents, no cracks. No bumps anywhere on my head. No symptoms of serious concussion: I could remember everything, carry on coherent conversation (ask the woman I ended up yelling at), no blurriness of vision or nausea. I had no symptoms of any internal injuries. I had no external injuries. I wasn’t even hurt, except for some bruises and one big bump on my arm where I hit a rock.

I know from experience there’s nothing an emergency room can do in this situation.

There’s nothing to do for a minor possible concussion and you passed out. All you can do is wait and watch out and rest, lots of rest. And was it really going to be that restful to get strapped down and carted off to an ER and jabbed with needles — all still in my bike clothes and freezing? No. And, in the end, they were going to say: oh, wow, you have no symptoms of a serious concussion and there’s nothing an ER can do to solve the passing out problem (that takes a lot of tests, tests, tests – trust me, I have another doctor appointment tomorrow), so you just have to wait and watch out and rest.

It would have been an expensive and incredibly stressful waste.

The last time I had a similar problem — a fall, sat up and felt ok, then passed out — I let them strap me down to a board and stick me in a room for awhile and ‘rest.’ It was the WORST hospital experience I’ve ever had. (Steve’s broken leg was definitely worse.)

So, mom, grandma, Steve’s mom, go ahead and re-read those last four paragraphs before you stress out about me not going to the ER for no reason.

That meant the only thing to do was walk the 400y or so to the bottom of the trail, call someone to come pick me up, and go home. I probably could have biked home, but not a great idea, so I was standing and calling people to find someone to come get me when this soccer mom came over to me.

Her: Are you ok?

Me: (I have this tendency to not just say yeah, sure, but answer half-truthfully) No, not really, but I’m fine, thanks.

Her: Do you need anything?

Me: Uh, a ride? But, it’s fine, someone’s coming. Thanks. I’m fine.

(I really did appreciate the offer, and was thinking about how to get home, but it’s like a 35-40 minute drive from where I was at that time of day with traffic.)

Her: Are you sure?

Me: Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks. It’s fine.

Her: Are you sure your phone works?

Me: Yeah, it’s fine. It just worked. I’m fine.

Her: Well, there’s a security guard up there, if you need anything.

Me: OK, thanks, thanks.

Her: Just walk up there if you need anything.

Me: OK, thanks.

Her: Are you hurt?

Me: No, I’m fine, thanks.

Her: Are you sure?

Me: Yeah, I’m fine, thanks.

Her: Did you fall?

Me: Yeah, but I’m fine. It’s ok. Thanks

Her: Are you just scared then?

Me: (I don’t know. I got annoyed at this point.) No, I’m not just scared. I passed out. But, I’m fine, it’s fine, ok, I’m fine.

Her: You passed out?! We need to call an ambulance then! You need to see a doctor.

Me: No, I’m fine. I just need to make a call.

Her: No, no, you need a doctor. We need to call 9-1-1.

(And, at that point, I just lost it and started yelling at her. I really was appreciative of her offer of help. It was perfectly nice. But, now, I needed to make some calls and deal with this. And not with her.)

Me: NO, I’m FINE. I’m perfectly ok! OK? I just NEED TO MAKE A PHONE CALL. Will you leave me alone now? I’m FINE!

Speaking Truth

Steve told me that he had been having a Kelly-esque reaction to people telling him he should be grateful for his injury not being worse.

I said I thought he should tell them they should be even more grateful then for not having an accident in the first place. That basically you should just always then go around always feeling grateful nothing worse than what is currently happening has yet happened – but when it does you should just be happy it wasn’t worse. Basically, the only way you could only ever know that things were better than they could have been, anyway, was if somehow – through the power of time travel – you found out that if you had gotten on that plane, for example, you would have contracted a deathly case of smallpox and died, but you didn’t because you fell and broke both legs and arms, therefore you should be grateful.

So, it’s a stupid thing to say.

Steve said, yeah, that’s a Kelly-ism reaction to people saying that.

Yeah, I said, cause it’s true.

Kelly-ism = speaking truth.

 

Stop Talking to Me

The other night we were out and I was sort of tired, things have been busy.

Me: Steve, I think I put my underwear on inside out.

Steve: This is what The Patch has done to you. There are crack addicts who have it more together.

But, not that crack addict in the movie. I also may have it more together than Christian Bale too, so at least I got that going for me.

(Also, it’s not really called THE Patch, but we started saying it to make fun and now I can’t stop.)

I also had another awesome conversation at the gym this week. I was doing lunges and one of the trainers, who was just sort of hanging out and seemed pretty bored, came up to me.

Him: Pylometrics?

Me: Weight-lifting. Oh, sorry, I thought we were just naming types of exercise.

No, I didn’t really say that, I was like, “What, huh?”

And he was all, are you doing pylometrics? I do pylometrics, like this crazy workout all over the gym.

Me: Um, I’m doing lunges.

Him: Cool, I’ve never seen anyone doing those before.

Me: You’ve never seen anyone do lunges?

Then, he was all are you doing this for basketball. I’m really interested in what people do. Are you just trying to stay in shape.

And, jesus, I tried to answer his questions and be semi-nice, but I was also lunging, so, you know. Then, I went over to another part of the gym and was doing a plank and he followed me over there.

Him: Do you do a lot of yoga for track?

Me: Um, I guess you could.

Him: So, you take a lot of yoga?

Me: No.

Then, he starts like doing “yoga” poses next to me and asking what they’re called. Is this downward cat? Upward dog?

I kept saying I don’t take yoga and couldn’t figure out what his fascination was with it, until as he kept talking he asked if I was just doing random poses I saw other people doing.

Me: I’m doing a plank. They’re pretty standard. In like all sports.

Him: I’m really interested in all the different types of exercise and learning about them. I do this thing called P90X. (Or whatever it’s called — I know it, but can never keep track of all the names of new trendy exercise crap, like planks and lunges, obviously.)

And, he’s doing all this while I’m trying to do a plank, so I have to be like *gesture, I can’t breathe right now.*

Then, finally, I just had to turn away and do a side plank with my back to him. And he still didn’t go away. He was like, “Is this how you do it? This is hard? What school do you do track for?”

I’m not a particularly warm or friendly person. Anyone who knows me will attest to this fact. So, I don’t know how I am encouraging people to talk to me. No one talks to Steve. Ever.

 

 

Before and After

This past weekend, Maggie and I did Muddy Buddies. I had no real idea what we were getting into — literally, no idea about distance or terrain or number of transitions. I had never mountain biked before. And I’m super out of shape.

So, it was tons of fun! No really.

We even got tutus and silver sparkly tights and matching outfits. Maggie was worried we would be the only people in costume, but we weren’t even in the top 10 costumes.

This is us before:

This is us after:

And, why, yes, Maggie did cross the finish line in front of me. She was yelling at me during the mud pit, because I didn’t want to put my face in it. I kept turning my head sideways so I wouldn’t get mud in my eyes. Meanwhile she was diving headfirst.

In case you were wondering, we DID win our age group. And, it turns out, there were five legs where one of us biked and one of us ran. Sometimes it was faster to run than bike. We also would have totally beaten those girls in the mohawks if I hadn’t walked the bike up every hill on the last leg. At one point, I did realize I was running hard through the Arizona desert in full tights and under armour and I was going to die.

Also, there’s apparently no prerequisite for knowing how to mountain bike before they throw you down really sketchy hills with lots of rocks and sand and cacti.

I got home yesterday to this:

Apparently, Four Loko is getting pulled from the shelves, so we had to stock up. Evidently.

Crazy Bitch

So, blah, blah I’ve been gone for awhile. Boston, not feeling so well, work, busy, elections, Halloween, etc. The only thing to say about any of that is that I am concerned for the health of a country that turns Salem, MA into a tacky Halloween-themed (historic) carnival town, replete with guides in witch hats and tarot readings at every corner.

The only real reason I opened up a new post, though, is to tell a story about two crazy people (ok, three, if you count me).

Saturday evening, Steve and I were at home at like 9:30 and I was finishing something up before we went to a Halloween party. And our neighbor comes stomping up the stairs. Now, I’ve never spoken to this woman. She’s never introduced herself or said hi when we moved in. She came over and told Steve we needed to disconnect our bathroom fan because it was loud. And, one time, she yelled at us from her patio to stop slamming our door — because it’s one of those doors that like swings shut.

So, we were both a little taken aback when she started screaming through our door, “STOP PARKING IN MY SPOT YOU ASSHOLES!”

No, she didn’t knock and then scream this at us. She just stood outside the closed door and screamed through the wall some more about us being ASSHOLES after Steve yelled, “ARE YOU TALKING TO US?”

So, we both get up and put on jackets and walk outside and knock on her door. And she refuses to answer it. She yells, “I CAN’T DEAL WITH THIS RIGHT NOW.”

It might have been a good idea not to start yelling obscenities first then.

Steve suggests that she’s drunk and probably shouldn’t have been driving anyway, which seems accurate, and then she opens the door. And, she’s yelling at us (though slightly less loudly) about how there was a system long before we moved in and everyone parked in certain spots and we need to stop parking in her spot.

At this point, I should probably let you know that every unit in our condo has a garage that is part of their unit. She’s not talking about her garage, which is filled with stuff. She’s yelling at us about the 11 parking spots in the front of the building that are unmarked and unassigned for you to use if you choose not to use your garage or if you have guests, etc. There’s also street parking just on the other side of that. Really, there’s a lot of parking.

So, she’s going on about how her spot is the one closest to the door. And when we point out there’s no way we would have known that, where are these unwritten rules written down, then — all of sudden — she stops yelling and is like, “Sorry, I thought you know,” and shakes our hands. As though we’re all cool now?!

Then, we ask where our supposed spot is then and she doesn’t know.

Which is besides the point anyway, because you can’t “call” random spots when you have a garage and choose not to use it because you say you can’t back into it — it’s not like the garage moved after you bought the place, so you knew what you were getting into. And, there’s 12 units and only 11 of the unmarked spots — obviously, they’re just up for grabs.

So.

Sunday morning, I go to the Marin County Triathlon to volunteer. And as I’m leaving, I’m pushing my bike — which is how I got there — and mostly walking on the shoulder to not get in the way of the race. While I was leaving the park it wasn’t a problem, but then I get to the entrance of the park and there’s three coned lanes in the street: one for bikers going one way, one for bikers going another way, and a small one for runners. There’s tons of bikers going both directions, so I can’t cross over to the sidewalk on the other side, and there’s only 7 or 8 runners on course yet (everyone is still biking for the most part) and none of those runners are near this area.

So, I start walking on the edge of the run lane, after the shoulder runs out and there’s no where to go in the bushes, and pushing my bike and looking over my shoulder to make sure no runners are coming.

And everyone starts yelling at me “That’s the runner’s lane!”

I know, I know, it’s not a big deal, there’s no one around.

But, people keep yelling, “THAT’S THE RUN LANE.”

Ok, ok, I know.

Then, this woman keeps yelling at me and I’m like, ” I Know.”

And. Then. She gets all bitchy and says, “Well, if you know then you should tell us, instead of just looking at us.” Dude, I couldn’t give a shit about you, I was looking to see if there were any runners.

SO. I. LOST. MY. SHIT.

I just full on start screaming at this woman. I don’t even know what I said. Whatever it was, I wasn’t like saying it in a loud voice or making off-hand snide comments (which is my usual M.O. when I’m pissed off). I was pulling a Real World, crazy bitch, screaming blow-out. If this was a reality show, I’d have handed my earring to someone and started slapping.

But, it was the real world not The Real World and people don’t really know how to respond to that.

So, for the most part, she just kind of shut up and I turned around and kept walking.

I just had reached my limit — whatever it is — for random people bitching at me about crazy shit. And that was just that.

My motorized bike is almost done

Steve left on a 10-day trip this morning. I have pretty much all my stories done for the weekend and am mostly caught up (at least for now) and I’m not training — AND I don’t want to talk about it, jesus — which means that basically I have nothing to do.

So.

Yesterday, I drove all over getting oil and gas and making multiple trips to the motorcycle shop while trying to look like I belong in a motorcycle shop [for your reference, the first rule should probably be don’t BlackBerry while there]. All because my motorized bike is almost done. Yay!

I was trying to build it myself, but then I kept making trips to Trips for Kids, so the guy said I could just leave it and he would build it up for me. Yay! It actually ran yesterday, but it’s apparently more complicated than I thought it was.

Jeff (the guy) was all ‘it’s like driving a motorcycle.’ And I was like yeah, no, you’re gonna have to be a little more specific. And he was like you just grab the clutch and build up speed and then throttle the gas and then I sort of lost track. And he was like, ‘it’s just like one of those old mopeds.’ Yeah, nope.

In all fairness, I may not be as stupid as he thinks I am — he did make me go buy a mixer cup that has the different mixing ratios written on it so I won’t get confused. And I was like I do know how to do basic math, actually. But, whatever.

Because, apparently, the oil and gas have to be mixed in an exact right ratio, which he’s pretty sure is 20:1 but the instructions sort of got lost, because if it’s not exactly right then the engine will blow up.

So, obviously, this should be easy and not at all prone to disaster.

Then, Steve and I caught the bus to karaoke last night. Karaoked. Got a microwaved burrito from the liquor store. Caught the bus home.

After dropping Steve off this morning, I hung out at Biketoberfest all day. (Someone asked what Biketoberfest is. It’s kind of self-explanatory.) I hung around and drank some more beer and felt sleepy and then I said, “Patch is an online community news site…” like 50 times in a row, because I was working our Patch booth.

When it was time to clean up the booth, I started trying to do it myself, but these guys were all ‘do you need help, let me pick that up for you.’ Sure, ok. I did need help taking the tent down, but then I wanted to get a move on it, so I just picked up the whole thing by myself.

I don’t know what the deal is with all the voluntary help lately. I probably just got hotter. That makes sense.

At home on a Friday night

I am NOT writing any articles right this second.

Noticed that, did you?

I have five or six articles researched, done, ready to write. But, I’m tired. All that copying police logs, answering emails, planning community events, and making to-do lists that you never get to the bottom of takes up energy.

The other day, Steve told me to call the bike shop and I was like shit, Steve, it’s on my to-do list, so I’ll probably get to it in like three weeks.

But, since I’m not racing and I’m not really “training” — I mean, it’s hard to call it training when you’re like oh god, I guess swim practice started 10 minutes ago, maybe I should put down my bowl of cookie dough and make the 15 minute drive over there — I have had free time. Which means I’ve seen pretty much every movie out right now.

Short recommendations:

Waiting for Superman is good if you like depressing documentaries.

The Town is good, in a smart action movie kind of way.

Social Network is also good, but in more of a what if we all talked like funny encyclopedias way.

(Side note, side note! Commercial just came on: did Eliot Spitzer get a TV host job? Why the FUCK don’t I have a TV show, yet??)

So, back to the Social Network. Obviously, it was well-written and sort of, loosely (LOOSE, not LOSE, people, stop mixing them up in emails!) inspired by reality. But more importantly, all that talk about how it was going to make Mark Zuckerberg look so terrible? Not so much. I mean, sure, he was a nerdy asshole, who thought he was smarter than everyone. But, have you never taken an Honors Physics or Math class? Pretty much everyone in there is like that. Duh. He just wrote the right code that got him enough fame/money to buy some drugs and party. Everyone else would have if they could have.

That sounds more cynical than my thoughts really were.

Basically, I didn’t hate him. Even if I believed every single thing in the movie was totally, completely true, I didn’t hate Mark Zuckerberg. I hated Justin Timberlake, sure, and I felt bad for Zuckerberg’s best friend. But, I didn’t hate Mark Zuckerberg, not really at all. I’m pretty sure I knew a dozen guys just like him in college.

I was going to watch another movie tonight, but sometimes movies sound like an awful lot of commitment and work (this coming from someone who won’t eat anything that can’t be taken out of the fridge and put directly in my mouth, because otherwise it sounds like too much work). So, instead, I’ve been watching classic triathlon mixed with episodes of Entourage to get my pre-Kona race-watching on. Classic triathlon, even when I know how it turns out, makes me teary.

Which is probably a sign it’s not quite time for me to put down the cookie dough and get ready to train again yet. Still on break.