“So there I was, minding my own business…” was how I started my call home on Sunday at the turn around point of my bike ride. There are very few conversation starters that worry Michelle more than that one. There’s “Let me show you this trick I learned in Pullman!” Or, “Well we were drinking beer at WSU when…” Or possibly, “I have a swiss army knife and duct tape, stand aside little lady, I got this….”
No, after thinking a bit, it is the first one listed above the worries her the most. And, the reason for the call made me realize I have forgotten to discuss a key point of bike riding, or exercise in general.
Recently I added this picture and caption I saw on Facebook.
The meaning is of course, long-term, she or he who exercises with be much healthier and live a much more active and fulfilling life than a couch potato.
On the other hand though, any of us who exercise will tell you that sooner or later you will sustain an injury while doing so. You are much less likely to get hurt sitting on the couch. (Though I suppose if you sit there long enough, and errant spring could punch through and puncture your butt cheek, OR someone could drop a heavy popcorn bowl on your head….)
Yep, you guess it, this weekend I did sustain a minor injury. It reminded me of all the times in the past I had hurt myself.
Back in the softball days,
there were sprained ankles, pulled muscles, and once, during a charity event, a hot grounder right in the mouth at shortstop! (The very next game, as I took the field, 5 year Mathmajor yelled, “Don’t let the ball hit you in the mouth this time dad!” Thanks kid…)
I ended up with a minor concussion playing broom hockey when I fell, and some tall dude fell on my head. As I was being driven home, I was heard to say “Am I supposed to be seeing double….”
Then there were our New Years day tackle football games. Suffice it to say 40 and 50 year olds REALLY should be smarter than that. ( I saved the touchdown then crawled off the field)
As a jogger,
rolled ankles would happen at the worst times. I would JUST be getting to the performance I’d want to be at and it would happen again. Then as I got older, I was finally sidelined from running by repeated muscle strain (BAD pain) to the calves. No matter how much I wrapped or babied them, it would occur. I retired from running about the time I started climbing (or trying to climb) mountains.
Funny, aside from sore muscles, mountain climbing was the safest sport of all….
Now as a cyclist, there is a whole new risk to deal with: sooner or later you are gonna fall. In the almost 7 years and 18000+ miles I have had 3 (no now 4) good falls. The first came early on, when I tried to turn left and hit some left over gravel laid down for traction after the last snow. Loose gravel and bikes do NOT go together. I royally skinned and bruised a knee that time, and had to duct tape my favorite cold weather pants.
The second, I flat got cocky. (Yes I know, SHOCKING!) I was in downtown Tacoma, and saw set of stairs I was pretty sure I could jump… Yeah not so much! This resulted in a major tumble. I was stunned and shocked a bit so I just sat there, until homeless Tommy showed up to help me up (and to laugh at me “Aint you too old to do stuff like that?!?”)
Three years ago, on the Interurban, for reasons I never could explain, I was cruising along when suddenly my back wheel seemed to want to be the front. I jumped off and hit the grass on that one. I looked for a while, but finally gave up looking for what I slipped on.
Now this brings us to Sunday. I was cruising down the Sammamish river trail. rounded a corner too fast and swung wide. I tried to swing back onto my side to avoid interfering with an oncoming cyclist and I hit wet leaves. I lost it and went down hard. My back and back of head ( this is why I ALWAYS wear a helemt!!) hit the ground, along with my right arm.
As soon as I hit I yelled “This was MY fault!!” (I didn’t want the other cyclist to think he caused it.
Surprisingly, I felt ok. I ended up with road rash on the right arm
and a sore neck for a bit. Since I am a guy, we never show weakness, So I got right back on and rode a mile before I pulled over to check the bike (and myself) both were ok! But this is why I called Michelle, to let her know right away: 1) it happened, and 2) the bike was ok (and me!)
So why would I tell these stories and possible frighten people away from activity? Well for a couple a reasons.
One is full disclosure, sometimes you just do get hurt.
More importantly though, to point out that even though injuries happen, the better shape you are in, the faster you will heal. And long-term, getting butts OFF the couch, on a bike, or a trail or even a sidewalk on a regular basis will make you much healthier! Finally, to reiterate being outside, regardless of the risk, beats in doors most of the time!
So keep the plastic side up and the rubber side down!