Patience is a Vertex

At the beginning of this year, I set two goals for myself under the heading “Physical Activity / Fitness”:

  • Ride FAR in September (5-day, 500 mile bike ride)
  • Chicago Marathon in October

In the spring, I learned Ride FAR wasn’t going to happen, but that a 2-day, 150 mile ride to support Phinney’s Friends would. In truth, this was a much more realistic goal for me, so I gladly swapped the two.

Last week, on my 15th wedding anniversary, exactly 1 month out from Phinney’s and 1 day shy of 2 months for Chicago, I wrecked my scooter, avoiding a less-than-aware pedestrian who stepped into my line of travel. Quick brakes on wet pavement sent me flying a couple of car lengths. I sat up in the gutter, shirt shredded, shoulder and neck immediately sore, what felt like broken ribs, a bunch of skin missing from my elbows and left hand, assorted odd shapes popping up on fingers, and the one thing I didn’t realize at the time, a pretty good bump to the head. A trip to the ER and a follow-up with my PCP resulted in the bad news – neither of my goals that I’d been working towards were going to be met now. I had no broken bones, but I did have a concussion.

This is now Day 9 of recovery from the crash. I was able to put my wedding rings back on this morning. My scrapes have almost all healed up. My shoulder and neck are still really sore, but I can move them more and more every day. On the outside, I’m looking and feeling pretty good.

Inside my head though, things are different. Writing these brief few paragraphs is taking way longer than I’m used to. I have to stop in between every few sentences to close my eyes or look away from the screen to, for lack of a better description, rebalance my head. I can look at a magazine or a book for a few minutes. I can watch television as long as I mute the commercials (okay I admit I always have to do that to prevent headaches) and I can just close my eyes and listen to follow along. In other words, giving attention to anything is still pretty hard.

Before this past week, I don’t think I could have imagined getting a bunch of days off to be home, a break from work, all the time I wanted to rest and nap… and hating it. I’d love to be lying around, if only it was my choice. And I’d LOVE a week home to DO lots of the things that I really enjoy doing; reading, writing, drawing pictures, watching movies. I could even take 10 days of not being able to go outside, go for a walk alone, go for a run, go for a bike ride, if only my head would quit reminding me that it’s not really my choice that I’m not up to any of those things yet. I have realized this week just how much I do not like my head not cooperating with the rest of me.

So patience is the peak attribute that I’m looking for right now. My doc – and more than a few friends – tell me it’s the thing I need most. I was flipping through the July issue of Competitor magazine this morning and saw a nice, 10-week training schedule to prepare for a 5K run. Starting over. I’m already plotting when I can begin, but knowing there’s another part of my brain that’s going to have the last say in that decision.

New Goal: Patience

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