It’s OK to walk

Life here is rolling along with a big, fat capital L. When things are changing and rocking and rolling, I guess you gotta pin the sections you know, roll the sections you don’t know and — yeah, get off and walk when you have to.

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Recent events:

The end of the race season

As much fun as the MSCs are, it’s a treat to hang the DH bike every September and get back to living. Work, spend time at home, ride trail.

We lost a dog

Mona is one bad-ass eight-year-old, 20-lb Basenji. This African hunting dog is as alpha and gnarly as dogs get, but she was no match for the mountain lion that cruised through our neighborhood. The neighbors say they heard her being taken; I choose to believe she kicked that lion’s ass. We miss you Mona.

ACL reconstruction

My sweet wife got hit by a car on her Vespa two years ago, and both of her knees got very jacked up. She’s been living in constant pain, and every “health care professional” has told her to man up, take some herbs, get a massage or whatever. Ridiculous. I finally convinced her to get examined by a real orthopedist, and to quote the man, “These are the loosest knees I’ve felt in a long time.” So we scheduled back-to-back ACL reconstructions.

She got the left knee fixed last Wednesday. Pain. Pain killers. Nausea. Vomiting. Blinding headaches. More pain. Oh, and no sleep for anyone. After a week, we went to the ER. Turns out 1) she has a random infection in her shin and 2) she is severely dehydrated. Seems she started off low on water, and with the Vicodin forcing everything back up she got worse and worse. The doctor said she was on a downward spiral — one she could not have recovered from at home.

When I left Arlette under an IV to pick The Boy up from school, she was miserable. When I returned an hour — and 1.5 liters of saline — later, she was smiling. Rejoice!

She took three liters in all, and we had to take her off the pain meds. The pain is back in a big way, but the nausea is gone — and here we go back to healing the knee. Knee No. 1 that is.

Four-month anniversary

Arlette and I celebrated four months of wedded bliss on the 11th. We’ve known each other about six months. Do the math: Yeah, we pinned it. And we’re still pinning it.

Lee, the family guy

With Arlette out of commission, I’ve had to pick up lots of duties: driving Ian to school and back, taking care of every chore, being on call to care for the girl. It’s all good stuff, but it leaves very little time for riding and working. And when you’ve based your self worth on riding and working, that’s tough.

After years of doing whatever I want whenever I want — but doing it all alone — I’m doing good stuff for people I love, and they’re doing stuff for me. But now I am out of whack: adjusting, building a new set of rules to live by. It’s like this new house doesn’t fit my foundation, and I need to rebuild the foundation while my family and I live in the house.

Left Hand Canyon XC action

Yeah buddy. This morning I dropped Ian off at driver’s ed and took the Enduro SL to my favorite local OHV area. I had a couple hours to play before I had to be home. Left Hand is steep, loose and epic. What a perfect place to express energy and find that inner Lee.

I turned off the ProPedal, sat on the seat and spun. The bike crawled over rocks, and my heart hummed at nice aerobic pace. My mind wandered: riding, work, family, Life. I blew every technical section. I just wasn’t focused, and I didn’t feel like pushing it. Dude: I am wrung out!

Road 286 got steeper and rougher, and the saddle pummeled my maleness, so I got off and pushed. The old me screamed I should clean the entire climb, but the new, tired me said Dude, walking this trail isn’t exactly lazy; we’ll get the job done anyway. I kept a good pace and topped out in 1:08, just a few minutes slower than fully pinned.

I called The Girl from the summit. She sounded sleepy but happy. Good. I told her I’d be home soon and headed down. I didn’t exactly pin it, but I rode smoothly, kept air in my tires and reached the van safe. The rest of today: nurse Arlette, pick up Ian from driver’s ed, take Arlette to a nail appointment, taxi The Boy wherever and who knows what else.

Life is change, my friends. Whatever comes is good. Whatever happens is supposed to. I’ll just do my best to pin the stuff I know, roll with the stuff I don’t know and — yeah — get off and walk when I have to.

10 replies
  1. m-dub says:

    My condolences about your dog, thats a heartbreaker. And best wishes on road of recovery for your wife. Keep pinning it Lee, your readers appreciate it.

  2. patrik says:

    Huge condolences about the dog Lee, that really sucks!!!! nothing worse than having it all of a sudden. lost a dog one night to bloat….after dinner she is fine, by midnight no more. So very sad. Very sorry to hear.

    And good luck on the knee surgery!!!! having had three, I know the pain and annoyance. Main thing is listen to the PT. and keep it moving. having to get the range of motion back is the worst thing!!!! after that it gets better and better every day. but don’t do something unless they ok. don’t rush something like this. let it heal properly. Had my acl done close to 11 years ago, and up until i had to have surgery on the other knee last year, the one I had the acl surgery on worked better cause I followed their instructions. take your time, yet push its limits in a safe and supervised environment. learn to enjoy the pain of stretching it out to gain the range of motion!!! And make Lee do some real work for once!!!! 😉

  3. Chris Powell says:

    Lee, I’m 9 1/2 weeks out of an allograft in my left knee. They put an Achilles tendon in for the ruptured acl. Pain sucks but it gets better after a couple weeks. Patrik is right about the pt. You could have the best doctor in the world, but be the worst patient and get a crap result. Get her on a road bike eventually and find some flat ground out there in a valley or something. Best wishes to Arlette. Did she have an allograft (cadaver parts) or her own harvest? Lastly, do you get to roll the BMW now???

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    Thanks guys.

    Patrik – She’s working me hard!

    Chris – She rocked her own harvest, from her hamstring tendon. We might do the allograft next time, for an easier recovery. Yeah, I’m ripping the 530 xi … it handles a little better than the Sprinter!

  5. Roger Mooney says:

    Life is full of blind curves, rock outcroppings, and root cascades. Things happen in life for a purpose, sometimes we don’t understand that purpose until far in the future, maybe even for years. God is aware of our situation, He knows what we can handle, and will not give us any challenges beyond our ability to come out on the winners podium. Despite any spiritual, mental, or physical pain all things are possible with God.
    Family- a loving, supportive wife and energetic, well-intentioned kids- is God’s way to give us the heavenly gifts of charity and selflessness.
    My best wishes to Arlette during her down time.
    Keep up the good fight… all the self-sacrifices are worth it!

  6. leelikesbikes says:

    I’ve always thought the *real* studs are the guys who manage to balance career, family AND ripping on bikes. You, my friend, are a real stud.

  7. leelikesbikes says:

    Hey, thanks for asking.

    We’re 6 weeks out and she’s sore and weak but off crutches.

    We get #2 done tomorrow.

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