Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Off season? I'm always off...

"So, what is the mighty neo-cyclocross racer doing in the off-season?", I hear you ask. OK., I didn't really hear that. I just image I heard you say that. Yes, I like to pretend. It's normal. Really. But I digress... um, what exactly have I been doing in the off-season?

Well I did take my racing partner/son Jovid along with our son Parker and two of their friends out to Mad River Mountain so we could all fall down many multiples of times in the cold wet snow under the guise of "snow boarding." (Quick note - if you ever decide that you may want to try snowboarding make sure you have a helmet. A really, really good one.) It was part of Jovid's birthday present. So we assembled a group of people who have never been snowboarding OR skiing before and said "Let's make a day of this!" Sure, why not? The only thing we have to lose is consciousness, right?

After all was said and done we did do pretty well. Tori made it down the hill without falling by the end of the night. Brian did pretty well (but he had been snowboarding once before and was the holdout among this group). Jovid got some really good runs in and Parker did very well. I am quite proud of this group, given the inexperience. It took a while for myself to get up to speed but I think my previous time spent as a skater punk actually helped. Probably the hardest fall I had was getting off the dang chair lift where I got tangled up and left Jovid no choice but to run over my head. Not to worry! As I said, I spent quite a bit of time as a skater boy and I had already turned this part of my brain to mush long ago. No harm, no foul.

Otherwise, yes I do get out and ride my bike when I get the chance. Snow, rain, sleet, whatever... I put fenders both on the Monster and the Race Horse to keep the salty road spray at bay (I hope). But I have found that below about 15 degrees F is my cutoff. I haven't gotten the chance to ride a whole lot, but it does happen. About once or twice a week. Oh yes I could bring the bike inside and ride the trainer, which I have done a few times. Not often. I know I should jump to it and get more time in but, hey, this has been "Winter". A time of year where most animals go into hibernation. Being lethargic comes naturally. Add to that, that my job has kept me on the road a lot lately.

With keeping me on the road a lot I've finally decided to quit lamenting about lost riding time and jump on the hotel treadmill (dreadmill?). After about  7 or 8 times now (the first real running I've done since High School) I'm starting to bet the hang of this. Figuring out what pace I can do. I like to just jump on and hit one of the treadmill's random programs. Several weeks ago I decided to start with the hardest of the random programs for an hour. Sooner or later the old brainiac will figure out what his limits are. Oi, that one hurt. However I think I've got this figured out.

And soon there will be more daylight so that when I do finish a job, I can take the bike out of my car and ride. Yes, I take my bike with me.

And to tidy the post up I'll mention that I've started to get involved in the Ride4Autism and am hoping to jump into that full throttle. The Ride4Autism is a ride that Cyclist Connection is very involved with. All proceeds will benefit the Nationwide Children's Hospital. There are several routes to choose from so if you bring your family or if you want a 75 mile challenge, there is something or you. I certainly look forward to seeing all my friends (and soon to be friends) out on one of these routes. Make sure you register HERE early, as the ride is April 30th!

To sum up:
Learning to snowboard = multiple concussions.
Snow + cold + bicycles = slow going.
Brainiac here + treadmill = lungs on the floor.
You + your bike =  Ride4Autism on April 30th.

Easy enough, right?
Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How long does it take to heal?

OK, I know, long layoff. Several pieces factor into that equation. Besides, sometimes you just need a break, right? I’d like to say I’ll jump in to the jovial frivolities right away but perhaps later. Just wanted to try to stretch out on a few different, more serious angles.

And to get to the point of the title, how long does it take a person to heal? Well it depends on healing from what. Physical injury? Scrape? Broken bone? There is a physiological process that happens with cell regeneration, nature of the injury, cleanliness of the wound and other things. But this can be roughly determined. I don’t have an answer – your physician or specialist would be better equipped to do that. But there is a generally defined timeline.

But what if it’s an emotional trauma? Say, the loss of a loved one, as family member? In which case I am looking for answers to that very question and all I have found is “it depends.” As much as I’d really like to have a timeline of when the hurting stops I don’t think thee really is one. It differs from day to day and sometimes hour to hour.

As you may well know, we are approaching three years since we’ve lost our son, Lcpl. James Kimple. And while the hurt has eased some, it is still there. Yes, I still will tear up talking about him. Hell, I’m having a hard time not crying as I type this in a hospital cafeteria (I am fighting a loosing battle here). However my wonderful bride usually has a bit of an easier time talking about James lately. So if you see us together and ask us about James, usually she will answer. I don’t know why that is. It just is. “So it goes” as Kurt Vonnegut would say. This is not to tell you to not ask me about James. I do want to talk about him – this forum is certainly an example of that – just if you ask me in person you might need to give me a few moments.

At three years you’d think it’d be easier for me to talk or just think about James. I certainly would have thought as much. So at what point will it be less difficult? Hard to say. I am sure there will be a day when it gets easier. Maybe by talking about him more I can “work through it.” Maybe the idea of “working through it” is a bunch of crap. All I can say is that I believe it’s different for different people. Different facets of this process will be harder or easier depending on the makeup and thought processes of a person.

What I do know is that I have a fantastic bride and two wonderful sons to help. I have a good family that helps however they can. There are three awesome grandchildren that carry on James’ DNA. And I do have some pretty cool friends. Whether I am talking to them about James or something totally different I think it all helps.

But a definite end? In a strange way I hope it never ends. I feel that the sadness I feel is in direct relation to the amount of joy he brought to my life. I I would never trade that for anything.