Dear reader of this blog post,
If this is your first time to my blog, welcome! I am amputee who re-uses a few puns here and there, and is aiming for Tokyo
2020 2021. For those who have read my blog before, welcome back 🙂 I wanted to preface this post with my intentions for writing it. I wrote it to bring readers a good laugh. While some sections may make you cringe or you may relate to my crappy experience, my main intention is to bring laughter. Enjoy!
I wake up with the intention of checking the radar to see if the forecast for rain is accurate. 4:56am according to the iPhone as I am checking the BoM. It’s crazy how much of a routine the body can get into. My alarm generally goes off at 5am most days and my body wakes up at this time with or without an alarm.
Through slitted eyes that are struggling to adjust to the glare of my screen, I go into the rain radar on the BoM app. Bugger. A big rain band is coming. BUT it is maybe 2-3hrs away – and there is always the chance it won’t reach Melbourne. My rain band predictions have been off in the past and it has cost me cups of coffee for being wrong.
Making the decision to go out and get in some riding before the storm hits, I don’t dilly dally as I complete my morning ritual of:
- Taking my HRV (heart rate variability – helpful for monitoring training stress and adaptation)
- Checking my temperature (thank you covid)
- Cleaning the pegs (the teeth, not the leg)
- Donning all the cycling clothes I own to brave the elements
I head down the stairs on the sticks and upon alighting at the bottom, bounce into the chair, and whack my toast down. The final touches are in place as I put on lids on drink bottles and food in my pockets for the ride. As I am munching on my sweet potato sourdour toast smeared in ambrosia honey, I build up to putting on my cycling leg. But I am hesitant.
The past two days have seen stumpy in pain and Han using the chair and sticks (aka a wheelchair and crutches). However, I was confident that after two days of resting my leg, the stumpstinator, I would be right to go for a weekend training. Adding to my confidence was that I had seen the team at Promotion Prosthetics and had some adjustments made to both my walking and cycling legs. I slide my liner on and then start pushing into my carbon socket.
Houston we have a problem…
Getting my cycle leg on was very painful. Bother.
I rationalise that perhaps it will be different riding…. I hobble with my bike to the door, use my bike for support as I go down the step, and clip in to my pedal. Getting out my front gate, I start to peddle. Gigantic sobs start racking my body as I try to ride to the end of my street.
Bother. This theory isn’t going to work. Maybe if I go back home, take out the padding that was added in on Thursday at my leg appointment this will relieve some pressure and be helpful. And then I can ride. Okay, good, new plan.
I crawl back home on my bike. Rip the leg off. Take out the padding. Go to put the leg back on. I don’t even make it 1/3 of the way. There is noway hosay (José) I am getting my carbon weapon on today. More botherations.
Right, I will use my chair and go for a roll. After 5mins I am back outside wheeling around my neighbourhood. At this stage I am feeling very sorry for myself, as well as frustrated. Here I was, heading into lockdown 2.0 with supreme confidence. No knee injury, no backyard renovations, no project management, I had wifi, I had a phone. I was going to nail lockdown 2.0…
Rolling around my neighbourhood, I am looking like a bit of a crazy woman. My hair is worse than Hermione, I am nattering away to myself – a combination of self-pity, pep talks as well as gasping for air during busts of salt water works – there are a few times I don’t notice bumps in the road and come hurtling out of my chair and go splat. Thankfully only a bit of bark off, and no blood. Small mercies.
After about 50minutes of pushing my chair and terrorising the pavement, it starts to rain. Bloody oath, how were my predictions so off target…. ‘Probably ninja rain’, I conclude moodily as I keep on slugging it out on my wheelie good ride.
However, it is not only the rain that is increasing in intensity. My body is also alerting me to the fact that I need a bathroom. Pronto. I reason that I have a strong pelvic floor – I can hold on. I want to get in a grid pattern route using my neighbourhood streets that I had planned in my head. It was going to look great on Strava! For those not on Strava, think a google map route of your cycling, walking, running adventures in an online community.
As the intensity increases, I finally admit defeat for my grid pattern, and start pushing home as fast as my chicken-wing-cycling arms will let me. As the rain gets heavier, it becomes harder to see. I struggle to keep my chair on course with the slippery metal rim as I push. It is almost this tug of war between wanting to push as fast as possible, but when you do this, your ability to control the pelvic floor is minimised. Mine was anyway. So, imagine this drenched rat, zig-zagging down a pristine inner Melbourne street suburb, cursing under her breath every two seconds. I wonder if funniest home videos will run again this year….
I finally make it to the front of my complex and madly type in the passcode onto the keypad. After what seems like an eternity, the gate clicks open and I scramble through. I push up to the step before my house. Not wanting to waste time, I leap out of my chair and attempt to hop up the step. I hadn’t factored in the fact my leg was cold and my muscles were not firing as quickly as normal. I do a weird and very ungraceful tumble down my step instead of up it. Muttering more curses that my grandma would not be proud of, I fumble with my keys in the front door. I hop to my toilet downstairs.
Sweet sweet relief.
And also the realisation I have had a small Bridesmaids moment. Shit.
After a shower and reluctantly bringing my chair inside, I crawl into bed to escape the world. Later than afternoon, I make the realisation that maybe I feel so crapola is because stumpy has an infection. I end up seeing the doc the next day who agrees with my medical diagnoses, and I have joyous antibiotics. A necessary evil. However, I am feeling like I can at least dress myself and not shit my pants today. Small wins. Including finding my keys in the front door after leaving them there for 24hrs. Burglars probably did come in, but after one look at me, headed straight back out again…
On Sunday, Stumpy had come up in a significant blister. The result? A few days of cross training. Naturally I then get a sore throat two days later, and have to get Rona tested and isolate. It only takes 4 days to finally get the good news.
Iso 2.0. Week 1.
Until next time,
Ride with a smile, ride with purpose, ride in the moment,