It’s been quite some time since I posted one of these. Embarrassing as it is, it’s hard to believe that so much time and neglect to the exercise have occurred since then. I guess you could say that I went into a “Blog Fog” But, I apologize. The veil has been lifted. I can see clearly now the fog is gone. So, time to share with you again.
I’ve been an athlete for most of my life. Exercise and fitness have always been a major part of it. But as you get. . . or should I say, as you mature, career, family, life, children or any number of things gain importance and therefore cut into spare time. Unfortunately, spare time is usually where you spend your fun or fitness time.
Basketball and tennis were always at the top of my favorite extracurricular activities. Not only were they loads of fun but they also took care of my fitness simultaneously. Tennis, I still play but basketball is falling off, quickly. I find basketball about as beneficial as I do my CD player these days. B-ball is just too much on the body – especially if played on outdoor surfaces. Now streaming live in my world of fun and fitness, Cycling!
I love this. I never pictured myself becoming a cyclist but who knew, I’m hooked! I actually started about 8 years ago. It was just a silly idea that my girl at the time suggested we do one day for fun. It was a blast. I’ll never forget how much it brought back childhood memories with such fondness. Transportation by your own energy is a pretty awesome vibe. Back then a 6-mile jaunt was plenty for me. Then it was 12 miles – and then 18. Today, I don’t even feel as if I’ve gotten a good sweat going unless I put in at least 36 miles. My personal best now sits at 52 miles in a single ride.
Cycling provides me the freedom to decompress, plan, exercise and above all, pray. The pure enjoyment of an ocean side journey along the beaches in So. Cal. is just the cherry on top. I digressed a bit though; my apologies. The caption for this Blog is called, “The Tough Times”
The more you cycle, the more you’re at risk. The more at risk you are the greater the chances of a mishap or an accident. Yes, it happened to me too. I’ll keep the details brief but the condensed version of this story goes like this:
I was in the last six miles of a thirty-six-mile ride. It was date night so I was already starving and looking forward to getting back home in order to get the night going. In this area of my ride, there are very few pedestrians out walking about so you can safely increase your speed. The best way to increase your speed is to raise yourself out of the saddle (bike seat) just like you did as a kid when riding. However, when you do this as a cyclist, your chest and head are tilted downward to cut back on wind resistance. At this point I had increased my speed to about 25mph. You’ll note I said, “very few pedestrians” not “no pedestrians”
When I glanced up to survey the bike path, at roughly sixty yards in front of me, I noticed there were about five people just off to the right side of the path that appeared to be looking at the ocean or perhaps sightseeing. As I dropped my head back down to focus on the pathway, I made a mental note to look up again in a few seconds to ensure the pathway remained clear. A moment later, I decided it was time to check the pathway again. When I looked up this time, the group had backed onto the pathway but were still enjoying the ocean view and didn’t see me coming. I only had about twelve inches before impact. At 25 mph, that equates to “no time to react” I should have looked up sooner. CRASH! That’s when everything seemed to shift into slow motion.
I remember flying through the air for what seemed like ten seconds and then abruptly landing on my left side. I almost passed out from the pain that shot through my body on impact when I hit the pavement. It was excruciating. One of the people from the group of sightseers was extremely helpful. He could tell that I was in bad shape and quickly stabilized my position. One of the other bystanders called 911. The gentleman helping me called my wife. I could barely recite her number, because the pain was intensifying.
I was taken to the Marina Del Rey Emergency Room. After numerous testing and X-rays the results were in. I had: 5 broken ribs, a broken collar bone, 2 cracked vertebrae in my neck, a cracked sternum, a dislocated shoulder and had punctured both lungs. Not bad for a first attempt at membership into the, “You too can be like Evil Knievel” club.
As a side note, I don’t just talk the talk. I believe the word of God and choose to live by faith. The scripture says that Jesus now sits at the right hand of God because His work is done. Part of His completed work was His payment for my healing. Therefore, I claim my healing regardless of surrounding circumstances.
Here’s the fun part of the story. It was about 6 pm when the doctors gave my wife and me the full picture of my condition. They went on to detail the necessary procedure. They needed to open me up somewhat and insert a tube down into my lungs to re-inflate them. If you didn’t already know, breathing with two collapsed lungs presents a fair amount of difficulty, discomfort and pain and five broken ribs doesn’t help. This procedure, however, did NOT sound so appealing to me. . . at all. Once the doctors finished outlining the course of action, I simply turned to them and said, “No”
The doctors and my wife all looked at me with facial expressions of confusion. I repeated myself and said, “no” I remember the doctors then taking on a new vocal tone with me that was much more deliberate and serious, stating, “I’m not saying that you’re going to die if you don’t do this, however, if you don’t, you’re going to be in a much more serious condition very soon.” This time my response changed. I told them that if my condition was the same in 24 hrs., they could move forward with their plan with no objections from me. The doctors agreed and said that they would return at 7 am to run more tests for the latest results.
The doctors left the room and without even looking in her direction, I knew where this discussion was about to go. Seeing the pain I was in, Sarah still couldn’t understand my objections to the procedure. I knew why but as my wife, she had thoughts of her own about what was best for me as well. I explained to her saying, “I know something they don’t” I couldn’t blame her for continuing efforts to change my mind but my position was set in stone. She decided to let me get some rest and left for the evening.
Now by myself in a cold hospital room, I began to chat with God. “Father you see what’s going on here and you hear what’s being suggested. You, however, through your word, have taught me certain things. Isaiah 53:5 says: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Father. you’ve got 24 hrs. to work with. In Jesus’ name I pray and give thanks. And so, it is, amen.”
They cheated!! At 4 am I was awakened by the night nurse who said you’ve gotta go for more X-rays. I’m thinking to myself, those sneaky. . . They’re three hours early. And if my math is even remotely close to being correct, I still had about 15 hours left in the bank. There was nothing I could do. After the new X-rays were completed an hour passed and in walked the doctors.
I was having Déjà vu. Remember those facial expressions of confusion everyone shared when I said “no” to the initial idea of the tube in the lungs thing? Well, they were back again. Only this time add in a pinch of dumbfoundedness to boot. With reluctance they spoke up. “Well we have the latest test results back from this morning’s X-rays. They show a great improvement in the functionality of your lungs. Their capacity to take in oxygen doesn’t seem to be restricted by the punctures any longer. The tubular procedure won’t be necessary.”
Through all that pain I was in, I was cracking up inside. I wanted to shout out, “I told you, I told you so!” but I hadn’t the energy. My breathing was labored and painful from the pressure of the contractions against my ribs. According to the doctors, it was going to be between six and eight weeks before I could even begin to think about any regular mobility or activity. Fortunately, nothing more needed to be done other than wait out the time period for recovery. The remainder of my hospital stay was brief and two days later, I was released.
As bad as my condition was, thankfully no one from the group of people I plowed through were injured other than a scratch on the head that one person received.
The Moral of the Story:
If you’re gonna to ride your bike into a group of people at 25 mph, make sure that it’s not date night and that you’ve packed a Snickers. You never know when you’ll be eating next. Oh yeah, it’s also quite helpful to know what belongs to you through Christ Jesus and are willing to stand in faith on the promise of God’s word.
What happened to me? I made a complete recovery. Remember what the doctor said about six -eight weeks before even thinking about normal activity? All I can say is when you plan with God – plan bigger. I was back on the bike in three weeks. And, it was the best ride ever.
I’ll “See” you on the bike path!