I am nursing some pretty painful injuries. My hip still hurts from a crash in June at Santos. I bent my ring finger back on my left hand and had to bribe a guy in Lowe's to cut off my wedding band, with bolt cutters. My ring is at the jewellers being Steve Austined and my finger feels like a Bradfordville link sausage, left on the grill too long, by a cheerleaders fund raising Mom. My ring finger on my right hand, was jammed in a crash in February. It refuses to return to normal and remains stiff after many months. It was the crash, that rang in the great string of crashes, I suffered this year. Today I put my pointer finger in between my big ring and my chain, while lubing up before a ride. I went from three to twelve o clock, before I realized I was about to lop off the end of a digit, with french revolutionist professionalism.
Oh yeah! I had a stroke, and I am the proud owner of a heart defect, which by the way will be added to my career as a Artist Manager, my life as a musician, and my neck issues, as things that my friends and blog devotees will not tolerate in conversations or in this generic google layout. *Yes, I was trying to break my own record for longest run on sentence.*
I have a headache and can't take the meds that will fix it. I am waiting to get scheduled for heart surgery. I am taking rat poison to stop clotting and have been ordered to cut back on my one and only vice: Tea consumption.
I know what you are thinking: He complains, therefore he is back to normal. You would be wrong on level that would make the fabricators of the bible recoil in abject horror. I am a happy dude. I got a pass from my heart Doc, to ride today. My friend Big Jim set up an impromptu ride with some folks that I was pretty sure didn't dig me. They seemed happy to see me back in a Lycra shell. They laughed. They were patient with my long answers to easy questions. They were relaxed and rode behind me. They turned around and headed back with me, when they really wanted to continue on at a pace they were used to. Not one warm gesture or expression was lost on me. I noticed every subtle act of kindness and tried with all my being to deserve it.
I have been showered with support and good wishes. I have had people from the local cycling community, familiar faces that I thought had no idea who I was, inquire for news from my beloved crew. I have had people from my past seek me out, that I have not spoken to in thirty years after hearing about my "event". My close friends and crew all went above and beyond, as I rambled through my emotional storm. Believe me when I say, I view myself as a general nuisance that no one would shed a tear over. So these kind thoughts, prayer circle's, Madonna candles, text messages, signed cards, and emails, not only caught me by surprise but literally would not let me be anything but positive and hopeful. It was simply too much good mojo to fight. I can't take any credit for getting better and/or lucky with the recent hurdle. I was willed over by friends, family, and most of all my wife.
My hands will heal. My hip will loosen up. My heart will be patched by a surgical magician. All these things will pass, but I promise you I will never forget what has happened. Not the stroke, but all the cool people that reached out to me, and held my sorry ass up when I wavered.
Thank you, I am undeserving, but grateful.
Now lets talk about something amazing and basic: I rode my bike at Fern, Tom Brown, and Cadillac today. It was grand. The pace was slow and the woods were filled with conversation about light wheels, 29'ers and future endurance events. I jammed the same finger that I got stuck in the chain, into a tree. It is a throbbing balloon animal of pain.....I couldn't be happier.