Thursday, October 06, 2005

"Don't call me 'dude'!"

ItsJustMe wrote:

I actually like riding in the rain.

Dude, you must buy Icy Hot by the case; either that or you've got an endorsement contract; every other post talks about icy hot.

“Don’t call me ‘dude’. I’m not a stoner any more!”…Charley Sheen in Scary Movie 3.

Truthfully, there are times I like riding in the rain too. It’s similar to that peculiar kid-like enjoyment of a cyclocross race. It’s fun to get out and be sloppy with mud – sometimes. But I’m not usually keen on riding in traffic in the rain, and traffic out of the parking lot is heavy at quitting time.

Now as to Icy Hot, let me tell you a bit more about myself.

In 1983, I was in a bad car crash. My left arm and both legs were broken, the left leg crushed from the knee to the ankle. The surgeon was doubtful that I’d walk again. He didn’t tell me this, though.

Recovery was long and painful. I was afraid of falling because I was afraid of re-breaking that leg. It had a steel plate holding everything together, and the center section was a bone graft. The muscles next to the bone were damaged also, and they’re the ones that still give me problems. They have an interesting s-bend in the middle, and that’s where the cramps start. The plate was removed after a couple of years, though I still have a broken screw in my ankle. All in all, this feels like a sprained ankle that gets better or worse, but never really goes away.

I’ve found that simply keeping the leg warm is a great help. It improves blood flow. I’ve tried ibuprofen, calcium citrate, quinine, and hydration, but warmth seems to be key to preventing cramps in the middle of the night. When winter arrives, I’ll be sleeping in sweat pants. A word about quinine – it comes in both tablet form and a liquid called tonic water. Tonic is best mixed with gin – lots of gin – and it certainly takes care of cramps. But it gives me a huge headache in the morning!

Also, I’ve discovered an important principle when applying Icy Hot. Wear sweats or pajama bottoms that fit loosely. Put them on BEFORE applying the Icy Hot. Just roll up the pant leg. This is much better than applying the salve first. If you do that, you risk transferring it to some, uh, sensitive areas when you put the pants on. I speak from experience! It can really make you dance and sing, and it’s a source of enormous amusement to the rest of the family, provided they don’t object to you dancing and singing while holding your crotch like Michael Jackson.

If you reach middle age without a checkered medical history from too many misadventures, you haven’t lived enough. You haven’t pushed yourself. In my case, pain is a daily companion and pain-free days are rare. Cold wet winter days make me ache. I can’t sleep through the night sometimes.

But I wouldn’t change a thing.

Why is that? Even the bad things shape our lives, sometimes in good ways. If it hadn’t been for that crash, I may never have met Mary. I wouldn’t have my kids. I wouldn’t have the life I have today, and I’d be worse off for it.

Besides, what’s the point of arriving at the mortuary with a perfect, unblemished body? You should be completely worn out and yelling, “Whoopee! What a ride!”


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