Patient vs. patience. I am much better at being the former, and don't possess much of the latter. Which is unfortunate in almost all situations, as the two go hand-in-hand. Injury requires A LOT of patience, usually much more than I have (ironically I haven't figured this out yet, despite all the time I have spent broken). Currently I am 7 weeks into a 16 week recovery-NOT EVEN HALF WAY-and I am about to rip all my hair out. In fact, if my bike wasn't stuck in a shipping yard in California right now, the temptation to ride would be so great I would probably have to have it locked away at Bike Rev.
Patience is something I have never really had, though I'm sure it would be of great benefit on several occasions. If you didn't catch the Queen reference in the title, it's the first line from the song "I want it all" which paints a picture of an angsty teen chasing their future with relentless pursuit. That might as well be me. I want it all, and I want it now. BUT, I'm not usually in pursuit of instant gratification, and it's not that I don't see the importance of patience-I do (mostly). What it all boils down to for me is time. There isn't a whole awful lot of it and being patient means taking time. I don't like waiting, for anything really. It's just the way I am. I get really excited and over-zealous about almost everything, and don't like "wasting" time. If I can go get it, I will.
Back to bikes though. Frankly, I'm impressed with how patient I've been since I hurt myself. It may be due to the fact that I don't currently have a mountain bike to ride (my road bike is starting to look like a white unicorn with a glittery mane though) but my patience has grown thinner in the last week. Why? Because the first race of the EWS was this weekend in Rotorua and the weather in Flagstaff has been beyond glorious. Not only were loads of my friends down in New Zealand racing, but it just seems that everyone except me is riding. This is obviously not the case-I have friends who are also recovering from injury so I'll stop the woe-is-me. I'm ecstatic for everyone that got to go down to NZ and race, for my friends out traveling the world with their bikes, for all my friends near and far who get to go out and ride. I'm just jealous. I just feel like I'm missing out, loosing pace, wasting time.
That is a pretty pessimistic statement for me. So I suppose what I should really do is reexamine what "wasting" time really is, and then ask myself if I actually ever "waste" my time. Fortunately, the answer is no. I'm never actually wasting my time. I keep myself very busy and very entertained, except when I don't want to be busy or entertained. Since I've hurt myself I actually haven't gotten fat or turned into a couch potato. Actually, I've been doing most of things I've always done, except ride a bike. Gym. Trainer. Run. Work. Chill. Plus, I'm a full time student, and surely I could occupy myself with homework and studying, but I save that as a last resort.
I guess I should also find a way to make friends with patience. How ever do I do that you ask? I'm just going to start thinking of progression instead of patience. They are very interconnected, and I like the feel of progress more than patience. Progress makes me think I'm going somewhere, even if it is slowly. Patience makes me feel like I'm sitting around doing nothing. It's also a lot easier to apply progression to my recovery, and then to biking. It is taking time to get better, but I'm making progress. It will take time to get back to full-tilt on a bike, but there will be progress every day. Nine more weeks, I think I'll make it.
Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with bikes
Grace: a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving.
Mondays are not anyone's favorite day of the week. However, I like them well enough; though I like Friday, Saturday and Sunday more. My typical Monday is nothing to complain about: I have class from 8am-10am, then a big long break from then until 4pm when my dreaded physics lab commences. I fill that time gap with coffee, food, and friends, and it makes for a pretty dang good day. But this Monday was more glorious than the others. Why? Because I woke up in Hawaii with my whole family and my best friend. The day has been full of sunshine, bathing suits, good books, paddle boarding, and pina coladas. And dislocated hips.
No. Not mine. My 90 year old grandpa's. This is not terribly surprising, I swear he has dislocated each of his hips 9000 times. Just not while we are on vacation in Hawaii. What's even less surprising is the way he handled the whole situation. It went something like this:
Grandpa and Jane go for a walk on the beach
Grandpa sits down in beach chair
"Hey grandpa, are those sandals hurting your feet?" (Because his foot looks quite odd)
"Well, I popped my hip out. But it's okay, let them finish paddle boarding!"
Everyone comes rushing and we call an ambulance, all the while grandpa is sitting there talking like everything is fine, telling us we don't need to call an ambulance and apologizing profusely about making a mess of the day.
This is the way my grandpa operates. He never wants to inconvenience anyone, even when he is in grotesque amounts of pain and his hip is out of place. He just carries on with a smile on his face. He doesn't throw a pity party about how it's going to be difficult to get around for the rest of the trip because he always knows it not the end of the world. That is dealing with complications gracefully.
Every morning I wake up, I come downstairs, and I ask my grandpa how he's doing. He always responds, "Well, I'm here so I suppose I'm pretty good!" and the proceeds to make oatmeal for me and himself. It doesn't matter that he probably got up three times to pee in the middle of the night, or that he has to move cautiously all the time, and carries (key word being carry, because he doesn't ever touch it to the floor) a cane. At 90 years old, none of that really matters to him, he's happy to be here in whatever capacity. That's thinking gracefully.
Everyday my grandpa works out. Why? Because 16 months ago he had a stroke that affected his balance. Unlike most 89 year olds, who at that point, though unhappy about it, would have given in to their old age, he was not okay with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his time here. He was not okay with not being able to live in his own home, navigate the grocery store, walk up the ten thousand stairs in my house, and play his great-grandkids. So he went to an intensive rehab hospital and now everyday he walks on the treadmill for at least 45 minutes, at various inclines and speeds, rides the stationary bike for at least 15 minutes, writes the alphabet with a swiss ball for his balance, does overhead presses, chest presses, biceps curls, kettle bell squats, and leg extensions. That's living gracefully.
Grace is something I think about a lot. I repeatedly tell myself to be graceful (it's a work in progress). I'm not sure how long it took my grandpa to become as generous, kind, and graceful as he is now, but I know he has been like that for at least the last 20 years. According to my mom, he's been that way for at least the last 49 years. He is a special human being, one I emulate, adore, and look up to for everything. If there is any human who could encompass grace in it's entirety, it is my grandpa. We're in Hawaii and he is in the hospital on a massive amount of ketamine (stuff sucks), getting his leg wrenched back into place, and he will surely wake up smiling. I hope I can be that graceful by the time I'm 90.
Writing is something I have always been passionate about. I love sharing my stories, my thoughts, my advice, but mostly, I write to record memories and express myself. So here are a few of my fondest memories, best and worst moments, my most profound and boisterous thoughts, and riskiest advice. Enjoy!