Friday, July 11, 2008

Winning and remembering

Matt Wilson outsprints Tom Wilson at the end of Stage 2 of the Cascade Cycling Classic. His victory in the 80-mile road race from Bend to the finish at the Three Creeks Sno-Park, eleven miles up a steep climb from Sisters was bittersweet, however, as he constantly thought about his teammate Ben Brooks who was critically injured in a crash during the first stage on Wednesday. Motivation often comes with a backstory. Wilson and Brooks are long-time friends, training partners and teammates from Australia. After the race Wilson went directly to the hospital in Bend to see his friend. For me, the race was an opportunity to get out of the house and attempt to maneuver with the walker and a couple of cameras. It was strange to cover an event albeit with self-imposed restrictions. There wasn't a lot of running around after the race to find a nice moment. I am just grateful to be out and making the attempt to get back to normalcy.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Backyard residents

It has been suggested to me that it is time to change the blog from the "Insomnia" entry to something lighter. Don't get me wrong, the insomnia post was meant to be somewhat humorous and certainly doesn't reflect my overall positive attitude about my rehabilitation since the knee surgery two weeks ago. Actually, the rehab is progressing right on schedule. The physical therapist and a nurse practitioner who works with my ortho doc say the window of opportunity lasts six weeks for me to gain as much range of motion as possible. After that, the progress is minimal. I already have total extension of the leg. Flexion, the degree the knee can bend, needs to get to 120º and that is the tough task ahead. I got to 100º in P.T. today which is a big improvement from 85º last Thursday. Bending and stretching the knee to break up the scar tissues stings like hell. And my choice is what? There are stories of some who couldn't or wouldn't do the work and had to undergo joint manipulation under anaesthesia. That is not an acceptable alternative. It defeats my goal of a totally unremarkable experience. I'll deal with the pain which actually subsides rather quickly. Lots of walking around with the aid of a walker (my neighbor has started calling me Jaywalker). My recreation and escape off the bed is to sit on the deck and watch the chipmunks, squirrels and birds come to the feeders. While my former work cohorts are involved in 24/7 hand-wringing over the death spiral the newspaper industry seems to be in and all the online discussion of solutions, suggestions and blame throwing, I can escape to the decks and simply sit and do nothing. I have knee rehabilitation as my only and most important job. And, in October, I get to do this all again on the other knee. Winter will be coming on and I'll need to be a lot more creative when I can't get outside as much. I'll be thinking about that.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


"Miles from nowhere
I guess I'll take my time
Oh yeah, to reach there

Look up at the mountain
I have to climb
Oh yeah, to reach there.

Lord my body has been a good friend
But I won't need it when I reach the end."

- Cat Stevens, 1970

A week into my long recovery and rehabilitation from knee reconstruction surgery I've learned a few things: improvement is slow, the pain manageable with meds, stretching is excruciating, and tomorrow may be better than today but no guarantees. My sleeping patterns coincide with pain management

so I'm usually awake in the early morning. This is the time when all the committee's in mind decide to meet to rehash topics I have no control over. Nothing, of course, is ever resolved and after an hour or so I start to relax and get on with the second half of the night's sleep pattern.