I just had a shot of maple syrup. Needless to say, things are looking up.
Ahh yes, and Peter took a strong hold on the green jersey with his second consecutive second place stage finish so that’s superb.
Let’s now backtrack and assess the past 72 hours.
Stage 1 of the Tour de France was excellent, until very quickly it wasn’t.
The first, oooh say, 97% of the race was chugging along nicely, and then after riding with a feeble metal barrier seemingly not doing much on the left side of the road for a long while, three guys directly in front of me went into the barrier and violently went down. I took a stab at impersonating Superman before I realized that I can’t fly, and then drove my shoulder into the pavement. In summary, I separated my shoulder. To which a lot of concerned people ask, “That’s horrible — did you put it back into place?!” That’s a great question if I had dislocated my shoulder. As the son of an orthopaedic surgeon and as the product of a rough and tumble youth, I know the distinct difference between a dislocation and a separation. Here’s WebMD‘s explanation differentiating the two; basically I’ve torn some ligaments and pushed some bones out of place, which results in a lot of swelling, a ton of pain in the entire region since I obviously absorbed some trauma there… and then for insult to injury, there’s road rash. But not terrible in the grand scheme of things.
The feeling a) is wicked frigging bad and b) elicits a similar sensation somewhat akin to breaking a bone. That is, there’s a gritty, “this bone doesn’t feel like it’s in the right place” feeling, much like a piece of sand in your mouth. Only instead of sand it’s my skeletal system and therefore my livelihood. With no diagnosis right there on the side of the road and with my mind spinning some hybrid of curse words and “What the crap do I do now?!” I saddled back up and grimaced all the way to the finish.
So a lengthy trip to the spiffy-new-for-2013 Tour de France x-ray truck and I was getting x-rays. A series of radiation blasting proved that I had broken my l-clavicle long before (true) and that I had in fact separated my shoulder a long time ago too (fact). But just to get the true Tour de (Corsica) France experience, we then went to the Corsican hospital. A handful of my cycling colleages were in various states of waiting room, emergency room, or hanging out on gurneys. From there a CAT scan proved that my shoulder was separated. Yup, fact and they found another fracture from years ago. But that’s not important. By now it’s about five hours post race, we’re then checking out of the hospital with the good news that if I can suck it up I can play ball.
And now a short video. Please click here for a word from me to further shed light on the situation.
Sunday was stage two, and after a lengthy night of sleep where I slept like a mummy – flat on my back, hands crossed on my belly – and didn’t move for the entire ten hours, besides when I got up to pee, which was a reminder that I didn’t just separate my shoulder, but my entire left side of my body underwent some wicked impact yesterday and therefore getting out of bed is horribly painful.
But I managed to get through it. The first hour made me nauseous with pain, but that settled down and it was truly a learning experience. I learned what I can do. I learned what I can’t do. I can’t stand and pull on the bars, which is inevitable when you stand. So in general I sit. Sprinting, in reality, is a series of rapid, abrupt, and violent movements and son of a nutcracker, wouldn’t you know that that’s really hard too! But when you’re climbing seated full bore, you end up tugging on the bars and that tends to hurt it too. I also can’t put on socks. Putting on a jersey is painful as heck. I can dole out water bottles, but so far not very well. But you know what, I can pedal my bike. In the Tour de France. And that’s what I’m here to do.
Here’s a very well thought out chart to analyze where I’m at in the grand scheme of things. First you’ll see that I chose wood at the substance for this chart, cause wood is natural and tough and I’m natural and tough so I thought this was an apt representation in a chart. I don’t want to lose you here, so please pay attention. Jumping right into things, you’ll notice that in the “Pre-Race” area, I was humming along around an arbitrary 100. The stage 1 crash took me down to the 10′ish region, which is not optimal at all. But there is still a lot to be thankful for — friends, family, tremendous support, my team, my wherewithal after a crash, and the ability to ride on. Then you can see by stage 3, by learning the nuances of what my body can do, I’m up to a respectable 15. Still a far cry from 100 as we see pre-race, but I can get back there. Soon. I’ve been speaking at length in these interviews that a Grand Tour is a one-day-at-a-time adventure. This holds all the more true in my current state of affairs. So while not trying to get ahead of my self, this rate of recovery in the coming day is going to resemble more of a parabola with ever increasing rate of return. Expect to see a lot more natural and tough material to the right of that chart very soon.
Summary of events:
Shot of maple syrup, Peter in green, an interesting test tomorrow how well I can crunch into the TT position, friends have begun arriving from America, parent arrive tomorrow, and we’re on mainland Europe instead of la isla de Corsica.
One day at a time…