Thursday, February 16, 2012

That's The Way It (Read I) Went Down - Part 1

I have been looking for a reason to pick up on my blogging and this past weekend presented me with the perfect Foil: ME.  (BTW, the names have been changed so I can torture the innocent in private.)

COLA and I planned a weekend in Palm Springs so that he and Sporty Spice (that's me) could complete a "Brick" weekend.  Cola would ride in a 55 mile bike ride on Saturday while I was signed up to do a 25 miler.  We were both scheduled to do a Half Marathon on Sunday.  This was to be my 17th Half. 

The 122 mile drive out to PS from Sherman Oaks takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.  But not last Friday.  No, four solid hours of unrelenting traffic greeted us with an ugly slap in the face.  We arrived just in time to secure our wristbands for the Saturday morning bike ride.  On the trip out I had already determined to shorten my ride.  (Exactly how short was to be determined later.)  So we deposited our bikes and gear and headed over to The Alibi to meet Yellow Hat and Technicolor. 

The quartet of us had a most delicious dinner and wonderful drinks.  Afterwards we sauntered down to Streetbar and then onto Hunters searching for a good "Old Fashioned".  None were as good as The Alibi, but there is only so much night and so much time to try bad drinks before giving up.  And with the long car ride out and the long bike ride ahead of us, Cola and I decided to retire to prepare for Saturday. 

So then Saturday arrived.  (It typically does arrive after Friday, and this week was no different.)  Cola got up earlier than I, and left for his ride.  I finally got up, got ready and took a picture of "before" the helmet, and ambled down to the start line.

This is Sporty Spice pre-helmet and pre-bike ride.  (For the record I work black shorts, a charcoal tee shirt, red wrap-around sport sunglasses and a white on white helmet.  My first ever bike helmet.  I HATE helmets.)

The start line was a-buzz with loads of riders.  There were 100, 55, 25, 10 and 5 mile bike rides scheduled.  I arrived in time to do the 25 but was no more inclined on Saturday than I was on Friday.  So I let the multitude of 25-ers pass as I patiently waited for the 10.  And finally our time came.  We gathered towards the start line; and inch by inch, we finally made it out onto the road.  (That long unforgiving and cruel road.)

We started by going north for a Indian Canyon.  The headwinds were fierce.  It was like pulling a tailor full of bricks behind me.  Finally we turned east on Vista Chino.  We had gone a little more than one mile.  And no more headwinds.  Yay! I was onto smooth sailing.  Or so I thought.  However, my headwinds were wing-winds.  And guess who wasn't prepared for wing-winds?  ME.  So long and short of it is, I kissed the pavement.  And kissed it Hard.

I can only imagine the beauty of seeing my XL ass fly through the air (or barely skim across the handlebars), whichever the sight.  Fortunately, I have no real recollection of falling, skidding or winding up where and/or how I did. 

My first memory was of being moved ever so slightly.  I remember my neck being in a foreign object and being asked to be very still.  Occasionally, a face would appear in my blurred vision asking me questions.  I knew my name.  I knew my birth date.  (Hopefully, as I hone in on 49 these are questions I should have mastered by now.)  ha ha

My first hurdle, Q: Do you know where you are?  Answer:  No.  Not really.  Q: Any Ideas?  A: Maybe Palm Springs.  But I don't know why I think PS.  Q: You don't? A: No, and that worries me.  This leads to some whispering.  And not on my part.  In my "infinite wisdom" I asked, "Was I drinking?"  More than one face enters my vision.  We don't know, where you?  To my credit, my humor will never leave me.  I looked around at the sky and replied, "Nope, I'm sure I wasn't.  It's too bright out here.  I usually drink at Happy Hour."  Yay, my first laugh.  And with a captivated audience.

By now I do remember that I am definitely in Palm Springs and I say so.  Clearly this makes them happy, or at least a bit happier.  They ask me why?  Here I can only remember that perhaps I'm in PS for a Half Marathon, but something seems off.  They know I'm fishing.  So they ask me who I'm there with.  I remember Yellow Hat first.  But then I know he's not a runner so I scramble to think why I'm there with him and it makes no sense.  Then I remember Technicolor is there too.  But now all of this is confusing.  How in the hay did I get to PS and why am I there or here or somewhere?

The firetruck captain recognizes a southern accent, on my of course, and we strike up a conversation about both of us being from NC.  This little bit of conversation is just enough to bring me to reality, or what part of it I can grasp at the time.  I now remember that I'm in PS with Cola to do the Brick and that it's Saturday and I'm now Not on my bike.  I still don't know exactly where I am but I do realize that all of these people are caring for me.  Now I see a police woman in my vision who tells me she's written a report and that she's taking my bike and that I will go with the EMS.  To which I reply "Thanks Honey."  As soon as I say it I realize that I've just called her Honey but no one else.  So I call to her and apologize.  She isn't offended. 

Now the real reality sinks in.  I am one of the 38 - 100 million uninsured Americans.  I don't waste any time confessing to such and letting them know they can just leave me where I am.  "Clean me up and leave me right here.  I am make it home."  (Oh the stupidity, I mean humanity!)  I get another nice, but nervous, round of laughter.  I am assured I WILL be accompanying the nice uniformed men.  (YUM.)  And about this time, I decided I should make my play.  I was very serious when I informed all who "needed" to know that "fortunately I'm single if anyone needs to know."  And further assured them that I usually looked a lot better.  To this they let me know they had so noted my chart.  (I don't think I was their type.  Probably too sporty!)

The EMTs rolled me back and forth on the ground to get a backboard under me.  Then they prepare to hoist me onto a gurney.  At this point I asked how many are they, and they replied "2."  I asked if they didn't want help getting all this beauty off the ground.  They assured me they could do it.  I "feebly and coyly" asked them not to drop me back on the ground. I'd seen enough of it for one day.  They laugh and hoist me onto the gurney and then into the "Meat Wagon."  (I have loved this term since I was a child and NOW I was the meat in the wagon.  Yay meat!)

They put me in and asked how I am.  And if I was beginning to remember more.  I express my thankfulness for being able to remember some things more and not being able to remember the more painful things.  I also share how frightening it is to awake and have no real memory.  They assure me this is normal with accidents.  And they gently convey that I was in a "bad accident" so it was only natural.  I told them it made me feel as if I had died.  And that was very scary for me.  Once strapped in and plied with oxygen which I sorted liked, A LOT, we start for the Hospital.  And enough oxygen cures the nerves or at least helps.

I asked them to turn on the lights and siren.  They told me they didn't want to scare people.  I then asked if seeing a Two Hundred and PLENTY pound man lying on the street covered in blood hadn't scared the other riders I doubted the siren would.  (But I guess the siren costs extra and the uninsured don't get all the perks, so no siren.)  But boy did I like the Oxygen.  Just before we arrived at the hospital I saw a sign on my tray that said


And I can assure you a tear was shed.  It seems I sorta like living....
Part 2 to follow!


  1. This was the first time I had the pleasure of reading something you wrote. I absolutely loved your style!!!

  2. I came in at this story sideways. I opened up an email link and there was your precious face battered to bits. I was horrified to think you'd had some sort of car accident (God spare us!)

    I knew you were ok when you started hitting on the EMTs. That's how I'd check YOU for a pulse anyway...

    LOVE you too much.