Ever since I fractured my ankle two weeks ago, I have been at the mercy of my living room couch – a rather unlikely spot to find me in normal circumstances. I’ve grown accustomed to hobbling around on crutches, sleeping with a mountain of pillows under my leg and carefully transporting my coffee from the kitchen to the living room. But it has taken some time to adjust to the immobility of everything.
Almost every mountain range in California is getting dumped on right now. They’re calling for one to four feet of snow in Big Bear today alone. Mammoth claims to have 16 new inches of snow from just last night. And the wintry heaven that I would normally be itching to get into, continues to fall as I remained trapped in the interior headquarters of my own making.
I hurt myself being a jackass. That’s really the best way I can describe it. I mean years ago, I could say I was really good at snowboarding. Sure I had my holdups, but I could ride with pretty much anyone. I could spin 9’s, do rodeos, back flips, corked 5’s and so on. But as I got older, I fell into that trap of riding less and living further and further away from the mountain. Life has a way of getting in the way like that. Eventually you realize, while you may have been your happiest living as a bum in a mountain town, that life is rolling past without you. And so Los Angeles became my home after living in the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Wasatch range in Utah. My 100+ days a year of riding turned into as little as one or two hands can count. And the rust began to build on my abilities.
Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to shed some of that rust, put away my fears and keep up with the 9 and 10 year-olds flying over my head. I attempted an inverted mess of a trick a couple of times and felt comfortable enough to try it a third time, but still I knew deep down I was pushing it. I hauled ass and hucked it on a quarter pipe. I flipped too early, misjudged my speed and flat out should not have been doing it. My ankle got held up on the lip, I heard the pop and felt the excruciating pain that lead me to the ski patrol medic. The rest was history. That one decision put me on the couch of my living room for what will look to be 5 weeks.
It’s a fractured ankle, not blindness or deafness. But somehow it affects everything in my body. The rain whips my front door as the wind pulls it to and fro. I can hear puddles splash with passing cars in the alley and the occasional boom of thunder over the pacific. It’s as if my body is readying itself for something terminal, making my senses sharper and more alert than ever before. But my injury isn’t terminal, it just sucks!
On the contrary, my stint as a crippled out-of-work invalid has had its upsides. I’ve structured myself quite a little work routine. I’ve finally gotten to that writing I’ve been meaning to do more of. And I do it rather religiously. I read throughout the day instead of in bed at night. And I’ve finally committed to a really great business proposal that I should have tended to a long time ago. And above all, I am growing out my beard, something I have been missing since 2004.
Going back to work will be odd at best, because it will complicate the fine-tuned structure I’ve finally given myself. It’ll throw a spike in my routine, but I can’t let it ruin what I’ve been accomplishing these past couple of weeks. Instead I will let it be my investment to further this new found progress.
So here’s to an unfortunate injury and the maturity, if you can call it that, which came along with it. Soon I’ll be back on the mountain. I’ll be behind the wheel, on foot, around the neighborhood and crisscrossing the country once again. Until then, video conferencing, blogging, writing, and reading will be my new destinations. See you on the road, whichever one that may be!