6.29.2008,7:21 PM
So when do we ride??
I'm itching. I nearly bounce inside myself, jitter and fidget when I sit, distracted and unable to concentrate on work or much else. There's a Jack-in-the-Box inside me, waiting for the popped lid, a cheetah ready to pounce and run, a stern eagle looking down at me commanding me to wait.... wait.... I can't wait. It's too close.

Last Thursday was the unveiling. With the surgeon's clearance, the big hot black splint boot came off. I paused my foot in mid-air, tentative, almost afraid to put it on the floor and take a step. That hesitant baby step, foot on the floor, first contact in over three months. The overwhelming urge to do a jig in the middle of the examination room was almost irrepressible. I grinned, laughed, whooped while the surgeon smiled and reprimanded me "No ballroom dancing for a bit, okay?" I had something else in mind.

Focus will now be on recovering range of motion in the ankle joint and toes. Plantar flexion is surprisingly good, but dorsiflexion, the movement I need the most, is greatly compromised. At the start of physical therapy there was NO dorsiflexion; it is improving. Tiny step by tiny step.

My gait is off, I gimp along and navigate stairs one at a time. The new hand-carved cane helps with the later, but I can gimp along with the flow without. Because I'm on my feet most of the day at work, the entire foot and ankle is red, hot and swollen at the end of the day. Ice, ice, baby. Add a Darvocet.

I rode the tractor, mowing some of my five acres of tall prairie grass last Saturday. Even as a storm blew in; I didn't care. It felt good to be out and doing something. I laughed as the rain pelted me and turned circles with the mower until lightening chased me inside.

During the upcoming holiday weekend, I plan to throw a gimpy leg over the Sherpa and go for a ride. A good friend will accompany me on his sport bike as we jaunt along in pursuit of some good homemade ice cream. I suspect my grin will be a mile wide.

I'll slowly ease back into riding on the 250cc; I only need one leg for the naughty girl and she's light as a feather. Her suspension as a dirt bike surpasses the Whee right now with its blown rear shock; she's the perfect choice to return to the road. I'm hoping I can get this foot into one of my boots; a compression bandage may help (I have five pairs from the surgery!).

Meanwhile, I allow my mind -a little at a time- to start wandering on road trips. I'm not sure if I'll be able to go to Mexico as planned; uncertain if the foot will handle the rough back roads and the unexpected medical bills will keep me tied close to home for a while.

I do have options, however. A good friend and riding buddy is back from Iraq and now stationed in Kansas. I could ride the long way round to visit him. I have had an Oklahoma adventure planned, camping, visiting the Cherokee Nation's capital and riding the famous Talimena Skyway (and repeat). I could re-visit Tennessee again, or maybe lose myself in the mountains of New Mexico. And then, there's always Big Bend at the end of the year; that's a given.
But I want to get out of Texas for awhile.

For the interim, I am traveling vicariously through my good friends Bill and Graeme, who are in Alaska with two other riders.* They reached the Arctic Circle the other day. I beamed when I saw the photos; almost as if I were a fly stowed away in one of their tank bags and experiencing everything they did. One of these days, I'll be up there, too.

Boys, you did good. I'm proud of ya.

Bill, Greame, Moose and Bryan

* If you wish to follow the adventures of the Four Musketeers, visit their website and blog.
Photo by Bryan, alias Sparkyphotog. Also, see the earlier post on stretches for on the road. I hope to see photos of them following my advice while on their trip. ;)


posted by Macrobe
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