I had this winter totally planned out. I was going to;
1) purchase Nordic ski gear.
2) use said gear to become queen of the nordic ski world or
3) at least use said gear to stave off winter crazies, and
4) carry over absurd fitness into bike season.
The Bozeman ski swap took care of step one, and on the day before Thanksgiving step two seemed within reach- apparently I love Nordic, and it loves me. I was thoroughly enjoying skating around on my new skis until an odd pole plant resulted in crunching shoulder dislocation number three. Unlike my previous few episodes with the amazing Houdini humerus, I could not seem to get my wayward limb back to its home on my own. This meant I spent an embarrassing amount of time staggering around on the track, groaning like an animal and unable to stand up properly.
When the snowmobile dude showed up all I could do was kind of grimace at him, but when the moron yanked on my arm until I saw spots, there might have been some yelling. There was more yelling when I got to the emergency room; they kept insisting on taking x-rays, but my priorities stood more with fixing my arm. Like all arguments I get into with doctors, they won. I’m kinda glad we got the pictures though- they show the ball of my arm visiting the neighborhood of my ribs, as well as the lower half of my comically clenched jaw- you can almost imagine the glare I had aimed at the poor x-ray technician. All said, I have never made such a scene in the emergency room- it took two nurses and a doctor to get my humerus home.
Once my mind wasn’t occupied with the searing pain, I remembered that the third time’s the charm; I couldn’t put off surgery any longer. Which is how I came to wake up two weeks ago with my left arm completely immobile, my left pupil blown from the nerve block, and a delicious cup of ice chips on hand to make me feel better. Luckily I had my mom around to listen to the nurse’s directions when I fell asleep mid-sentence, and luckily I had Ryan around to rearrange my hospital gown so that I didn’t keep mooning the world. I spent the next few days watching Kill Bill, sipping ginger ale, and feeling generally useless.
My last day in Bozeman dawned sickly and grey, with some sort of snot falling from the sky- charming. I packed my remaining belongings (or rather stood in the kitchen, disoriented, while my mom packed) and hit the road. I didn’t even look back. I’m ready for something new, yet it’s hard to feel empowered or free when your writing hand is out of commission and putting on a shirt is a fifteen minute project. My winter plan has been revised to include (once again) significant, bleak swaths of trainer time, plenty of reading, and now puzzles.
Understand; I hate puzzles. I am not a puzzle person. But my smarty-pants eleven year old brother received a 1000 piece tantrum-in-a-box for Christmas this year, and I eventually got sucked in. The puzzle is a sadistic picture of two white owls (my brother’s favorite thing) surrounded by white snow, with a white moon in a sky full of white clouds. Everything else is vaguely different shades of black or blue. The thing is insane; over the course of the winter break, my entire family, my boyfriend, my coach, her husband, and all who came in contact with it each contributed to the massive project, and it still took almost the full week. The best part was that in the end there were three pieces missing, which we assume were either eaten by the dog or just excluded for the entertainment of the evil puzzle makers. No one got any satisfaction from it, which just furthers the excellent point made by an onion headline; owls are assholes.
So it’s the end of winter break and I’m not the queen of the Nordic ski world, my winter crazies are steadily chipping away at my soul, and I’ve developed a hatred for an endangered species based solely on my experience with a puzzle. Yet the end of each trainer episode provides a tiny burst of endorphins, typing hurts less every day, and the sun’s out here a lot more than it is up north. I’m searching for a place to live while I do my internship next semester, and I’ve got a new bike waiting somewhere in the ether between factory, shop, and home. Life aint half bad, even in a sling.