Friday, July 21, 2006


So I have this little quirk in my left leg. As far as I know it's always been there - it's a hole. In the bone. Upper tibia. Or maybe it's the other one - whichever one is on the inside. Just a small little hole that never caused me any trouble until I was 13 and walking home from my "boyfriend's" house, in a snowstorm, with my shoes untied (because it was 1983 and I was cool). I slipped. I landed with my whole weight on top of that knee, kind of sitting in a bizarre Indian style position.

From that point on, it's hurt me every time it rains. I had many, many tests done on it years ago - CAT scan, bone scan, enough x-rays to sterilize me, blah blah - and the verdict was that I had a little hole in one of the bones that was helpfully filled in by cartilage, and my wild adventuring had knocked it slightly loose.

So it filled in with scar tissue, and the result is that on rainy days like today, it aches. Just a little, but just enough. I'm a walking barometer. I never take anything for it, because I like how it feels. I like remembering the snow on my face and my stupid ugly built-in-vest coat and my Nikes that cost a pretty penny and how I was half-walking, half-sliding on the ice, and then bang! Ow.

I like that. Because I'm crazy.

They say that yesterday was the biggest single day ever in the history of cycling. One thing is for sure: Floyd kicked it. It made me wonder if I have ever really kicked it physically a day in my life. (I have professionally from time to time.)

When the doctors told me about the hole in my leg they used words like "structural weakness" and told me not to do any impact sports until I was 18 and stopped growing. Then I went to college and I was on a rowing crew my freshman year, and I ran, swam, lifted weights and rowed till I puked (literally). I guess I did kick it. My knee never bothered me - maybe all those years during high school of only riding my bike paid off. I have no idea if the hole is even there anymore.

But Floyd? Floyd has a problem with his hip. Most specifically, the artery that fed the ball joint in his right hip died. And so did his hip joint. And after this year's Tour, Floyd is having a hip replacement. And those are sketchy - nobody knows if he'll be able to return to professional cycling. And he was out there yesterday, basically beating the pants off the best guys in the world. Ignoring his hip, apparently. And kicking it. He started the day eight minutes and eight seconds behind the yellow jersey, and ended just 30 seconds short. Which in cycling is monumental.

So what I'm wondering is, what has ever held you back? Has a physical ailment or your mental state or maybe your finances or your family kept you from doing something you wanted to do? Maybe you have always wanted to learn Fair Isle, or knit an Alice Starmore, or maybe just make your first pair of socks. What's holding you back?

Can you think about it just a little, just for today, and decide if you really want it? Maybe you'll decide you don't - that's ok. But maybe you'll decide you're going to try to kick it, and maybe if you do, the guy that rode 3600 km in the Tour de France with one leg longer than the other and no hip joint on one side could inspire you.

I'm thinking it might inspire me.



Blogger Me said...

vow, Jen, that was quite inspirational.

What's holding me back? Lack of money (for the babysitter), feelings of guilt versus my little ds (of leaving him with said babysitter) to get back into climbing or dancing or maybe both. It is already on my list of things to look into: find a good dancing class or rock climbing gym (and find someone with comparable level to go with -- that's the hard one: I'm no beginner, I'm an instructor, but I'm by no means at the level of anyone who climbs in competitions...).
So, I guess another one of the feelings that has always held me back: this in-between zone. Not a beginner. Not a top competitor.

And how could those guys ruining their health encourage me? I don't know. I just don't feel driven enough to compete at the top notch level.

But I will try to get more socially active (see more of my friends for more activities) and get one more regular activity scheduled.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Food for thought, Jen. It boggles my mind what Floyd has been doing in the Tour. Stage 18 is done, and he's still 30 secondsbehind. I hope he can get that back tomorrow...

I don't think that I go all out very often. I struggle with dysthymia (ongoing depression) that isn't controlled by meds very well, so I have a hard time getting motivated to do do do...

10:46 AM  
Blogger Tygher Knits said...

What I want: My own horse.
What's holding me back: Finances. I suppose I could find a boarding stable somewhere and see if I can work/volunteer and excercise the horses, and thus get my riding fix. But I really want my own horse.

What I want: To knit socks. Lots of them.
What's holding me back: Finances. Well, I won't buy any -more- yarn anyway, and I only have this one skein of sock yarn right now. And it's precious to me.

What I want: To be thin again. I was 115 when I moved to the south. I want to get back down to at least 135. I'm well over that now.
What's holding me back: Willpower. Well, it was. I'm back on the wagon (Weight Watchers) actually going to meetings and such, and I think it's helping. I've lost 5 pounds thus far, and am making a concerted effort to exercise too.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Martina said...

Some people are blessed with the ability to center in and kick ass like Floyd. Some people never find their passion. Here's to finding our passion.

2:27 PM  
Blogger ~kirsten~ said...

Quite honestly I'd rather not think about what's holding me back because it depresses me. And so does this's Portland, Oregon...NOBODY has a/c and here are the forecasted highs for the next 5 days:

Today: 104...yes, it's crazy. I will melt.
Sat: 101
Sun: 97
Mon: 92
Tues: 91

2:38 PM  
Blogger mrspao said...

Wow! You're a walking barometer.

I have had Restless Legs Syndrome in the past and occasionnally nowadays. It annoys me because when it is really bad, I can't walk anywhere - not even to the end of the street and I can't sleep properly.

2:09 AM  

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