Funny how pride messes with ya, even in little ways. Was feeling pretty good about myself in the airport yesterday, like suddenly I wasn’t a short guy with a low IQ and a gimp leg, as I maintained my longtime eschewing of escalators, instead booking down the stairs, and skipping the lazyman’s moving walkways, instead crutching along faster. Of course my gate was forever away. But that’s OK, because I’m clearly a better human being than those who use the walkways.
I’ve been starting to miss climbing. Physical activity – a 30-minute crutch session, or getting after it on my hangboard (I now have three in my tiny cabin) – helps, for sure. But damn, there’s nothing like climbing or just being in the mountains, and there’s most certainly nothing like climbing in the mountains. Damn. I can’t wait to come back.
I’ve also come to realize something that I guess I knew, but hadn’t confronted myself with in a little while: that I greatly rely on physical activity, especially in the mountains, and especially climbing, to cope. Here, of course, we find that damned “opportunity” thing. True, this is an opportunity, an opportunity for me to sit around and drink and watch pro wrestling learn healthy new ways to cope with life’s challenges, rather than just escape into my private, vertical world. I’m working on it. But some opportunities, I’d be just fine without. So it goes. I need to learn, and I’m trying to learn. A good friend even took me to a non-secular hippy Buddhist meditation thing last week, and don’t hold me to this but I’ll admit that I found it good, healthy, and I’ve been practicing some on my own (just in case it wasn’t obvious by now…).
Anyway, a silly dose of pride got me when I reached the gate just as they announced that my flight had been moved 25 gates away. Oh well. Just had to laugh at myself and spin a 180 on my gimp sticks, suddenly feeling a little less smug. Still no lazyman’s sidewalk, though – a little extra exercise won’t hurt me, and it put me in a better, more balanced mood. How ‘bout that. So, yeah, I don’t have that whole internal meditative thing dialed quite yet – though I’ll try to stare into a sunflower somewhere on this L.A. trip and find my inner calm, chi, or whatever the hell it is (namaste, motherfucker, NAMASTE!). In the meantime – just in case I don’t score my inner peace merit badge before the deadline – my sis bought me some good tequila, and my brother and law and I are heading to Lebowski Fest Friday night. Oh yeah, how ya like me now.
Oh yeah! Fuck it KC, let’s go bowling!
Sadly I know exactly how you feel man. What worked for me? well, I mentioned before, acupuncture. But zen meditation can work. I guess you have to be a very patient to do that, not much of that on my side… Although, my new born baby is taking me places I never imagine I could go and teaching humble patience… Oh boy…
Anyway, enjoy the Dude fest and drink one for me!
You want a toe? I can get you a toe. With nail polish.
Good to hear you’re on the mend. It’s a rude awakening to experience (read: accept that you have) an injury and then to realize you aren’t as strong/indomitable as you had thought. For me, it helped me balance my life out A LITTLE BIT and to be a little more careful about injuries.
One other thing: tequila doesn’t go well in a White Russian.
Apprioruate trip; The Dude is very Buddhist in his approach
to life. Abide.
I’ve been doing “insight” meditation for several years. The process of using Buddhist meditation for pain management is very interesting and I find useful. It does take practice, but works. But once you figure it out, it’s nice to know you have that tool in the tool box and that it’s always available to you.
Kelly, I keep hearing how well you are handling life’s latest “fastball”. I agree with you. I never really realized how heavily I relied on physical activity to get through the day until I got stuck recovering from an Achilles heel accident. 3 months of downtime. Man, it was tough but, like you, put the time to good use and came out better for it. Hang in there dude. We’ll go bowling when you get better……..Meanwhile, drink a White Russian and keep writing!
i can definitely see what you’re saying about relying or being addicted to physical activity. i was pinned an a couch for about a month last year and that that was the worst month of my life. now i have recently enrolled in college and have to sit down for sometimes 6 hours a day. it gets ugly. i have sometimes resorted to 4-5 bike rides a day and too much time in the climbing gym. its nice to see you trying to use a little ingenuity with your gimp leg.
Kelly I am enjoying reading your posts a great deal. I had a broken leg almost exactly a year ago so I know what you are going through. I know that sooner than you think possible you will again stride free in the hills. Best of luck.
Haha- You’re pretty fucking funny man. I do the same thing with elevators and escalators. When I was in school I would try to beat the elevator and get to the top and pretend I wasn’t out of breath and look real smug. Its a bummer being a gimp and an asshole at the same time. You should go to a public gym somewhere and do more pull ups and heavier bench presses than everyone else, then walk around with your crutches panting and stuff, then you can maintain your smug pridefullness while still being injured. Forget the zen thing- I say follow your instincts. Fuck ’em!
Oh, and don’t worry about the mountains, they’ll always be there- you know that. When you go back it’ll be like great make up sex.
awesome comments, thanks, all. good to hear the encouraging words and similar experiences.
“Its a bummer being a gimp and an asshole at the same time.” — ha! classic, annie, and too true. ok, so i need to go to a regular gym — ya know, make myself look good. problem is, at the climbing gym, everybody’s stronger than me anyway.
indeed, challenges all around. fuck it dude, let’s go bowling.