Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Bounce

When I have a bad day, it's *really* bad. Just like everything else, I like to do my 'bad' thoroughly ;-)

It started before I even woke up. I suffered through a night of restless sleep, punctuated by weird dreams. By morning, it was clear that my body was fighting off some kind of cold bug - my allergies generally don't include a scratchy throat and pounding headache. I rallied my defences (ColdFX, Oregano Oil, Vitamin C), and mixed my special sinus-infection-fighting neti pot potion. Then I set out to walk the dog.

Half-way through our walk, it was clear something wasn't right with Princess Fur''output'. After the fifth bag, the output issue was *really* dire. 'Great,' I thought, 'Now we're BOTH sick.'

I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as the problem got worse. When we returned home, I did a consult with 'Dr. Google' and decided not to take the 'emergency vet' route, opting instead to withold food for 48 hours to see if it cleared.

With my luck taking such an ominous turn, I left for my morning class early to give myself plenty of time to ride very carefully. I've never had a bike accident in 12 years of riding in this city, but there's always a first time. *helpfulforeshadowing*

I stopped by the farmer's market and picked up my chocolate cookies without incident. As I pedalled east, I kept my eye peeled for hazards and sure enough, a car door opened in my path. This happens a lot. We even have a cute little name for this phenomenom - we call it 'being doored'. I had enough forewarning that I was able to expertly veer into the middle lane, over the streetcar tracks and, luckily, not into the path of a speeding car (the traffic wasn't too heavy). There was a car approaching behind me though, so I veered right as soon was I was in the clear.

And that's when it happened. I'm pretty good at navigating the streetcar tracks that criss-cross this city, but the tracks were a bit slippery from the misty rain and I felt my front wheel slide, turn and fall into the groove of the track. I couldn't control it and I was already moving at a good clip. My bike stopped suddenly and tipped to the right.

And I was flying. I had one moment of total Matrix awesomeness when everything just stopped. In that split-second, this is the thought that popped into my brain: "Like HELL I'm going to reinjure that damned right shoulder again!" So I twisted my body and landed on my left side, breaking the fall with my elbow and sliding between two parked cars.

It was a pretty neat trick and I'm still not sure how I pulled it off.

The next thing I remember, I was standing by a curb, staring into the startled eyes of a posh-looking woman who stood frozen, hand poised to feed a toonie into the parking dispenser. Her eyes were wide, her mouth was hanging open.

"OH. MY. GOD. Are you *okay*?" she gasped. I looked down at my body, moved my fingers and arms, shook my legs one at a time. I checked my clothing: miraculously, there wasn't even the tiniest snag in my uber-expensive Lu crops (which is a relief, since they cost me approximatley a kazillion dollars). My elbow ached, but my spring jacket was undamaged.

"I think I'm okay", I reported.

She shook her head in amazement. "That's the most incredible thing I've ever seen. It's like, you BOUNCED! And then you landed on your feet!" I looked down at my feet and noticed my wristwatch dangling loosely on my wrist. The clasp was broken (must of caught on the bike). I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach at that thought and I looked around frantically for my bicycle. When I found it, it was still on its side, near the track. There was no noticeable damage.

So I climbed back on and rode to work.

I didn't have time to really take stock until after I finished teaching. I chatted with the front desk staff and plastered myself with little band-aids. My left elbow is badly scraped and the emerging bruise will be colourful. The outside of my left hip is very achy. I have roadrash on my left knee and ankle and a very small, but juicy bruise on my left foot. There are a few other scrapes and scratches.

I'm SO lucky!!! It could have been much, much worse.

After that, the day just kept getting weirder.

After teaching, I rode to DT's afternoon vinyasa class. Being on my bicycle felt a tad surreal after the accident. It seemed like every car on the road had an ominous ulterior motive. Obviously, I was still rattled.

I turned up the street into the shala neighbourhood and found myself surrounded by naked people on bicycles. They were everywhere!!! There were men and women and they didn't have a stitch of clothing on. Nada! (and, er, ouch!) They were moving as slowly and amorphously as an a large, fleshy amoeba. I found it impossible to get around them. It was equal parts fascinating, repelling and frustrating.

Damn it. These naked people were going to make me late to yoga!

When I finally arrived at the shala, I felt relieved. I laid my mat by the window and glanced out in time to see the naked bike people streaming by. After alerting my shalamates, I stepped out to fill my water bottle. I told DT "There are naked people riding by on bicycles!"

She tilted her head, looked at me skeptically. "Nooooo! No way!"

"Really!! There are!" I told her. "Go look!"

She shot me a bemused glanced over her shoulder and walked into the practice room. Then I heard her shriek. :-D

Then DT started class. As we moved through the sun salutations, my body heated up and I began to shed little band-aids *everywhere*. I felt like I was depositing a new one for each vinyasa and I started to accumlate a pile of them next to my mat.

Through the yoga haze, I dimmly hoped that I wasn't bleeding on my Mysore rug or I'd have a LOT of explaining to do. In the excitement over the naked people on bicycles, I sort of forgot to tell DT that I took a spill on my own bicycle. I secretly hoped she wasn't planning a lot of arm balancing. The first pose was Bakasana. There was quite a bit of arm balancing.

I tried almost everything except for one tripod-headstand variation that made my elbow throb in warning. For the most part I felt perfectly fine except for a few moments of exquisite agony when roadrash met salty-sweat skin. But the class help me confirm that I wasn't really hurt, per se, just bruised up a bit.

Then I returned home and the Princess was HUNGRY.

"Withold food for 24-48 hours" It sounds really simple, doesn't it? Not if you're Princess Fur's 'primary nourishment provider'! Fur doesn't understand the logic around fasting for health. At first, she thought I was being forgetful, so she helpfully hovered around her food bowl, gazing at it intently. She even patted my leg to get my full attention, walked to kitchen and waited there patiently. Surely, I would get the message!

By suppertime, she realised that something was amiss, especially as I apologetically ate my own meal without offering up the kibble for hers. *guilt* The look of betrayal and confusion on her furry face ripped my heart open. Nothing emphasizes this power dynamic between us so starkly: I'm the keeper of the food. On some level, I was curious how she would react if I didn't fulfill my duty to provide it.

After an entire day of hunger, a certain hopelessness has overtaken my dog's demeanor. She's given up. But she's attached herself firmly to my side, just in case my Grinch's heart turns golden and I decide to fill her bowl after all.

As I write this blog entry, she's curled up next to me in the Fetal Position of Canine Misery. Her back is to me (she refuses to look at me, even when I speak to her gently). Her legs twitch as she dreams. I'm almost certain I know what she's dreaming of: kibble.

I feel like such an asshole.

Also: My elbow hurts. My head is throbbing. And it's chilly and gray outside.

I think I'll just go to bed.

(near the scene of 'the bounce')

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

Holy cow, what a day. But I was thinking, "You Go, Neo!!" when you told the Matrix time-stop bounce story, that's awesome. Yea and then naked bikers and all of that craziness? Awesome. Life is pretty cool even on its sucky days, really.

Grimmly said...

Scary, I really should wear a helmet, a good read though. Glad your Ok (sort of) hope whatever Fur has clears up soon.

Loo said...

First off, I shall restrain myself from doling out doggie advice. You know how to email me should you actually want any! Secondly, those naked bike riders used to appear in Portland regularly. Well. Not the same ones of course! But apparently it's a *thing*. A *thing* I can not fathom. Thirdly, I am so happy you are relatively unscathed!! Nice mid-air save! And you did your practice anyway! You are my hero(ine)!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I feel tired just reading this. Glad that you're ok and am very impressed with your 'bounce'! I hope Princess Fur is feeling better today too!

Michelle said...

Oh no! I am so glad you are okay. Too bad getting exercise while saving the earth is so dangerous. Poor Kai. Sleep well.

Arturo said...

Dear Kai
Your bounce from a fall was surreal, but reflects quick thinking and ability to control the body. I'm glad you're okay. I have seen the naked cyclists two years in a row in San Francisco and have pictures to prove it. It is funny and weird. But I never posted the pictures on the blog.