My most epic of bungles always seem to be born of these moments of perceived desperation. Or, well, maybe desperation isn’t the right word, but… Moments that urgently need to be seized.
I haven’t surfed in a few weeks, so I’ll push myself twice as hard today. (Or, nearly drown.) The end [of summer] is nigh; That rope swing is THE key to rounding out the season. (Or, to breaking my fingers.)
You know, I hadn’t heard many stories about the perils of rope swings until I began sporting a massive splint on my middle finger while struggling to pull espresso. Then, commiserators appeared with peculiar frequency. “Ah, I once shattered both patellas on a rope swing,” they’d say, as if relieved to finally admit that they harboured hard feelings toward a favorite symbol of youth’s wild abandon.
Skiing, on the other hand, is a pastime fraught with tales of terrific crashes and nature’s fury and the consequences of “one, small misstep.”
Personally, I’d experienced a few mediocre falls on skis. That time I got more air than I could handle and skittered down the Dumont Cup course in spectacular fashion. On my back. That time I forward rolled down Airglow on a powder day. Thankfully, I think my years of gymnastics had finely tuned my chin-tucking instincts and I’d never really bonked my noggin.
Last Saturday, I was in prime carpe diem mode (spring is imminent) when suddenly, I was face down on White Heat. Stupid mistake. I am the queen of clumsy. But I was also in this headspace where it didn’t matter that my legs were tired; I needed to keep skiing. Soon, the snow would be slushy and corny, and then it would be gone.
Long story short, I am writing this between long blinks and purposeful stares at anything that isn’t emitting blue light, or any light, which hurts my brain. My instincts failed me this time.
Concussions are weird. This is my first (of which I’m aware) and hopefully, my last. I am really, really grateful that I always wear a helmet and that this particular folly resulted in a “Grade 1” concussion and nothing more. Despite my renewed appreciation for audiobooks, I have to say, these things still suck.
It’s easy to slip into a boo-hoo-I’m-all-by-myself mindset when doctors are saying things like, “Can someone drive you?” and “It’s better if someone’s there while you’re sleeping.” And the responses are “No,” and “Who?” respectively. I will not be complaining today, however.
Last Saturday night, I declined my friends’ offer to sleep in their guest room; I kind of just wanted to be home. But admittedly, I’d heard way too many “don’t go to sleep with a concussion” warnings not to be wary of shuteye. So, um, what I’m about to disclose may make me sound paranoid, but I asked my West Coast friend to call and wake me up before she went to sleep (2 a.m. my time). And another friend to call me when she woke up to go to work (at 6). They both did. And a couple of people texted me in the morning. I didn’t feel alone. And I realized that in my experience, most situations in which you initially feel completely alone turn out to be the ones that make you feel least alone. Think about it.
P.S. I hear a side effect of concussions is saccharine prose.