I’ve been away from my blog for far too long with my writing taking on a life of its own in abbreviated fashion on Facebook. It’s been more than two years since my last post about a freak run-in with my pedal which eventually landed me in the ER with a very painful lower left leg. From the moment of impact, ten days would pass before I felt something was not quite right. My thought was a pulled muscle or maybe a stress fracture from experimenting with trail running on my hikes. A blood clot never entered my mind. After examination and an x-ray, my doctor sent me for a blood test to screen for a blood clot with the parting sentiment, “If it’s a blood clot, I’ll eat my hat.” As a healthy, active individual, I didn’t fit the profile of someone at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but as both my doctor and I would learn, profiles are not the best tool for diagnosis.
Blood thinners, bed rest and a very slow return to activity was the prescription. The cost was having to withdraw from my third consecutive year as a cyclist in AIDS/LifeCycle. I counted myself lucky that my blood clot had not made its way to my lungs which might have been fatal. I was disappointed I wouldn’t be able to ride, but thankful my health recovered enough for me to participate in the event as a volunteer “Roadie” where I could still be immersed in the amazing community known as “the Love Bubble” for seven days in June.
That year, the event was a record-breaking success raising more than $14 million in the fight to end AIDS. Despite the setback due to injury, I raised $10,000, almost as much as I had raised in my first two years combined. It was a different year, but it was a great year. By the end of that summer, I’d be off blood thinners and back on my bike with not much more than some occasional tightness remaining in my lower leg around the site of the blood clot. I had planned to take the next year off of the intense training and promised my wife I would volunteer as a lunch Roadie with her. I’d continue to ride my bike but more with a focus on fun and recreation than getting fit for seven days and 545 miles in the saddle from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
That was in 2014, our fourth year on AIDS/LifeCycle, and again the fundraising total of $15.6 million was a record breaker. I had a wonderful experience with my wife working on the lunch crew and could see why she loved her “lunchies” so dearly, but I was determined to get back in shape and ride again in 2015. With nine months to train and about 20 pounds to unload, I added some days bicycling to work to log a few more miles each week. Then, one peaceful, misty morning in September 2014, I was in the enjoying my commute when I tangled with a car and my world was literally turned upside down. In a split second, another moment of impact, the universe shifted and life scoffed at my plans.
This past year I’ve been on a journey I could not have foreseen. My focus has been on my healing, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I don’t know where I quite expected to be a year out from my accident, but according to doctors and therapists, I’ve had a remarkable recovery. Writing was my therapist, my pillow to pound, my silent scream; my poems, reflections and revelations brought healing shared in “group” therapy. I have longed to get back to blogging about this very human cause I committed to many years ago, this fight to see an end to AIDS in my lifetime. If I learned anything from this past year, it’s that there is no time like the present, so on October 1st, I’m committing to Write 31 Days – a writing challenge for 31 days in October. We’ll see where this journey leads as we move from summer to fall, the light fading and the colors changing. Seems like there is no better time for going in.