Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fear Less

For every second of a mountain bike video where there is a cyclist perched on the edge of a cliff, there is a MTB chic like me.

A babe on a bike who’s scared and sweaty; gripping the handlebars with white knuckles under purple gloves even as she gears down so she can chase her badass Fear-less friend through the forest trails. 

That girl?  You know the one? 

That girl, who is so totally focused on not crashing that she sometimes she forgets she is having fun?  The one who is concentrating on every single root, bump, rock, dust mote and mole hole as she negotiates her way through the trails? 

That girl is me.

And you know what?

I don’t even mind being that girl.

I’m not particularly good at the sport, but every time I go out and do it, I love it.  I find it to be invigorating and so unlike anything I’ve ever done before in my life.  

Even though it’s just like riding a bike, and I used to race BMX as a kid, this is not like riding a bike.

It’s dangerous feeling, but it’s empowering too.  It’s dirty and sweaty and all the things that we are taught that girls shouldn’t be.  There are cuss words and giggles, at the same time.

My tires pop and crunch on the roots and rocks.  They slip on loose gravel when I don’t expect it, and when that happens on a hill, it feels like the back end of the bike is vanishing from under me.  At least two or three times today I caught a root and it caused my front wheel to turn in a direction I wasn’t expecting.  That was a little frightening.

I could hit a tree.
I could wreck.
I could trust myself.
I could fear less.

And that’s what I did today. 

I hate being scared as much as the next girl, but I must love it too because I had to try to do everything I came upon today.  Every obstacle vanished behind a giggle or a muttered curse word.  Even better, I successfully “didn’t die” while trying to put it together into something that looked and felt an awful lot like FUN.

I’m sure that there was a wrinkle in my brow for a lot of today’s ride.  I know I was so focused on what was in front of my tire that I likely missed much of the beauty of today’s adventure. 

I am just as certain that I was smiling throughout the ride, even when I had to put my foot down so I could just keep going.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Holder

I felt the strain on my knee and leg as her bony foot struck me.  It was not a good kick, but it was strategically aimed.  Crunch!  My knee, which was already a little wonky from the marathon, was suddenly in agony.

“Ah!” I yelped.  But I stayed put, pressing my gloved hand firmly into her neck.

There was blood oozing through my fingers.  I could hear sneakered feet and voices coming down the hall, it was only a minute before I would have help.  I looked down into the sweet cornflower blue eyes that looked up at me.

“Stop trying to kill me!” she spat through gritted teeth.

I adored her.  

I smiled and said in my most reassuring voice, “I’m a nurse.  I’m not here to hurt you.  Mrs (Smith), just relax.  You are safe.”

Sadly, I don't think she was reassured.  She narrowed her eyes and dug her nails into my arm.  They were long and sharp, painted an orangy red color and she triumphantly grinned as got one of them into the skin.  A trickle of my blood dripped down into her bed.

And I continued to hold pressure on the open wound on her neck.

I continued to reassure her.

The rest of the nurses descended on us, and I moved from “emergency pressure holder” to “hand holder”.

By hand holder I really mean, “I continued to allow that poor woman to try to rip the skin off my arm so that other nurses could apply bandages to her bleeding jugular.”

These are my people.  Sweet confused people who are so ill that they think that I, the nurse, am not who I say I am.  Patient’s who call me Morris.  
Or John.  

Patients who believe that I am people from their past who’ve come to call on them.  Or haunt them.

These are my people.  And I really do love them.

Regardless of how truly fond I am of my confused patients, when I got up the next morning my leg couldn’t bear weight at 100%.  Holy WHAT?  I was limping for much of the day because it just felt so uncomfortable.  Thankfully, I totally panicked and reached out to TMB before most people are even awake spoke rationally to a friend who recommended I head to see the Witch Dr.  

At least The Witch Dr could evaluate my situation.

And thankfully, after he treated me for a solid 20 minutes with some medieval torture devices and his thumb, he pronounced me “probably ok” with a promise to “re-evaluate next week if I wasn’t 100%”.

So there you go.  Walking into a patient’s room is far more dangerous for my knees than running a marathon.

And you know what I’m going to do again in a few days?  Walk into that “same” patient’s room.  Even if it’s a different patient.

~savor the run~