Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Lesson Learned

So last Friday morning the physical therapist watched me jog around his parking lot, and he figured out that I stomp my right leg down and push it off as hard as I can while my left leg runs. Even after he clears me, I have to relearn how to run or I'll end up back on the table. That was 9AM.

At 10AM I find out that a device I installed a month ago has failed in the field, at about the worst possible time for relations with that client. Then I find out that our mail server went down Thursday night and no one noticed. I'm standing there, trying to figure out which fire to put out first, and still bummed about the PT results, when one of the guys walks in with another problem, and that's when this happened:

Yup, I threw a straight right into the anodized aluminum side of our server rack. Let me tell you something that I already knew. Metal is stronger than flesh and bone. I got off light with the skinned knuckles. I've cracked bones doing that in the past. I know just how stupid it is, believe me.

Which brings me to Dieu's annual birthday trip to Big Bear, which began Friday night. I considered bailing, since I was in no mental shape to be social. As it turns out, it's a good thing I didn't. Without going into detail about the weekend (if you're a facebook friend you can piece it together), I spent a day and a half teaching and coaching, which I actually like to do, though I forget how much harder it is than riding like myself. Seriously, if I'm teaching you or just hanging out on the green runs while you practice, it's because I want to. I know full well that I can take off, so don't apologize for holding me back.

Come Sunday I've got a choice: watch the Chargers game in the bar, or go back up the mountain alone and hammer the slopes. I guess I should digress a little here and mention that snowboarding is what I do when I really need to reset my head. It's time I use to take all the damaged and broken and off kilter bits and pieces of my life and put them back in order. This happens without me actually doing anything. The harder I go, the clearer it gets. I ditched everyone in the bar.

I charge a couple of runs and decide to drop onto Olympic, which is the only double diamond run. I stick my first couple of turns and then I hit the ice. BAM! Flat on my face, supermanning down the hill. This has happened before. I kick around a bit and get my board below me, dig in and stop, then lay there laughing my ass off for a couple of minutes before I get up and take this picture:

I took it to prove that yes, I do fall too. So I get up, stick a couple of turns and fall flat on my ass again. In the lift line, the lifty says "Making friends with the snow?" which I find inordinately funny.

I'm riding the chairlift up, pretty much alone, listening to the classic rock they're playing on the PA and right up in front of me, a hawk shoots out of the trees, spraying snow all around it in this cool falling cloud. I watch it flap and gain altitude and then it starts gliding in circles, ever bigger circles, in and out of the patches of sunlight coming through the clouds. Finally, I lose it over the ridge and settle back into my seat. Somehow, there's no more clutter in my head. All the shit, the noise and aggravation and apprehension, everything that scares me and makes me nervous, all of it was gone. Right there, somehow, everything was okay.

I rode through the rest of the game, thanks to a text from my brother letting me know how badly it was going, and met up with everyone after to drive home. So now I'm back in the world, and my calm has already been tested several ways from Sunday, but I still can't shake the feeling that there is in fact a way through it all, that all I have to do is find it. I'm hoping I can hang tough enough to prove myself right.


danban said...

well a couple day trips back to the mtns ought to help :0) thanks for hanging out with me all say saturday!

katie b said...

awesome ryan.

i need to try this snowboarding ritual...soon :)

Jim Goudreau said...

I totally understand! Skiing does the same thing for me. Come teach me how to snowboard in Japan!

seeryanrun said...

Sounds like fun to me.

Betsy R said...

Snowboarding is to you, as ocean swimming is to me. Solo ocean swimming, that is.

Betsy R said...

Oh, and I'm one of those dumb people you mentioned. I broke my hand/knuckle bone by slamming it into something metal-ish. Still have the dislocated bone to prove it!

Paul Anderson said...

Glad you are getting things squared away, and didn't have to quit your job to do it like I did...