I won’t go into a pattern of apologizing at the beginning of each long-spaced entry for the hiatus. That gets pretty tiresome to read. Instead, I’ll get better at making time for writing instead of making time for my phone.
So, with that out of the way, I have a lot to catch up on. First, I found the perfect antidote to working long days. I’ve been focusing on finishing up my projects. So after 12 hours in lab I feel broken: my legs ache, there are tons of tiny muscle twitches, and goosebumps run up and down. I come home like that and can’t sleep and am too stiff to stand. So, first, I got a walker in lab and added a right knee block and now I’m standing throughout the day. That helps a huge amount. Second, I invested in a spin bike. Now I just hoist myself onto my extra padded seat and move my legs until they feel normal. It takes about 30 min. And it works so well! It was a perfect investment. I’m really happy I figured this out. I’m also proud of being able to get on the bike by myself. It isn’t easy when the seat is higher than your butt and you can only stand on one leg and need your arms to balance. My living room is 30% PT equipment by volume, now.
Second, I am also balancing all that work with a growing love and commitment to surfing. I borrowed a wave ski from High Fives and Ben bought his own board. We’re splashing around in the beginner spots, learning to read the water together. In some ways, I’m jealous watching him start: he can get a board for nothing at Costco and run holding it into the water. If it weren’t for the High Fives Foundation I wouldn’t be surfing. I wouldn’t have access to a board. I wouldn’t have the confidence to think that I could. I wouldn’t feel like I belong in the line up. I wouldn’t know how to ask Ben for the help I need. It takes a community to overcome all these barriers. It takes dedicated people and significant resources. Sometimes the enormous size of the task makes me feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it makes me feel grateful.
The magic of adaptive sports is both the difficulty and the feeling of surreptitious triumph when it works and the many pieces come together.
I just spent four days surfing in Ventura, again with the High Fives crew. I entered my first surf competition and ended up buying my own wave ski. I’m really happy that came together. The one I was borrowing was too big for me and well past retirement age. It was a good board for starting. But to get a new one was cost prohibitive and also, there is something like a two year wait list. But Tyler, who makes them, brought several for people to use during the competition. I tried a tiny teal one and loved it. So I bought it, used. It still needs some modification (seat is too large) but I’m so happy with the change. And Tyler is happy it finally found a home. I’m looking forward to more surfing. I wonder how far south I have to drive for the water to get noticeably warmer… Ventura felt perfect (68F). Pacifica right now is 56 degrees. Brrr.
More writing to come!