Oct 06, 2009 by Dave Condit | 0 Comments
My wife has always thought I needed to slow down and that it would happen one way or another. Last week her prophecy came true. I suffered an injury on one of our outdoor adventures, and now I’m going slow…real slow.
Steph and I usually head to the mountains for our anniversary. This year is 19 years of marriage, and we thought maybe a few nights in Salida with a couple days riding our motorcycles would be fun. We dropped the kids off with my parents, loaded up the dirt bikes and headed to a small house we rented. The location was perfect, and the weather couldn’t be better. It had snowed a few days prior, but the forecast was for low 70’s with no clouds…a perfect
The aspen leaves were turning, and this was the height of the fall colors. People come from all over to see the views, and we felt blessed to have such access to this amazing place. As we headed to the trailhead on our first morning we were all smiles.
We had never been on this trail before, and the start promised some tough riding ahead. This was a remote single rack motorcycle trail that would take us through varied alpine terrain. After some initial switchbacks, we crested a hill and then followed a stream. The trail was rugged but fun and passable. We stopped several times to look at vistas, beaver dams and waterfalls.
After about an hour of riding, we came to a small stream crossing. These were common, and I did not anticipate any difficulty. However, as soon as I entered the water there was trouble. My front tire struck a submerged log, and I was thrown from my bike. I fell awkwardly onto my left leg and felt a snap. Having suffered a traumatic and severe tear to my hamstrings in the past, I knew it was trouble. As soon as Steph came up to me I told her the prognosis—I had snapped my hamstrings.
The pain was pretty severe, we were alone in the back country, and we were an hour ride to the trail head over rough terrain. Steph dragged me out of the creek, picked up my bike (also in the creek), moved the bikes to the other side of the water (she crossed the creek with each bike with no problems…kind of humbling.) Although we had a cell phone, there was no coverage. We would have to get out of this ourselves. We carry an emergency kit and got it out. From the kit I took some pain medication that we carry just in case, and I took some. Steph also found that if she wrapped my leg tightly with one of our spare shirts the pain would subside a little. After a few minutes, we heard some bikes coming up behind us.
Steph flagged down the riders who happened to be another couple out riding for their anniversary. They pointed out that just another mile up the trail was an escape route via a 4wd road. We decided the only way out was for me to try to ride out. The other couple would follow us to make sure we made it. Steph assisted me onto my bike where we found that I could manage to ride if I stood up on my right peg. So, after a quick trial we started out.
The mile long ride felt like it lasted forever. The pain was so bad I thought I may not be able to stay conscious. The trail difficulty did not relent, but we finally made it to the road. Once on the road, we were able to find our way via forest roads back to our truck.
After some medical attention over the next few days to include an MRI, the doc told us that I had torn two of my hamstring tendons. The appearance of massive bruising revealed an additional torn muscle. There’s no surgery scheduled at this time, but the recovery will be months…months of sitting around…months of no climbing, hiking, hunting, snowboarding…you get the idea. This is tough for me.
Although I’m not going to go so far as to say God is trying to slow me down by hurting me, there may be some truth to my wife’s thought. I certainly tend to run at a quick pace. Perhaps it’s time I eased up for a while to see how the world looks at a slower speed. I spent the last week at home, missing school and work, and hanging out with my wife and kids. Although physically painful, it was an emotionally relaxing week. I tend to focus on how God can use my strengths, but sometimes I think He can even use my weakness.