My Big Bang

When I scraped myself off the pavement, I tested my range of motion. Probably nothing broken, but the blood was starting to flow, running over my hand and .. definitely not stopping.

I thought about my options: who would I call? Did I really need to call anyone? I guessed I’d make it back to my car so I held my bloody hand in the air and started skating again. My car was about three miles away, at the far end of the Cape Cod Canal bike path, which gave me time to replay the accident in my head a few times. My wrists were still buzzing from the impact but I kept going back to feeling my right temple slam against the ground – through my bike helmet, which I always wear. This time I was glad for those 300 other days I strapped on the damned thing, even when it was too hot, the sun was in my eyes, or more recently when it was cold and I wished I could wear a warm hat instead.

skate sideways

It was my first wipeout in I can’t remember how many years or how many miles of inline skating. I typically do the 14 mile round-trip here in 65-80 minutes depending on the Buzzards Bay wind factor which ranges from rare days of no breeze to a stiff wind that feels like I’m dragging an anvil. It’s a great workout when the weather permits, something that uses muscles complementary to those needed for biking and running. Fortunately in January the only potential witnesses to my pavement kiss were the crewmembers of the tugboat I was “racing” down the canal (and dammit I still won, even when leaving a trail of blood).

There’s never a good time to get injured, and two days before my significant birthday made its impact more palpable: a reminder that, oh shit, maybe I’m mortal after all? Not to mention it was the day of the premiere of my significant other’s movie and I was supposed to be dressed up, happy and concerned about nothing bigger than twisting an ankle in high heels in a couple hours. And oh yeah, we were leaving on an international trip the day after.. wait, how was I going to get pantyhose on with one functioning hand?

There was a kid on a skateboard in the parking lot, so I took the opportunity to menace him with my ugly bloody hand and strongly suggest he invest in a helmet. He probably thinks they’re dorky, but I don’t care. The more I thought about my head hitting the pavement the more thankful I was for the minimal precautions I take, like carrying my cell phone and for that previously untouched first aid kit in my glove box that was put to good use.

first aid kit

It took days for the ugly yellow bruises to show up on my hip, elbow and wrist but the ER doctor was satisfied with putting a few stitches in – and gave me the go-ahead to do all of the snorkeling I wanted on our trip (the surfing was a little tougher on the sutures but I gave it a try anyway). And somebody loved the bandaged hand that got us priority boarding on our flights, he thinks I’m keeping the wraps for future trips (only if he wears them!).

 

Pro tip: that duct tape I wrapped around my water bottle to fix anything and everything came in handy as a tough outer bandage when we went sea kayaking and zip lining.

duct tape hand

Which leaves me here, planning an epic 50-degree day of mountain biking tomorrow but contemplating the mouth guard I bought a year ago and haven’t used. Hmm..

 

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2 Responses to “My Big Bang”

  1. theitinerary1 Says:

    Beautiful sunrise

  2. bikevet@yahoo.com Says:

    OMG Alison, just read your blog! I am so happy you are a helmet wearer! I’m also happy you are ok, AND that it made for a very entertaining blog read! Lots of great tips here for those who love adventure, and need to make sure they are prepared for accidents. I have used duct tape many times, in many unexpected situations! Luv Ya!

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