No to Go: My Continuing Journey Back from Injury

The author on the eve of a metric century ride in support of breast cancer organizations

The author on the eve of a metric century ride in support of breast cancer organizations

This past June 30, I experienced a life-changing split second. In the blink of an eye, I was transformed from a distance cyclist in training, enjoying a downhill coast, to an invalid, facedown on the pavement, looking at my misshapen wrist and asking passersby to call 911 and my partner, Roy. A driver turned left into me (the driver is liable for damages), and I went flying. Though the impact gave me a concussion, chipped my left knee, ripped my left meniscus and knee cartilage, bruised my left shin bone, and broke my right wrist, I was lucid enough to ask the paramedics to make sure my ActiveLink made it into the ambulance with me. I suspected I was not going to be using it for a while, but I hoped I’d be back before too long.

More than three months later, not willingly, I have yet to get on another road bike, I am not allowed to run or even jog, and I’m only just beginning to be able to take any significant weight on my wrist. For someone accustomed to earning more than 7 activity PointsPlus values (PPVs) per day, I was deeply saddened and frustrated by the fact that a sloppy driver took away my motion. For weeks, I was fairly unable to move much at all, and I spent most of my time in bed, on the couch, or in a wheelchair.

Once I was given permission to spend more time on my feet, and physical therapy on my knee/leg began, I started a new assessment with my ActiveLink. My daily goal wasn’t even a single activity PPV: I was that inactive. However, I wore my activity monitor every single day, knowing that every time I scooted, bum-first, up our stairs, got out of bed, sat on the balance ball, or did my leg strengthening exercises, I’d get credit for my efforts. And, knowing that I was lighting up to 100% almost every day told me I was working, slowly, toward the level of activity that would indicate true recovery and wellness to me.

My knee is still cranky. I walk, not jog. I joined a gym to use the stationary bike and leg-strengthining machines. Now I’ve begun re-strengthening my atrophied arm muscles. I use the elliptical that doesn’t change heights. I have clearance to take a dance/aerobics class every once in a while, provided I don’t do jumping moves. Although it’s still frustrating to feel limited, I’m finding new ways to move and, spurred on by my ever-present ActiveLink and its happy, flashy green lights, I’m proud to be moving, just a bit more, every day.

What gets and keeps you moving? Share your story in the comments!

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