This isn’t where I wanted to start this blog. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t have got around to it at all if life hadn’t thrown me flat on my back recently. Back to my back in a moment, however. An introduction is in order.
I have generally considered myself strong, both physically and mentally. More than once I have embarked on projects which were not thought out fully. It’s a defining characteristic. Last year demonstrates an excellent example. I participated in a mountain bike race called the Maah Daah Hey 75. It was the first mountain bike race I’d ever signed up for. When I actually realized the magnitude of the challenge, the remaining six months became an obsession with training and all things mountain biking. I’ll save that story for another post or three.
Over the past fifteen years, I’ve been reconnecting with my soul. That has involved doing things I haven’t had the courage, resources, or awareness to do sooner. Skiing, paddling, backcountry travel and climbing have all been getting major attention. This spring, I made an impromptu suggestion to Peter, a climbing partner, when I said “climbing fifty peaks in my fiftieth year would be a cool.” Peter was instantly encouraging and said “you should do it.”
Now, back to my back. A few weeks ago, my back reminded me of its importance when I foolishly strained to move a steel roof truss on the ground. The rest of that afternoon was suddenly very uncomfortable. The following morning, putting on a sock and tying shoe laces turned into character building challenges. Surprisingly, or stupidly, I even managed to get through another day of work.
After a twelve hour work day pain increased about as fast as my mobility decreased. Four and half days into a new job, I was flying south from Gillam Manitoba, bound for Winnipeg. Fortunately, I had received an injection of torodal, before being driven to the airport Saturday afternoon. Roads in that area are in constant construction, and built over constantly shifting permafrost.
Monday morning, a physician at a local sports medicine facility, the Panam Clinic, diagnosed me with a disc herniation. On recovery, he commented “at your age, a full recovery can be expected in two full months or so, in rare cases, slightly less.” A prescription for Naproxen, Cyclobenzaprine, and Lenoltec No.3 kept me vegetative enough to be comfortable.
Some pain, limited mobility, and time to reflect provides a perspective that I really wouldn’t ask for. The morning I flew out of Gillam, I found myself terrified by the unbearable pain of just thinking about a bowel movement . I was seriously scrambling to imagine a way of doing it standing! During the flight, my fears focused on the looming uncertainties of work, health and finance as pharmaceuticals numbed my physical pain enough to think. Somewhere in that thought stream, I even wondered about fifty summits.
Now, lets get back to the beginning.
The blog, and the adventure begin. Unexpectedly!