Let me tell you a lil’ story about the time my boyfriend Jason went mountain biking. Spoiler alert: the mountain won. (I’m not one to drag out stories.)
Five weeks ago, Jason’s friend Eli took him out for a ride. Jason hadn’t been mountain biking in probably 20 years. The first hour or so was awesome. Wind blowing through his long hair. LA smog replaced with crisp mountain air. He was getting his “mountain bike legs” back. They made it to the top. Took some deep breaths. Hydrated. And congratulated each other for being real men (I’m making that last part up, but it really fits the narrative).
You know the rules, though. Everything that goes up, must come down. Jason was cruising down that mountain. But the conditions were a bit slippery and sandy from past rains. He hit some type of rut, losing control of the bike. His ankle hit the ground, ricocheting him back into the air. Then back down again. Boom. (That’s a 6’3” boom, by the way.)
I believe the mountain expressed a deep, sinister chuckle and went about its day.
With all the adrenaline, Jason was able to walk a bit and got back on the bike – to ride the rest of the way down. By the time he got to his car, he knew he was pretty badly injured and couldn’t put weight on his right foot. He remarkably drove himself to urgent care. I met him there.
Jason has a badly sprained ankle and slight fracture. He still can’t walk on it. But he looks real cool getting around:
A little side note, should you ever have a foot/ankle injury, this scooter is a lifesaver. Way better than crutches. And you look super rad rolling around with it. He’s definitely giving the lil’ old ladies on scooters shopping at Walmart a run for their money.
But I digress. Let me digress some more…
Jason and I met a little over five years ago (crazy how time flies). He could tell I had lived on my own for a l-o-n-g time because I always did everything on my own. Never asked for help. “I got this!” (I think you hear me, single ladies – am I right?) Slowly but surely, he started breaking me down. On a rare occasion, I would let him do something for me. What a concept?
Recently, I let myself rely on him even more. I work mainly from home now, so going out to get things takes even longer – as opposed to popping by a place on the way home. So, I had him getting groceries or whatever we needed when he got off work.
Let’s review. When I finally gave in (asking for help), his ankle gave out. Oh, Universe, you tricky son of a gun.
Now I’m taking care of HIM. Which makes him feel badly, of course. You know how a dog or cat with a cone around its neck looks so sad, yet so adorable? That’s exactly how Jason looks being injured and needing help. Asking for help is a vulnerable place to be in.
Although that didn’t stop him from asking me to help bathe him (even though he’s fully capable of doing that himself). He’s a dude, remember? Milking it when he can. 😉
I’ve had to wear a boot cast before, so I can relate. I was living alone with a second-floor climb and a dog that needed to go out 3-4 times a day. It was a nightmare. These things make you realize how precious good health is. You can’t take it for granted.
Two days after the accident, Jason cracked a tooth. We were off to the dentist. Then an 87-year-old man side-swiped my car with his truck (nothing too bad, but some damage). We were off to the repair shop. I also got up to get Jason something and slammed some toes into a door jamb. Hard. You can’t make this stuff up. My point? When it sprains, it pours. This isn’t a sad sack blog about all the terrible things that happened. This is a “This is life, folks,” post. Terrible things don’t happen. Things happen. And it’s all in the way you deal with them that matters.
I know it’s frustrating to have to constantly “handle” something, but we really need to focus on the fact that we are alive and well to handle these things.
Before all this, Jason and I spent a couple weeks getting up early and going on morning walks. So refreshing. For some reason, we stopped. Let me tell you, when he can walk again, IT’S BACK ON.
Do the things! Because you CAN! There may be a time when you can’t.
Ask for help! And give help when you’re needed.
And by all means, bathe each other. It’s way more fun when it’s not medically necessary.
Julie Slater, aka THE LOTUS FLOWER, looooves music. Besides being a rabid fan and musician, you may recognize her voice. She’s a voiceover artist and audiobook narrator (www.julieslater.com). She’s DJ’d on top stations: 88.5 FM and 100.3 the Sound in LA and 92.3 K-Rock in NYC following Howard Stern.
When she’s not at concerts, you can usually find her meditating or in the kitchen. She has a slight obsession with deep, dark cabernets & small batch whiskey. Namaste!