Lieutenant Michael Murphy

Today has been Memorial Day, a day for remembering, honoring, and extending gratitude to those who have served in the military, whatever branch they may have been, and who died during that service. In their honor and memory, I now always honor specifically Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Patrick Murphy and the 18 others who died for Operation Red Wings on 28 June, 2005, through my practice of the workout now called “Murph”. While it is a thing worldwide, today was a bit extra special for me.

One of my cousins used to live in San Diego and work among the SEALs. He was not technically a SEAL, as he was brought in in a non-traditional way, but he worked and trained alongside them for many years. One of his best friends from that work was on the first helicopter that had aimed to rescue the original four SEALs from the reconnaissance mission that had gone so terribly sour. That helicopter was shot down before any aid could be given, and all those in it died.

Below are all of their names, both those from the original four and those who died while aiming to rescue those four. I list them here, that those who read this might offer up a prayer, a positive intention, some light, some love, and/or some gratitude for the efforts of these men to make the world a better place by giving their all, both physically and mentally, as well as for those efforts continuing all the way to the end of their lives. Being in the military is more than about guns and fighting – it is about being one’s best self, such that the country itself has the opportunity and ability to do that same. Therefore, I am always grateful to those who serve in the military, and I give my love to each of these men listed here, that their souls may be at peace, and their families, too.

Navy SEALs

LT Michael P. Murphy

SO2 Matthew Axelson

SO2 Danny Dietz

SOC Jacques J. Fontan

SOC Daniel R. Healy

LCDR Erik S. Kristensen

SO1 Jeffery A. Lucas

LT Michael M. McGreevy Jr.

SO2 James E. Suh

SO1 Jeffrey S. Taylor

SO2 Shane E. Patton

Army 160th SOAR

SSG Shamus O. Goare

CWO3 Corey J. Goodnature

SGT Kip A. Jacoby

SFC Marcus V. Muralles

MSG James W. Ponder III

MAJ Stephen C. Reich

SFC Michael L. Russell

CWO4 Chris J. Scherkenbach

Post-a-day 2021

Nerding

I finally looked up something that had been bugging me. You see, for the workout called “Murph” by CrossFit, something was off. CrossFit said to wear “body armor” or a “20lb weighted vest” for the workout, back when it was first announced officially.

However, the workout itself was the workout done by a man named Michael Murphy. He was a Navy Seal. (Wait for it…) And yes, David Goggins trained with and knew him. (He comes up basically every day, now, no matter that I don’t even try.) From a combination of interviews I read that were about him, I learned that he wore the Navy-issue body armor vest while doing the workout. Someone mentioned in the interview – I think it was his dad – that the vest weighed 16.4 pounds, and that Michael would finish the workout, on average, between 32 and 35 minutes. That means that he did, in just over 30 minutes, a mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, and another mile run, all while wearing a 16.4lb vest.

But the workout says to wear a 20lb vest. What gives?

Well, I finally looked up the government-issue body armor vests, the ones that were (are?) worn by the Navy from, at least, the year 2000 through the year 2017 (possibly still now, but I didn’t delve that deep). It is called the Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System (IBA).

And guess how much the total weight is. Just guess.

16.4 pounds.

It was an upgrade in lightness from its predecessor, which was 25.1lbs and went by a different name, and the latest version apparently weighs 33.1lbs.

So, under no version of this vest would Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy have had a 20lb vest. And, given the years that he was a Navy SEAL, he would have worn the 16.4lb vest. If he only wore the outer shell of it, it would have been only 8.4lbs. Those are the two options. Not 20lbs.

Anyway, I know officially now what my goal weight is for this workout: 16.4lbs in the vest.

Hashtag NerdAlert ;P

Post-a-day 2021

Baseline

I did the baseline for my fitness test today. And I was rather at my worst. It hadn’t been long enough since I had eaten, so the running portions had me wondering all throughout them if I weren’t going to hurl on the street. I started menstruating right in the middle of it all, and had to use the bathroom quickly during one of the rest times – talk about being exhausted on the first place, with all the menstruation prep that’s been going on in my body. It was mid-afternoon in Houston, Tx, right near the start of summer – temperature was 86°F with a feels like of 93°F. Plus, the entire running section had almost no coverage at all from the sun, so I was running on bright concrete in full, blazing, direct sunlight. Talk about hot. And then, I had some measuring difficulties with both runs, thinking I had reached the end of the run, then suddenly realizing I hadn’t, and having to jump back into the run to finish it. That added annoying time to both runs, which are judged by their times, by the way.

So, I was miserably tired, undigested, out in the stupid afternoon humid heat of Houston, and I messed up my measurements twice, adding time to my runs. Plus, I had an improved setup for the sit-ups, but I only have 15lb dumbbells, and, though they helped significantly in helping hold my feet in place, they moved around a whole lot more than a human’s knees and hands pinning down my feet would have done.

And yet… I still only had the push-ups as my one area that didn’t pass the test. And that already was 100% expected to be an area that didn’t pass. But all the other areas, despite my being at my worst, still passed! And, if I had gotten the bare minimum requirement for the push-ups, my scores were high enough that I would have passed the entire test.

And so, my training began this evening for my push-up preparations. I obtained coaching from the gym owner on Saturday, as to how to proceed regarding my terrible push-ups abilities. And I put those plans into action today. I need to be able to do 20 push-ups comfortably for me to be satisfied for this test, but I technically only need to move up from ten to 14 as my baseline. Nonetheless, that’s a 40% increase. And my goal is actually a 100% increase… but I know I can make it happen. The only question is a matter of how long it will take.

Also, separately, now that I have these specific fitness goals towards which to work now…, what are my financial gain goals towards which to work right now? Because those have an absolute max of three more weeks to get sorted for, at least, the next four months.

Post-a-day 2021

Training

Just because I’m reading David Goggins’s stories of doing intense physical training, I have found myself feeling like I were doing intense physical training.

But I’m totally not.

Right?

Sure, I’m doing the workouts at the gym 4-5 days a week, weekdays at 5:15am, Saturdays at the 10:00 class (because there isn’t one like it earlier). But that’s it, right? I guess I am training for Murph for Memorial Day. That’s usually once or twice a week. It is actually a rather intense run with a weighted vest, where I do between two and four and a half miles. I end up sore for days afterward, every time I run, and almost all over my body. I’m at the ten pounds now, and am considering finding a way to get it to 16.4 before the end of the month, even though the weights don’t come in increments to allow that very easily.

But that might just need to wait for next year. I am into this Goggins approach, but only to a degree. I want to take care of my body more than I want to push it at far as it can go. The 40% Rule is great, and I’d love to increase myself to 50 or 60% more often, but, more than that, I want to increase significantly what my 40% is in the first place. I want my 40% to be what my 100% would have been in the past. I like to be strategically smart and safe. I will get things done, but I always will be strategic and safe about doing so.

On that note, I must sleep, as the gym awaits me early in the morning.

May the fourth be with you all. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

A day of rest

My weighted vest arrived yesterday. I went to bed last night, considering that I actually might not be going to the workout this morning, but still leaning more towards going. When I awoke this morning, around two hours before my alarm, I was almost certain I would not be going to the workout. I felt terrible, utterly exhausted. When my alarm later sounded, it was confirmed: I was going back to bed, because I needed some serious rest. I slept an extra three and a half hours before waking for real. I didn’t actually get up until another half hour later, listening to an audiobook as I lay curled on my side under the comforter, eyes closed.

I eventually got up and made breakfast, though. After eating, I went and unpacked the vest with delight. I was super excited. As soon as I unpacked it, I put it on and wore it around the house for a while. It was certainly heavy, and would take some major adjusting, if ever I were intending to run two miles with this thing. I’m still not sure that I’ll ever do it, but I’m not giving up the idea so easily. Slow and steady, were my thoughts. We still have time.

By 10:00, I was barely staying awake, however, and so I lay down comfortably on the floor… and passed out… hard. I woke only once, and fell right back asleep, adding yet another additional three hours to my sleep tank for the day. I really was wiped, I thought. I had needed this day of rest, for more than just resting my muscles – so much of me was tired. Last week and the weekend and start of this week had been, well, a lot. And being behind on sleep with all of that only made things harder, both then and now.

And so I truly rested today, swapping between a new book on the kindle – got the notification this morning that it was now available from the library! – and the audiobook on my phone (also from the library, of course), and even spent close to an hour just stretching while reading, and half an hour swinging on the front porch, despite the heat and humidity (once the mosquitos arrived, however, I was done sitting out there).

Around 5:00pm, I was unsure as to what to do. I had rested much today, but didn’t want to rest too much. I also didn’t want to exert myself when I actually just needed rest. But I could feel it within myself that I needed to move. Not intensely or hard, but truly to move. So, I donned the weighted vest, though only with 10lbs now, instead fo 20, and went on a long walk. Two and a half miles in the heat, I walked at a mostly brisk pace, experiencing moving with the vest on me. It was simultaneously rough and easy.

Now, it is 9:00pm, and I can hardly stand up, I am so sleepy and tired. Therefore, I bid you all a wonderful night. 😉

P.S. Tomorrow is my anniversary of first beginning as a member at the gym. I had reached 55 workouts so far this calendar year yesterday, and so was comfortable not going today. Last year, at this point, I had done only 51 workouts. I still considered going at noon or in the afternoon today, just to round out the year’s total, but my body went into sleep mode for the noon class, and was too exhausted to fathom doing such work by late afternoon.

Post-a-day 2021

Saturday morning shows?

Saturday morning. Sleep in. Relax. Restore.

And then go to the gym, right? 😛

When I first joined the gym, I rarely made it to the Saturday workout, because it was at 9am. I was not a morning person. Period. Even as a child, I missed all the best Saturday morning cartoons, because I was, as my sister said, “a sleeper”. When I joined the gym, I was also deemed by the owner to be “a nooner”. And, when I walked into that noon class each day, I had only just woken up to an alarm maybe an hour earlier. For most of my life, the opportunity to sleep in usually meant I would sleep until close to noon, if not later. And that’s even if I went to bed at ten-ish the night before. At some point last year, all that shifted, my body determined that 4:00 was a good time to awaken – and that is AM – and I went ahead and adjusted my life to fit it. Now, I usually wake up before my 4:20am alarm, I go easily and gladly to the 5:15am workout, and I go to bed around 8:30-9:00pm each night. Sure, there are days that go longer than others, but I usually end up waking up at the same time, anyway, the next morning.

That being said, nowadays, when I am considering attending the Saturday workout, I just sleep on in, and then decide when I get up if I want to go. And I can do that, because sleeping in means sleeping until roughly 6:00 or so most Saturdays. If I stay up late Friday night, and I’ve been up late other nights in the given week, too, I might even sleep until around 8:00am. But that one is more rare.

In addition, there is now a 10:00am weightlifting class, which is specifically focused on building strength and on improving aesthetics. I have been purposely aiming to increase my strength…, and my physical aesthetic lately, so… I dare say that it is a class I could appreciate greatly.

Basically, that means I love my Saturday mornings now, more than ever. But not a lot of people attend the lift class. They prefer the cardio-strong class at 9am still. I don’t mind that class, but it isn’t a good idea to do both – not at this point in my body’s path, anyway – so I have to pick one. Of course, I pick the lift one. Strength is my current weakness, after all. Who else tends to do the lift class? Take the stereotype on this one, folks: men.

And so, how did I spend my Saturday morning today? I slept in (which felt amazing), and then I went to the gym for an awesome workout, which I did while being surrounded by five ridiculously fit guys who also were workout out. And most of us were shirtless…. talk about glorious, gleaming abs and muscles... Whew!

So, can a Saturday morning get much better than that? 😛

Post-a-day 2021

^Man! I hesitated.

Working it out…?

I am going to test out my old gym this coming week, and see how it goes, how I like it all. I am nervous both that I will like it and that I will not like it. If I like it, I still will have to figure out whether I want to find a way to make it work to go there again, despite the super high price now. If I don’t like it, I will have to get myself sorted in entirely doing workouts at home for the future. While I trust that I can do that, I do not want to do that. That’s a lot of alone time for something I prefer to have as a social situation.

So, we shall see… fingers crossed that, no matter the experience this next week, I am complete about how it goes and about how to move forward with and from the experience.

And now, I must sleep, as my alarm will be going off at five, because sign-ups open 24 hours before the start of the class… and they have very limited capacities…, and I need to attend the 5:15am class. Ugh. So, I’m getting up at five not even for a workout, but to sign up for a workout. Totally ridiculous, I agree. 😛

Post-a-day 2020

Goodnight with Green lights

This evening, I did my first workout in what feels like quite a while. This Friday will make five weeks since I had that dreadful fall while on a workout run, and found myself tumbling through the street, and then lying in un-breathing shock and pain in the middle of a neighborhood road, while everyone around was too afraid to help me, for fear of catching COVID-19 from me… which, as it happens, I did not have at the time.

I was a total mess in a way I hadn’t been since last year, when I had fallen off the Vespa, going about 30-35 miles per hour one night… I guess I lacked all the padding and protection for falls this time, so such a fall, though at a significantly lower speed, left quite similar effects as a road accident, but with a lot more blood.

I tried jogging on Sunday or Monday, on a long walk with my mom, and it was fine at first, in a sort of lazy, easy, short-stepped jog. But, as soon as I increased to a regular stride for genuine but still easy running, the quivering feeling in my shin shook me to a quick stop.

Not ready yet.

Today, Wednesday, though, I was feeling very comfortable in my leg’s ability to function on low-ish-impact, smooth, easy activities. And my whole being wanted to exercise. So, I tested out a workout that didn’t involve much knee work at all…, and it was spectacular. I even was able to do walking lunges gently. And it felt really good to use my muscles in such a way again… gosh, it was lovely. One might think they were made for such things, even… 😉

Yeah, I’m going to bed tonight feeling both relieved and enlivened. Thank you for such a beautiful opportunity and result today, World. 🙂 As Matthew McConaughey might put it, thank you, World, for these red lights turned green lights.

P.S. I started listening to his audiobook during the workout. It is delightful so far, as is he, the author and reader.

Post-a-day 2020

The Fall

So, here’s the short but sweet – well, you get the idea – version of what happened yesterday evening around 5:30.  I had a pretty bad fall at approximately .68 miles into my run.  I was supposed to do a little 5k to be in a sort of solidarity with a student I tutor, because we had to miss tutoring yesterday due to her mandatory participation in a 5k with her school.  (She is neither fan of outdoorsy things nor of running.)  I had already run just over that on Thursday, and I didn’t necessarily feel like getting out to run and do a whole workout (core upon return to the house, of course), but I’d told her I would do it on Friday, and I knew I always felt great after such a workout anyway.  So, I headed out.  It was an amazing start to the run, and the weather was great.

However, when my eye was caught by a mother doing a sort of super-protective stance between the road and her small child, possibly as a means of preventing his sprinting suddenly to the street when a truck was passing, that great feeling changed quickly.  Since I was caught off guard by her stance, and, of course, I had to process what I was seeing before moving on in life, I was mentally focused on the mother, even though I turned my head back to the road ahead of me.  And, though, I was looking at the road again, it was not quite enough time to process that one of the manhole covers a step and a half ahead of me, while it was supposed to be flush with the road around its rim, and concave for the actual cover, the indefinite-looking roadwork of the street turned that flush edge into a lip.

And yes, I did trip on that lip.

Put simply, I flew forward.  I got another step and a half-ish under me as I began to fall, but I was already turning Superman, and I knew I was not going to recover my feet.  I had a brief thought of not wanting to fall simply so as not to freak out the poor onlookers – it has to suck to witness someone fall hard or be part of some accident… I regularly think of how terribly frightening it must have been for that angel driving behind me when I went down on my scooter on the road that night last year.  Nonetheless, I saw before the thought even finished that, oh, well, they were just going to have to witness it, and I was just going not to worry about it, and to do what I needed to do for my own health and well-being.

And so, I went down, and I went down not just hard, but with a hard forward slide.  Man, it was like I were Speedy Gonzales or something, because there was no way I could have been running very slowly to slide that hard and that far, and so quickly.  And I always thought my longer running was slow.  Good thing I’ve been working on improving that for myself… it really paid off yesterday evening.  Not.

(Note: I’m not at all bashing improving one’s skills or athletic abilities – not at all.  I am merely having a fun thought and play at how, in this particular instance, being better at the sport actually made for a worse situation.  Think, I might not even have fallen, if I hadn’t been going so fast.  However, that changes nothing in my plans to continue to improve in my running.)

Anyway, so I went down, and I knew people saw, and I had slight concern for them, but also didn’t care and didn’t have the mental space for almost any thoughts aside from dealing with my own body’s safety and survival at present.

It really sucked.  I immediately rolled to my back.  I was just lying in the street then, tears pouring from down my temples and upper cheeks, as I quickly examined my hands.  They were a total mess.  Gashed terribly, tissue fluid and blood already everywhere, and grainy gravel bits of all sizes and dark colors everywhere on them, mixed in with the blood and peeling skin and tissue fluid.  My knee was stinging slightly, and I had a feeling it was much worse than it was letting on, hidden beneath my spectacular running pants – I could look at that more later, perhaps when I got home… it only would get worse once I let my attention turn to it.  The pants had held up, so I knew they would hold in most of the bleeding that likely was underneath.  Not that I spent more than a moment of thought on my knee… I just glanced and moved on mentally.

My hands… oh, my hands needed help.

While I was dong this self-evaluation and feeling growing intense pain, crying somewhat calmly yet entirely uncontrollably, the mother was talking to me from her spot back on the sidewalk.

Was I okay?  Did I want them to call an ambulance?  Did I want them to call somebody else for me?  I answer with obvious shaking of my head to all of them.  I was grateful to hear, when the husband was trying to move along, the wife (mother of the little kid) said pointedly, “No, she’s not okay. She’s really hurt.”  Though, I only slightly processed it, what with the pain and my own mental focus at the time.  When she asked if they could get me anything, I managed, after another several seconds of gasping-like breathing, to ask, “Do you have any water?”  After which I resumed the intense breathing.  The crying, of course, never paused.

I was still lying on my back in the road, and it had been at least a minute at this point.  Granted, I was to the side of the road, but I was definitely entirely in the road, at least a yard or two from the curb.  So, I ask again about the water, figuring out how to get water, if these folks don’t have any, and she answers to me that they do.  A few moments later, I hear someone begin to approach, and a hard plastic cup being set on the driveway next to me.  I say next to me, because it was perpendicular to the road, st the specific spot where I lay.  It was not, however, actually very near to me.  It was at least three yards away from me.

“Honey, just bring it to her, ” I hear the wife say, followed by the husband’s hushed, “No.”  Her response was borderline furious, and something within me felt like there would be a rage in their house tonight.

Alas, there was water, and I needed it for my hands.  There was no possibility of my getting up from my spot in the road, so, I stuck my hands above my head, Superman-y again, and rolled two-ish turns toward the driveway.  I then forced myself to sit up – though I’m really not sure how, seeing as my hands were no real use at that point.  But I grabbed the little blue sippy-type cup, and started carefully tipping the limited, precious water onto one hand at a time.  And it hurt.  And I knew it wouldn’t be enough – there was far too much blood and dirt that wasn’t going to come off by just dripping a single cup-full of water onto it with no real rubbing.

Not that I wanted to rub my hands…, but I needed to do it.

A truck driving past as I fell, – the one from which the mother had possibly been”protecting” her child – backed all the way up the block, and stopped even with me in the road (in which I am still sitting, of course, but I’m by the edge now).  It was, for lack of better descriptors, what I would call a Mexican work truck.  Likely, the guy had been working on building a house somewhere down the road – one of the new builds I had passed on my way there, perhaps.  The driver exited the truck and was doing something with the truck bed for a minute.  I was almost certain what would come next – it’s just a part of the culture, you know?

After a few moments, I finally comprehend that the guy is standing near me, setting down a bottle of water.  He then hands me a white piece of cloth and says, “Clean.  I’s clean.”  (That’s “it’s” without the t, by the way.).  I could barely form any words in any language, though I knew he spoke Spanish and possibly almost no English.  I believe I thanked him then.  I set down the sippy cup back on the driveway, and picked up the icy cold bottle of water.  This will hurt, I think, but I know I need to do it.

I struggle for a few moments in my efforts to open the bottle, but I cannot manage it – this simple task is impossible for me in this moment – and so I set the bottle back down on the ground.  Within seconds, the guy was back at my side, picking up and opening the bottle for me.  He then holds it out in a way that I know he is offering to hold it and pour for me, and so I extend my hands and allow him to pour.  I cough out some tears at the pain of it, but we can both see that it is helping clear away the mess.  When I’ve wiped away as much as I can tolerate, I nod and thank him a couple or few times, as I press the white cloth into my hands, absorbing what excess still remains, and shooting pains into my hands at every press.  I was barely able to see his upside down face through my tears.  But I saw him and thanked his face, even if I couldn’t see his eyes.

Meanwhile, the couple stood with their child on the sidewalk, watching, mumbling.  As the Mexican guy stepped back into his truck, a white Mercedes that had been briefly waiting, with the guy and me in full view on the side of the road, and his truck parked in the middle of it – keep in mind, this is a neighborhood road, not some throughway or anything – decides to squeeze between me and the truck, now that the guy isn’t standing next to me anymore.  When the mother on the sidewalk commented with fury at the fact that the woman had seen us and easily could have just gone around the block – and these are tiny blocks, by the way, in a traditional square arrangement – I genuinely agreed with her.  Though, I also felt sad at the driver of the Mercedes.  How miserable must one be to be such an a** during an obvious “situation” of someone sprawled in the road?

Anyway… I really liked the wife/mother.  Not so much the paranoia of the husband, though.  Which, by the way, he picked up that cup after I set it back down to give it back to them… Just saying.

Okay, so everyone moves on.  I have my keys and my phone again, and I roll myself the rest of the way fully onto the driveway.  I lay there a handful of minutes, still crying.  I hear a dog collar approaching on the sidewalk behind me, and am unconcerned.  Minus the tiny hope that the owner won’t be too distraught at the sight.

It turned out to be an older guy, out walking his dog.  He asked if I was okay, and I carefully told him that I wasn’t but that I would be – I could talk now.  Kind of.  He offered to bring me bandages, saying that he lived just right nearby, and I said that that actually would be really great.  His walk turned into a cautious jog of concern, as he raced around the corner, heading to his unseen home.  I hardly even knew how he looked.  I still couldn’t process such details.

And so, when her returned a couple minutes later, I sat myself up again, and got to work.  I poured the hydrogen peroxide on my knew first, then my left hand, and both were okay.  It hurt a bit, but it really just foamed and mostly was okay.  The guy was surprised at this.  He’d even said he would look away while I poured the peroxide, clearly indicating that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed at my likely reaction of intense pain.  An old man had approached at this point, and was asking questions.  I had already worked hard enough to answer them for the first guy – what happened; yeah, I’m definitely hurt; I’ll be okay, just not yet; I live about .62 miles that way – so I let him answer them for me.  He didn’t seem to mind, once he saw that I clearly wasn’t up to it.  Then, while they chatted, I poured the peroxide on my right hand.  And that, my friends, was the exact memory I had had of hydrogen peroxide from my childhood, and the reason I was terrified of it as an adult.  I had used it a couple times recently, and couldn’t understand why I’d been afraid of it.  My mom had given it to me last year (?), saying that alcohol burns, not hydrogen peroxide.  And it had been true so far in my adult life.  Until this moment, in a stranger’s driveway with two older guys chatting about me and my present situation.

My body took over control as I convulsed and wailed, and even more tears poured from my eyes, the rate increased significantly from the original fall’s.  I felt bad for this pour girl on the side of the road.  I couldn’t imagine how the onlookers felt.  (There was a secret onlooker across the street in the apartments, who had clearly been considering off and on whether to come help.  She, too, looked hispanic, and I fear her concern was one not only of COVID-19, but mostly of a fear of not being able to communicate.  I don’t exactly exude Spanish (or any language other than English, really), so I get it.

Anyway, so that really sucked, and I had to pour the painful cold water on it to make the pain go down at least somewhat – I couldn’t take it anymore.  Funny how that cold water was suddenly not so big a deal anymore, right?  Eventually, I blew my nose a bunch more with the rest of the paper towels the guy had brought, and I put a compress on my knee.  I had raised the pant leg while still in the street, and, aside from the clear layer of skin that was plastered to the fabric, my knee didn’t look like it needed too much immediate attention.  So, after the quick rinse of water and the peroxide, it was good to go, in terms of germ-prevention and safety until I made it home.

Now, all this time, I had been evaluating how I would be getting home.  No family lives anywhere near me, so that was out as an option, if I couldn’t walk it.  I considered a high school acquaintance who lived nearby.  I was rather sure he would come get me and drive me home, if I really needed, but I didn’t want to turn to that except as a last resort.  So, my options were really either to walk or to run home.  If I ended up being able to run, I knew I would end up finishing the 5k.  It was a slim chance, but it wouldn’t’ have surprised me.  However, walking was the most likely of the three options.  And, at this point in time, I noticed that I still had not felt that moment of, Okay, let’s get up, that we always get at some point after a fall.  And, so far as I could tell, it was nowhere nearby either.  I wasn’t going anywhere for a while.  I mean, I hadn’t even fully stopped crying at this point, and it had been ten minutes already.

I had started “chatting” with the younger of the two older guys, during the times that I could use my words, and, after I had finished all my dressings,  he offered yet again to drive me home – “We can put the windows down, be safe…” – I said, at last, “I think that would be a very good idea,” nodding and speaking with obvious effort, pinches of tears falling.  He hopped into action, and took his first aid kit and hydrogen peroxide and, even, the trash back to his home.  A couple minutes later, a Jeep came roaring around the corner, windows down.

I struggled to find the least painful way, and managed myself to my feet without too much disruption.  But, oh, did it hurt to use my right leg/knee…  The guy opened the passenger door for me, and I struggled my way into the seat.  I fumbled for a while, throwing in involuntary cries of pain, getting the seatbelt on myself and shutting the door… I just couldn’t use my hands almost at all: no pressure on them from the outside, and no muscle flexing within them.

We chatted on the brief drive back that almost-three-quarters-of-a-mile path, exchanged names, and wished one another well as we arrived and I struggled my way out of the Jeep.  I thanked him over and over again, both during the ride and at the end of it.  And also before it, too.  And then I slowly and painfully stumbled up the walkways and stairs, managed to unlock and open the door, and get myself inside.

I had sent my mom a couple photos after the first group had left, before I lay back down on the driveway, and then had called her when the guy had gone to get his Jeep.  I had known that she was driving before then, so I waited to call when I knew she would be able to see the photos.  At my first, “Hey,” she knew something had happened.  “What happened?” she asked, concerned, but not freaking out.  She probably had figured I’d had some terrible interaction with someone mean – that’s usually the answer to What happened?.  I told her to look at the photo I’d sent her.  She looked, and understood immediately.  I told her the present situation and that I thought I would be okay.  Now that I was home, I called her again, just to let her know that I was there, and also to see what she recommended I do to help myself at this point.

She prescribed me some time with an ice pack of sorts and an elevated leg, a shower, and then just before bed, rubbing gently hydrogen peroxide into my wounds with a Q-tip (cotton, you see), since I couldn’t get all the dirt off my hands.

The shower was long and hot and extremely painful at first, but it helped significantly by the end of it.  The hydrogen peroxide left me, yet again, wailing involuntarily in pain, pouring tears, and practically shouting half-comprehensible phrases and annoyances.  By the way, blowing your nose with a tissue and non-usable thumbs sucks.  That’s to say the least.

When I woke up in the middle of the night with a need to pee, I not only had to detach my palms from the sheets (painfully, of course), due to sticking tissue fluid, but hobble down the stairs, squat down to the toilet seat, and then attempt to wipe myself with a clumsy and burning left hand (the right was a solid no-go).  This repeated itself when my alarms went off at five forty-something to get me up for test proctoring today.

Today, my knee hurts. More like my upper shin than my kneecap, but it still hurts.  It’s kind of like a super bruise feeling, but the skin doesn’t really hurt.  My hands, however, have been bad. I still have no opposable thumbs for the time being… if I try to use them, I involuntarily wail from the instant pain in my lower palm. The right is the worst.  The left, starting this evening, has actually started to come around a bit.  They were both still producing tissue fluid 20 hours after the incident, but have since mostly ceased.  But any sharp movements or pressure, and they resume it.  They felt like fire last night period.  Tonight, they only get that feeling when they are either bumped or wet.  Or, of course, I attempt to use my thumb for any kind of grip, or clench my fingers in an attempt to grip anything.  (I almost couldn’t get out of my room this morning, because the doorknob is very thin and takes a lot of pressure to get open…)  In fact, it is extremely difficult even to type this right now.

All in all, that totally sucked, and it still sucks now, but I am mending safely, it seems.  And I am grateful for that.

On that note, I shall sleep.  But first, the photos:

This was yesterday, after rinsing off and rolling into the driveway.

This was the darned manhole cover with the “lip”.

This was after my shower last night.

I had to set the phone timer for this one.

And these were this evening, about 25 hours after the fall.  I had to set the timer on these, too, because I couldn’t both hold the phone and click the shutter button… no thumbs, remember.  (I tell you, it is one thing just not to have opposable thumbs.  It is something else entirely not to have them in a world designed for opposable thumbs.  I am having to learn drastic new ways of completing the formerly simplest of tasks[!!!].)

Post-a-day 2020

Bruised

Well, my toenail on my second toe on my right foot is officially bruised. It’s actually reddish purple now. Not the whole thing, but the whole left side, all the way to just past the center, as well as a small spot on the right side. And the tip is still white, of course, because that doesn’t change since it’s already been unattached to the skin for a while. But the attached part does not look very comfortable. Fortunately (?), however, it doesn’t look like it will be falling off.

I’ve had that happen before. It isn’t exactly unpleasant, but it isn’t pleasant either. I suppose the worst part is afterward, while there is no nail to protect the sensitive skin of the toe that is now suddenly exposed to the world and to shoes. That part of it totally sucks, actually, but it is still doable, easily survived. Just very uncomfortable for a while, I suppose.

I event had a run today as part of the workout, and it was totally okay. And even pressing on that particular toe and toenail doesn’t hurt anymore, which is quite good.

But yeah, it doesn’t look like this nail is falling off. Partially and strongly bruised, but not killed. Much like my pride and drive after that date with that guy way back when. Or like my brother’s when he busted a piece of his fancy motorcycle while pushing it up the loading ramp for the trailer to take it home from the racetrack…. and then shortly thereafter when he had his bicycle stolen out of the back of his truck (though it was locked up), after he had felt like it was a bad idea to leave the bicycles back there while he and a friend went into the store…. yeah, kind of like that… except probably nowhere near as bad. This is just a light bruising compared to all of that.

So… yeah… 😛

And no, my hamstrings are not better today. However, despite the run, which wasn’t actually very difficult at all, they aren’t any worse than they were yesterday! 🙂

Post-a-day 2020