Friday, October 29, 2010

Visit to the surgeon

Had my "3 month" followup visit with my surgeon today.
(I'm a very small bit past 3 I think)
It took all of two minutes... which is a very good thing :)

You don't want to have a long visit... that means something is wrong.
Mine consisted of him checking my knee and saying "Well... that's rock solid".
Those are some very happy words to hear from your surgeon!

I asked him a very rhetorical question because I get it from many other doctors and nurses... How does *he* feel about my knee. I'm obviously thrilled. His answer was similarly over the top "I'm jumping for joy" was part of it... as he threw out a bunch of "I'm super happy" phrases to over-emphasise that he's quite pleased. The over the top bit was a bit of joking as we both understood how silly the question was.

One of the funniest bits of the day was the Taxi cab ride.
Hahahaha, I'm pretty sure I was getting this part right... there was this siren sound thingy that kept going off. I didn't catch it at first... but then I realised that it's a warning sign to the driver that he's speeding! HAHAHAHAHA. I picked it up cuz he seemed to be in a bit of a rush at first... then he chilled out and the noise went away.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Gondi

We have a flying site at the top of the gondola in town.
The gondi doesn't take you all the way to takeoff though. You have about a 10 minute hike up a pretty steep path before you're there.

The gondi hike has always been my metric for my physical fitness.
I could always tell that I was turning into a soft American over the Summers in Maryland when I got back to Queenstown. I would take brakes hiking up the gondi. At the beginning of the season, I'd take as many as eight brakes. You're hiking up with a 40lb pack on your back, but since I've done it for many years, I've gotten a feel for what means what.

One year, I'd made a concious effort to stay in some shape in the Summer and I could definitely feel the difference, though I still took like three or four brakes.

I've been living at the gym since my accident, but I'm doing weight training. I've been very keen to get back to the gondi since it's such good cardio. And since I fly down, I've got heaps of motivation to climb it! But, like I said, it's a full-on hike. So even after I was fit enough to hike up, I still needed to be fit enough to hike down just in case I couldn't fly. Hiking down is immensely harder on my knee.

I'm just now at that level.

So today, I went up the gondi. I was very curious to measure how out of shape I was.

Zero brakes.

Made me feel even better about all that hard work at the gym :)
I wasn't steaming up the hill by any stretch, but I wasn't winded or sore either. I'd felt a good workout and had a good heartrate. I was feeling good.

Today's my gym day, so I went there afterwards.
There was something easier about it today.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Nice day

An other nice day :)
As is the way with Spring, it will end, but I'm soaking it up while it's here.

Hung around Flight Park (our landing field) showing friends how to pack parachutes and teaching a little bit of hang gliding. Nice mellow day. Sunny and warm.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Boo YA!

Let's see. Guess I'll fill in some details here.
(lot's of HELL YEAH! stuff over on Facebook)

I've been living in hell for 106 days now.
Take the thing you like the most in this world and don't do it for 3 and 1/2 months. Add to this, it's your livelyhood. And, you have to sit back and watch everyone else do it. And, you're crippled. You find ways to cope, but trust me, it ain't no picnic.

So I can't really tell you how freaking unbelievably happy it made me to be able to fly today. So I won't try. I'd prefer not to start crying.

Now, the good news is!
(Knocking on every blessed piece of wood I can find!)
I'll eventually be able to go back to work.
I've come to describe things this way... "I have the most amazing life... and I want it back!"
That keeps me going. Keeps me positive. I've had no trouble "finding the energy".

I go to the gym like it's my job. Every other day... you need to rest between workouts or you slow your progress. I get excited when I realise that "today's a gym day!" I eat extremely well now. Whole foods ONLY. If a sixth year old can't pronounce the ingredients, I don't eat it. "My program", as I call it, has been paying off in spades. I love the reaction I get from doctors that haven't seen me and my physio. My favourite phrase from my physio is "keep doing what you're doing, it's working". I've made it my personal goal to keep her saying that. She also gives me direction and education. I think of her as my coach... and indispensable.

I've got a hell of a knee brace. I call it my "Forest Gump" brace. I've not really done much with it till today. You're not supposed to as it takes over the job of your muscles and they don't grow. I wear it for a bit of protection. Today being the first real use... and holy crap! That thing kicks ass! It's just help, so I need to continue to be careful.

Good winds, maybe three steps to takeoff, and then just happy, beautiful Spring air :) Spring is one of the best times to fly.. there tends to be a lot of the types of currents that allow you to fly for hours on end. And oh hell yes I did :)

There's a funny thing about ACL injuries... and they tell you this when you have one... "Now you're going to meet so many people that have done this... and you'll be amazed at how many there are". ACL is the most common knee injury by the way.

Well, I hitched a ride up the hill today... and as I explained my situation, the wife (husband and wife heading up to ski)... "Oh, I did mine 9 years ago, did you have the surgery?". We had something to talk about the whole ride up.

My last flight of the day (I had three) was with some good friends in exceptionally good air. We all played around for a good long time. When we all landed, we hung around outside the cafe (we have a cafe at our landing field) for a bit. It was so nice to be back.
(No, damnit! my eyes are just sweating!)