Friday, March 18, 2011

Injured Reserve 3.18.11

Well life doesn't always provide a nice neat package and sometimes when you unwrap it, it isn't what you were hoping for. This story starts a couple of weeks ago when I got a mailer from the YMCA inviting me to check out their facilities. While I had never remembered the Y as a place I would like to spend much time the brochure laid out nicely the amenities and it piqued my interest. My wife was a member of the Sammamish Club which is nice but expensive. It also lacked a basketball court which I prevented me from getting a family membership, along with the cost. After touring the Y there was little doubt that a change of clubs was in order. I was impressed with the club and more so with the employees. Being in the service industry my whole career I have learned to appreciate good service more so than most and I am quite sure I am more aware of the details than the average person. After filling out the paper work we were good. I brought the kids on a rare Friday night off and it was if I had a sign on my forehead that said "I'm new and have no idea what I am doing. I was given help at every turn and even stayed for dinner in the community center.... who knew.

  The story fast forwards to Monday when I decided that it was family club night and we all met up to start a new family tradition. One nice thing about a fledgling family is the opportunity to incorporate new ideas and routines customized to what works for the family. After checking the kids in I was free to pursue my love of my youth. I played quite a bit in my youth and while I was never good I really enjoyed the game. I have longed to get back for some time and I was quite apprehensive when I took the court. There were more than 30 people waiting to play and truthfully I felt like the elder statesmen. Part of me wanted to erase my name off the glass that doubled as the sign up sheet. But I challenged myself, I mean how bad could it be. I was confident that I could at least play some defense and not embarrass myself. After the first game was over I was paired up with 4 others to take on 5 that obviously had played together on many occasions. While my hopes weren't high it felt good to be running the court again. From the onset my arch on my left foot was giving me issues. While I have had Plantar Facijitis a few times in the past I have learned how to manage it. I aggravated it a few weeks ago running Squak Mt. but with stretching it had been in remission. After one time up the court it was again barking at me. I thought it best to only push it 80% keeping the chance of worsening it to a minimum. I managed a few rebounds and a couple of buckets before I went to retrieve the ball and initially I thought someone had it the bottom of my arch with a baseball thrown at 100 miles an hour. After getting my bearing I realized that I could not continue. I got someone to replace me and hobbled out of the gym, just in time for my wife to witness my transgressions. I knew from the onset that I had done some damage. The pain was off the charts and I couldn't even put an ounce of weight on my foot.

  After posting a thread about my injury it was apparent that my injury while painful was actually a blessing. The treatment for my chronic problem is to cut the bundle of tendons causing my pain. Since I had done that myself I was able to avoid surgery. After consulting with my foot doctor he gave me a air cast and more importantly some pain meds to alleviate my discomfort. I had hoped to be on desk duty at work but since the policy is not to have crutches on premises I was relegated to using some of 6 weeks of accrued vacation. I had hoped to work but the thought of being chained to my desk had overwritten my need to hoard vacation hours. I am able to put in some hours to lighten the decimation of my vacation stockpile.

 My biggest concern was my loss of fitness due to my lack of mobility. I realized their is little I can do than direct my attention to properly recovering. After some reflection if this were to happen this couldn't have been at a better time. The conditions in the hills are not prime and my Wife's business line is ringing and since I am home to watch the kids this in a needed windfall. It is funny how something so negative can give me so much positive perspective. Spending the day with the kids on a day that I should have been at work was priceless. The recovery seems to be speeding along making me think I may be back walking in less than 10 days and hopefully in the hills by mid April...... or sooner.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mount Washington 4420' 400'P

I had three takers for a day out despite the gloomy forecast. I had hoped for some snow settlement after the recent dumps. I tried to think of something close and in the cover of trees. I had missed last week which has become a very rare event. I was pretty certain that the conditions would be trying but I wanted to push myself after taking a week off. I managed to get up 15 minutes early and I spent the time trying to get out of the house without alerting the dog. He is my usual partner but he just had a large tumor removed from his neck and he is sporting a nice 4 inch incision and a neck that is mostly shaved. I didn't think it prudent to bring him even though his healing has been much better than expected. I managed to get out without him causing too much of a stir. He did go into the kids bedroom and woke them with some soulful groans. I made  a pit stop and once under way I noticed a distinct burning smell coming from the driver side rear tire. I had some sort of squealing from a trip down the Middle Fork Road and it seemed to be getting better. I didn't think it wise to continue so I pulled over and called the rest of the gang letting them know I was out. After the wheel cooled down I turned around and went home. Thankfully I didn't have the tire burst into flames before making into the driveway. I took the tire off and couldn't find the problem so I switched out cars with my wife. I was able to reach the gang and they had changed goals from The Pulpit which I had hoped to do to Mount Washington. I hurried to get repacked and catch up to the rest of the crew.

   I parked at the trailhead and it started to snow, which I was pleased because it was preferable to the heavy rain of drive to the trailhead. The trail was very heavily packed and I entertained the idea of leaving the snowshoes. Thankfully I didn't succumb to that temptation. I was able to make good time and the precipitation stopped. It had warmed considerably so the trees where doing their best to soak me. I started to get bored of the meandering boot track and gave some thought of just going home. I decided to keep pushing and after what seemed an eternity I reached the end of heavily packed trail. The trail ends and the pitch greatly increases. I could see by the party of 3 ahead of me that whomever broke trail certainly had their work cut out for them. Since it was so steep I just booted it following in the Rob's boot prints. Some of the areas it was very difficult to find anything solid to push off. Soon I reached what I had hoped was the summit but instead was another road. Thankfully the summit was only a couple hundred feet more gain. I reached the summit to find the group huddled in a tree well. I tagged the summit and by the time I returned they were more than ready for the descent. We merely retraced our steps back to the car. I kept snowshoes on until the creek crossing where I took them off. The descent went on forever, the rain made the snow just slick enough that I was able to slide a couple inches with each step. Thankfully it wasn't slippery enough to make it hard to control my mini slides. I was thankful to catch up to the group and I enjoyed listening their conversation on the way down. It was very apparent to me that I didn't have enough sleep because I wouldn't have been able to articulate anything meaningful had I even tried. In the end the day worked out and the route was more difficult that what I had expected.

Approx 9 miles 3200' of climb 5 hours car to car
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