I did not write last week. I had to let the effects of a bike crash at the beach take hold before I let you in on it. I was off at the beach with the Finneys, my stepfamily, who turned out in big numbers to enjoy Long Beach, WA’s wave action, drift wood, secluded and roomy campsites. It was wonderful to be with all of them, including a great-grandson, age 11, who I have not had a chance to get to know before this. He lives with his mother, my late husband, Chuck Finney’s oldest granddaughter and her husband. They are a Navy family, stationed in Japan. At age eleven, they decided he was old enough to come to the US for the summer. What a delightful young man! All 15 of us took off on our bikes last Wednesday afternoon for a glorious ride along the tarmac bike trail through the dunes.
After riding for about 8 miles, we came to the main road connecting Long Beach’s shops with the beach. As everyone began the onward 3 miles, congestion developed. I waited my turn and then powered up the narrow paving, skirting around the post in the center of the entrance. The front tire slipped into the sand and down I went, grazing the post with my back ribs, catching the ground with my right knee and left elbow. The bike crash was in slow motion, so slow, in fact that my step son-in-law was asking “are you alright?” before I hit the ground. It took a minute to find breath and respond. I was not all right. Nothing was broken. That’s a good thing. But the back ribs hurt something awful, as did the knee.
On the Bell side of the family, five people–adults and children–commute by bike to work or school. All of them have been in at least one bike crash, some requiring surgery and stitches. At one time in the distant past, I commuted to a job from Montlake to the middle of downtown Seattle and back. I biked to the University for another job, rain or shine. Luckily, I only had one bike crash when another bike and I collided coming around a corner. The bike was totalled, but I was fine. I was young then. I’ll be 77 in a couple weeks. I would be safer on a bike if I road more regularly. In spite of not riding often these days, the dune ride was glorious: wind in the hair, the smell of low tide beyond the waving grasses, shore birds soaring over head. After the crash, I was more disappointed than hurt, or so I thought.
Here’s what I did to get moving again. I lay on a picnic table and relaxed as best I could. I rolled my elevated knees from side to side. I stretched my arms up and out and breathed as deeply as I could. I took a couple Pain Relief Complex. When everyone came back, I got down from the table. Walking was possible. A good sign. Someone else put the bike in the truck. At the ice cream store, Cynthia, my step-daughter who is a nurse (always good to have one in the family), got ice from the soft drink machine and found a plastic bag so I could begin icing the two most painful spots, back ribs and muscles plus the right knee.
The minute we got to the campground, I fixed a 180 protein shake. This soy powder has extra leucine. Leucine is an amino acid that helps knit, heal and keep muscle intact. The latter is important if you are using the 180 smoothies for weight loss. A dieter wants to lose fat, not muscle. I also filled two zip lock bags with ice and began icing in earnest. Someone had a camp chair that tipped feet-up which was a great help to the knee.
My dear stepson, Steven, gave me his bed in his camper for the night so I didn’t have to get up from the air mattress on the ground, a very painful operation. More Pain Relief Complex and the frequent application of Shaklee’s Joint and Muscle Pain Cream helped the healing process. By morning, I could walk the beach, slowly, taking care not to choose a path which required stepping over logs. I didn’t try pushing the bike-peddle. I could tell by climbing the steps into the trailer that my knee couldn’t take that. I also took extra vitamin C, and the anti-inflammatory supplements GLA, fish oil (Omega Guard), and lecithin. I am not 100% as I write this report, but I was able to hang out three loads of laundry this morning.
I have been reminded through this ordeal of Kay Ferguson who is now in her 90s. She was putting items in a small moving van and fell off the tailgate onto the ground. Looking quickly to see if anyone saw her fall, she picked herself up, went in the house and drank a smoothie of Physique (similar formula to 180), the Workout Recovery Drink Shaklee developed for the Yale swim team years and years ago. The team wanted help to recover more quickly from their workouts and asked Shaklee to come up with a formula. Physique has been used by athletes in extreme situations –and regular ones—to heal torn muscles after a workout so they could get up and do it all again the next day. She fared as I did. Yes, there were bruises, but no broken bones and no long lasting muscle soreness.
Kay has been my hero since I first met Shaklee products. A friend introduced her to Alfalfa to help with her terribly debilitating arthritis, but not until she learned to take 15 – 20 a day did those little green tablets bring her relief. She was headed for the wheel chair in her late 50s. Here is a picture of Kay among her raspberries.
I saw my doctor today, just to make sure there is nothing further I need to do to heal the rib cage, knee and elbow. I do believe the best antidote to injury is to keep moving as much as possible. There are a few more adventures to be had this summer including a couple of big hikes and a trip to Long Beach, CA for the Shaklee annual conference in mid August.
The week camping with the family resulted in a major stomach upset. Delicious blue berry pancakes for breakfast, pizza night at a local hang out, corn bread baked in a camp oven are all foreign to my regular diet. I ended up constipated, bloated and uncomfortable. For me, it does not pay to leave my vegetable-heavy, no refined carbohydrate diet even for 5 days. Perhaps you do well, or at least, OK, when taking liberties on vacation. I do not.
Will I go again next year? You betcha. The planning email is circulating. Will I make sure I have available the food that makes me happy and comfortable? You betcha. I will take my bike along and pay more attention. These family gatherings are precious and fleeting as the children go to college, get jobs and marry. The same configuration across the generations will not repeat; the delightful campfire conversations will.
May your summer be filled with good conversations, a campfire or two, walks and rides with family and friends. May you stay upright and injury free. No bike crash!
By all means, Be well, Do well and Keep Moving.
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