Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Which I Talk About Bruises And Go For A Ride

So last night in derby I somehow managed to fall down on my left knee somewhere around eight thousand times. 

Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it was a whole lot of times.  I know this because not only was my knee feeling not so great by the end of the scrimmage, but today I have a glorious six inch long (I measured it with my tape measure for historical accuracy) strip of bruises that run all down the inside of my knee.  I'm so talented in my falling that I apparently managed to hit the ground in a such a way that all of the small bruises overlap together into one giant colorful mess.  It looks like I got attacked by a toddler with a bingo dauber.

So I tried taking a picture for you all so that you can see the bruises in all of their glory, but as it turns out it is impossible for me to take a flattering picture of my knee, even if it wasn't covered in bruises and sort of swollen and stuff.  Knees are not a terribly attractive part of the body, and the angle necessary to capture the bruises totally makes my leg look fat.  Also it would probably help if I'd shaved some time in the last week.

But I took a picture (a still sort-of-fuzzy picture, because I'm not a photographer, okay?) and posted it here anyway because I love all of you so much that I would even post unflattering pictures of my weird looking knee on the Internet for you.  Okay, so also I want to show off my bruises.  I don't bruise very easily at all and most of the time they only last a day or two, so then when I talk about them it sounds like one of those The Fish That Got Away stories (no really, guys-- it was this big!) and then I just feel like a hypochondriac.  But I can't post pictures of most of my bruises as proof because I have a tendency to fall back instead of forward so I land on an area with more, um, natural padding, and as much as I love all of you I draw the line at posting pictures of my butt on the Internet.  Even if it has a really, really awesome bruise on it. 

Oh, and as an aside, Jeremy wandered in while I was taking eight thousand pictures of my knee while holding my camera over my head (it's really, really hard to get an unfuzzy close-up picture of your knee without having to hold the camera over your head) and he didn't even ask me what I was doing.  Because around here, apparently that sort of thing is totally normal.  I suspect he's kind of jaded after the time he walked in and I was standing on a kitchen chair with a camera in one hand and a broom in the other, trying to take an in-focus picture of one of the Christmas stockings I'd made while fending off Loki, who was determined to eat it.  The man has a lot of patience with me.

Anyway, the bruises look bad but I'm 99% sure there's no structural damage to my knee, and I heal really quickly so it should be fine in a couple of days.  However, I figured that since I couldn't get my knee pad on it would probably be in my best interest not to go to derby practice tonight.  Instead, I went to the YMCA to do a cardio workout.  They put in these new bike machines a while ago that I had yet to try, so I figured I'd give one of them a shot.

These are the bike machines that have a giant monitor and what looks like a biking video game running, and you can race other little biker people through various landscapes.  There's a pacer, who looks like exactly all the other bikers except he's in a yellow jacket and you're supposed to match his speed.  I decided, because I have questionable judgement, that a nice 8.33 mile course through hilly terrain would be just the thing.  I based this upon the fact that they had a picture of a castle on the course description, and I like castles.  In case you were wondering, this is probably not a good way to choose an exercise regime.

So things didn't start out very well for me because I had the pedals set too low in the beginning and I had to stop and adjust them up, and the pacer totally didn't stop and wait for me or anything, probably because he's a jerk.  Also I swear he cheated and started the race before me.  I have a competitive streak a mile wide, and so even though he was about three minutes ahead of me and also isn't actually a real person I was determined to catch up.  So basically I started out my eight mile ride at a sprint. 

Eventually I had to slow down when the machine started beeping at me, because apparently for some reason it doesn't like it when your heart rate goes over 200 beats per minute.  To make it shut up I settled into a nice pace where I was slowly gaining on that jerk pacer, who I could barely see in front of me on the road.  About halfway through the race I was only ten seconds behind him, but for some reason the pedals were getting harder and harder to push.  I couldn't figure out what the heck was wrong with me because it wasn't simulating a hill or anything, so I thought that maybe it just wasn't going to let me catch up to the pacer or something. 

That's when I realized that I kept accidentally hitting the gear shift with my thumb and so I kept shifting up until I was trying to ride the bike at maximum resistance, which would explain why I was practically having to stand on the pedals to get them to go down.  Whoops.

So when I passed the pacer I may or may not have let out a small victory whoop, which probably wouldn't have been noticed at all if there hadn't been people trying to bike on either side of me who for some unknown reason kept giving me sidelong glances.  I got the sense that if they could have made their stationary bikes edge away slowly without having to physically pick them up off the floor, they would have been doing that.  I mean yeah, I was beet red, covered in bruises, standing on the bike pedals, had sweat pouring off of me and was mumbling under my breath about how I was going to "totally own that jerk pacer," but that's no reason to stare or anything. 

Oh, and did I mention that thanks to derby the places that I sweat most are where my pads normally sit, so any time I work out I have sweat pouring off my scalp, hands, elbows and knees?  It's really attractive.  I didn't even know your elbows could sweat until I joined derby.  It's just one of the many wonderful things this sport has taught me.

So anyway, by the end of the race I was not only completely exhausted and disappointed by the lackluster castles, which you couldn't even ride through and didn't have a single nice trebuchet or guillotine or anything to make up for it, but I also had managed to convince the people on either side of me that I might possibly be a sweaty, deranged lunatic.  Also in retrospect when you're trying to go easy on your knee, doing four miles out of an eight mile bike ride at maximum, stand-up-on-the-pedals resistance is probably not the best way to go about it.  Ow.

But I beat that pacer by a minute and fifty seconds, dang it.  So there.


1 comment:

Kelly Von Lunen said...

My shins pretty much always look like this anymore.

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