Monday, June 2, 2008

Forget to Remember?

Forget: 1) (transitive verb) to lose the remembrance of : be unable to think of or recall. 2) (intransitive verb) to cease remembering or noticing. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition)

Today something very new and exciting happened. And lately, I’ve been having a lot of those moments.

(Drum roll please…)

For the first time I forgot to remember the Crash at exactly 9:30 or 11:30 am.

You see, every Monday since my Crash, I’ve observed the exact time – both Central Standard and Pacific Coast Time (hence the 9:30 and 11:30… because the Crash happened at 9:30 CA time, so it was really 11:30 Pensacola time… and it just gets tricky from there… )up until today, I’ve noted both times of the accident.


Undoubtedly so.

For some strange reason, every Monday since the Crash, I’ve forced myself to remember the accident, think about what happened, remember my experience. And it hasn’t been all negative, necessarily. Quite the opposite: I’ve recalled racing (with a walker) around the 4th Floor Spinal Ward, the wonderful nurses, seeing Elizabeth after surgery, hugging my Dad and Nathaniel as soon as they made it out, and eating sushi the Friday after the accident... Among other things - and believe me, there were many.

And yes, there have been more than a few negative memories as well. Thoughts of “what if” and “why” and “how could I have prevented this” flicker through my mind, uncontrollable at times. There are times when I’ll replay the accident over, but for the past 11 weeks every Monday morning, I’ve made an effort to re-live it.

That is, until today.

For some reason, I simply forgot.

Perhaps it was the Open Water swim race yesterday? The feeling of racing again has surely affected my mood. And my body, as I swear that I’m still floating. When J-Flo, my wonderful physical therapist, made me do pushups with my feet on the bosu ball and hands balancing on two different medicine balls, I didn’t even protest. I was that happy.

(FYI: I don't really protest in PT. I look at the things that they make me do as a game. I GET to balance on the ball. I GET to throw a medicine ball againstt a trampoline while balancing on the inverted bosu. I GET to do crazy amount of lunges and I GET to do handstand pushups. Even though I only did 2. And I nearly killed the neighbor-lady on the bike in the process. Suffice to say, I haven't been assigned Wall Pushups since last week. Oh well...)

Perhaps it was my long brick today, the first since the crash? Yes, although I was supposed to ride outside today (I’ve been cleared – hooray!), I was unable to drive out to Milton as one of our cars was in the shop. And the alternative of waking up at 4 am to drive Nathaniel (45 minutes one way) to complete his two helicopter simulations of the day, really didn’t seem all that “fun”.

Especially as the previous day, my wake up time was 3 am.

Not cool.

Back to the brick!

Yes – I had a brick workout!

Nothing fancy: just a long ride followed by a 30 minute run.

Because the ride was just at the 3 hour mark, and was being done on the trainer, I decided (actually, a long ago), that such ride would deserve a new DVD. Anything OVER 3 hours deserves something nice, right?

After setting up the bike, fuel, water, gels, salt, TV, DVD, fans, towels, and anything else I could think of (The House Monster watched from the futon), I grabbed my car keys to make a quick Target run. I figured the store would be empty at 8:30 am, and with any luck, I could be charging away by 9.

And then it hit me: no car.

So instead, it was “Pirates of the Caribbean”

1 and half of 2.


I had hoped to pick up numero 3, but will save it for my next 3+ hour trainer ride. Hopefully I'll have no reason to make my purchase, as I would much rather prefer to bike outside. As it was intended to be done.

Funny thing, though: when you’re doing something, focusing on a task at hand, moving forward to accomplish your goals, and making thins happen – you sort of forget to remember the past.

And no, not that I’ll ever forget my Crash. However, today was a monumental milestone in my recovery.

I simply forgot about the crash.

I had several clocks, a watch, and a cell phone by my side to remind me of the time. And when the 9:30 mark rolled around, I was spinning at 100 rpms, watching Captain Jack Sparrow sail into Portsmouth (or whatever the name of the city is).

11:30 – more of the same. Instead, I was pedaling steady at 95 rpms, big ring, holding a strong zone 2 heart rate. Captain Sparrow, Ms Swan, and Will Turner were fighting against Captain Barbosa and 5 of his men in the Isle de Muerta.

It didn’t hit me – my forgetful moment – until 12:45 when I started my T-run. After wrapping the fuel belt around my hips to provide SI Joint support and (to quote Bree) “firing up the tready”, I looked at my reflection and with a jolt, realized that I did NOT remember the Monday anniversary.

Until that point, I had forgotten to remember that I crashed.


Stop the music!

I spent the rest of the run not watching the tv, not focused on my day ahead, the feeling of the bike, and not thinking about the girl staring abck at me from the mirror, but instead I simply pondered my memory lapse. It was pretty neat, actually.

I feel that with what I’ve been able to do as of late – open water swim race, freedom to bike “as tolerated” and my newfound ability to run, I’m continually looking ahead.

Yes, my crash remains a poignant blip on the radar screen.

But the point is, is that it is no longer the entire radar screen.

I guess that being forgetful is good – at times. Selected forgetfulness, perhaps? Could I “forget” to do the dishes on occasion, or “forget” to fold the laundry? That would be nice, but not really realistic.

Oops – forgot to pick up dinner… Oh well – we’re going out for sushi!

My crash is a bit different. I suppose that I’ll never forget, but instead (as in today’s case) I’ll overlook the time and eventually the date. I’ll neglect to remember the crash every Monday; rather it will become a fleeting though that drifts occasionally into and out of my mind.

I’m still thinking this one through. I guess only time will tell in the end. Until then, I’ll have days where I remember, and days when I forget. But as I continue to look towards the future and my recovery, I know that the days where I forget will far outnumber the days where I remember. And for now, at the 11-week mark, that sounds pretty darned good.


Anonymous said...

great post. reminds me about getting over a break-up. It may take a while, but sooner or later you'll go a whole day without missing him/her, then the days will turn into weeks...

good job in the open-water swim race btw, looking forward to reading the race report.

Bush, LA? Somehow I doubt they voted for Gore or Kerry there.

Damie said...

Somewhere along the way I missed the fact that you were running!!! A brick- that is so awesome! :) (and no wonder you forgot about the crash!)

TriGirl Kate O said...

yey for bricks!

Courtenay said...

nice job on the workout!

and very cool about the forgetting. that's one thing i actually love about the human brain - the built-in safety mechanism of forgetting. imagine how stressful and just plain full our brains would feel if we couldn't forget stuff, and couldn't move on. we'd be practically incapable of enjoying great things happening to us now, you know?

anyways SORRY for being so totally MIA for a few weeks. coding is retarded (or, i am retarded for thinking it would be a piece of cake!)

Ryan said...

I can't believe that you can stay on a trainer for 3 hrs.

Where do you Pee?

BRICK = Triathlete :)

Welcome back