In ten hours time, I'll be getting a new Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in my right knee. It's an injury I've apparently had since a ski racing crash in 1992 that I re-aggravated in a fall on April 4th this year. I admit, there are elements of the surgery that have me very nervous, but in my heart I know everything will work out O.K. It's scary to lose control, and surgery is the epitome of handing control over, but I've also got the best knee doctor in the world working on it.
I'm looking forward to the next phase: rest, recovery and healing. A co-worker of mine commented today that it might just do me a world of good. I haven't rested for more than a week in about 25 years, and perhaps the extended lay-off will do wonders for my muscles, my bones, my ligaments and my mind. I'm fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people and also that I get to recover in a valley surrounded by mountains, with a creek running through it, with plenty of wildlife to keep me entertained. This place is good for the soul and body.
It's amazing the folks who came out of the woodwork. I couldn't do it without great friends like Bob and Erica and Danielle and Stephen who have offered a helping hand. It was awesome to get a call from an old friend Chris Eddy who offered to help. And of course Elaine's family – including her dad who is going to get up 4 am tomorrow to drive us to surgery – and her mom and her siblings who have been invaluable in this process. And then there are my parents, who are my shoulder to lean on and a source of incredible councel, inspiration and pep talks. Thank you mom and dad. And finally, my wife Elaine – the greatest wife of all – my rock, my partner in life and my love. We'll get through this babe, stronger than ever.
This surgery is a good thing. When 100% healed, I plan to take this improved knee to lots of cool places. I will hike thousands of miles of trails on it. It will be used to pedal a bike over endless mountain passes. It will ski up and down many, many peaks. It will be used for more mundane but no less important jobs as well. And when the time is right, I'm excited to have it healthy and strong to teach our kids how to ski bumps and arc turns and take them camping and hiking and all the things that phase of life will bring.
We decided to use these last two weeks to hike and ski and especially bike a bunch. Everything I've heard and read said it's best to go into the process as fit and strong as possible, so that's what I tried to do. We did it smart…no big risks…and it's worked out well. Last night, we had a surreal ride in the damp woods as the sun set. This morning, silky turns up around timberline before work. I feel strong and ready. The work is done for now. It's time to hand over the controls to the best and let them work their magic.
Evening mountain bike rides in damp woods make me happy. The Sklar carves!
A different kind of carve this morning before work!
I tried to savor each turn and create a memory to hold me over until November. I've imprinted my last turn in my head…a strong left hand turns with a little pop off the end. I'm excited to do those on my right leg next winter! In the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done.