We were surprised on Friday morning when Mom and Dad came out to the house with two Edible Arrangements baskets for us. They were both incredible, one with a a harley gas tank base filled with oranges, mellon, grapes, strawberries, chocolate covered apples and bananas, and my favorite, pineapple in the shape of flames. The other was in a basket and had all of the same fruit, but shaped like flowers. What a perfect way to kick off our new diet, we downed about half of it on the spot. Thanks so much for the awesome gifts Muhammad & Shayna, and Uncle Lee, Aunt Sharon, Uncle Kevin, & Aunt Judy!
Energized from fruit on a stick, we took Mom and Dad down Lake Road to Maxwell Creek Park for another hike. This has long been mine and Shannon’s favorite local hiking spot, located on hundreds of acres of an abandoned scout camp that expands from Lake Rd to Lake Ontario. We started out on a roughly two mile hike along a wooded trail that goes all the way down to the lake. Normally this would be simple for me but on crutches I was immediately exhausted after a big hill right at the start of the trail. Fortunately it was a gradual decent to the lake from there so we took a short breather and continued on. When we finally reached the Lake, the scene with the secluded coastline and choppy water was s incredible as always, but the cold gusty wind whipping off the Lake turned a pleasant day frigid. We couldn’t walk all this way without setting foot on the beach, so we took the narrow trail down the cliff to reach the beach…again, not an easy task on one leg. After playing around on a log hanging over the water just long enough to justify climbing down to the beach, we scurried inland for warmth. I would have left me behind, but Mom, Dad, and Shannon were troopers and helped me back up the cliff to reach the sheltered woods of warmth where it all caught up with me and I crashed hard. After resting a while, we headed back at a much slower pace. We made it back!! After a two mile hike on a rough, hilly, wooded trail, I feel like I’m getting my life back!
Once back home we took the opportunity to unload the motorcycles from the trailer and store them in the barn. With the straps still holding my bike down, I sat on it to see what it felt like with my new impairment. As good as it was to be back in the seat, I felt a lack of control even when secured in place. After so many miles traveled and so many great times riding this bike with my friends and family on the most incredible roads in the country, I now had to turn the bike that I love so much over to Dad to unload. This moment was difficult for me, as this was the first time that my impairment really limited me from doing what I want to do — just take the bike for a ride. This has been my therapy through this whole battle. So I admit I was a bit controlling and over bearing as Dad backed the bike down, but it was hard not to be in the driver’s seat.
Later that evening we went to T. C. Hooligan’s to celebrate our friend Dan passing his Senior Reactor Operator license exam and help cheer on his hockey team, the Pittsburg Penguins, as they played the Tampa Bay Lightning. This was my first time confronting a public setting with my new circumstances, so I was very self conscious as we approached the door. In my mind it was like the music came to a screeching halt as I entered the bar with everyone staring. In reality several people did turn and look, but the music never skipped a beat. This is a battle I don’t want to hide from, but being in public is going to be difficult to get comfortable with. Ultimately the Penguins got crushed, but we still celebrated Dan passing his exam. Again, congratulations on a huge accomplishment!