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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Oh The Foibles Of Male Man-O-Pause

Those who take no lessons from hindsight are doomed to repeat stupid mistakes.

"Men are idiots who do stupid things," says a recent study from the esteemed British Medical Journal. Huh. Leave it to the Brits to waste tax money on something everyone already knows.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that your's truly is a frequent contender for the Darwin Award, the equivalent of an "Emmy," only for Idiots. These awards are bequeathed to people who die in such an idiotic manner that "their action ensures the long-term survival of the species by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive." It's nothing short of a miracle that I haven't made it into the "finals." I guess you have to actually die or something, so all my near misses go for naught...and I can't decide whether to be delighted or dismayed (sigh). Last I checked I still had a pulse. So their is hope.  

Examples of past winners are invariably male, like the guy who shot himself in the head with a "spy pen" weapon while demonstrating to a friend that it was real, Or the terrorist who mailed a letter bomb with insufficient postage and, upon its return, opened it.  

Being the recalcitrant Man Child I both admit and aspire to be, I guess I pushed a too hard on our last snow-wade above Oak Creek Trail while racing "the clock." Since then, I've been paying a heavy price for wrenching muscles and nerves I didn't even know I had.  

In my retrospective defense, it may not have been so much the snow-wade as it was spending the subsequent two days immobilized in the driver's seat, trying to escape through a rapidly closing weather-window to points southwest and 6500 feet lower in elevation. 

Barely able to walk, I googled Web MD. Hmmm. Looks like I'm suffering from an extreme case of sciatica, a condition where bundles of nerves that reach from low back to buttocks to hamstrings become inflamed from overuse and/or injury. Sciatica can cause extreme lack of mobility and acute pain in any/all position except laying down...which kinda makes it hard to drive. 

To further embellish my embarrassment, I (we, actually) have done this before. The first time was after racing in Moab's annual spring half marathon. It's a beautiful all-downhill course along the Colorado River, perfect for racking up a PR. 

Immediately post race, Bobbie and I climbed into our pickup camper and drove 9 hours straight to central Arizona...a crippling mistake. It took a full week to shake our Neanderthal-like walk and stand fully upright. 

The second time was the day after we decided to do a loop hike from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon...down the Kaibab Trail to the Colorado River, and back up to the South Rim on Bright Angel Trail. Trying to make the most of our one week vacation, we shunned the lesson of hindsight and broke camp the next morning...driving south until rigor-mortis fully set in.

Long story longer, I'm happy to report that after repeating the same mistake, I could bend over far enough to touch my knees after only a couple days. Toes, however, were still a couple weeks down the road...which is fine as we found some warm temps and sun around Lake Mead. 

To prove myself worthy of the Darwin Award, I decided we should bike the entire circumference of the River Mountain Trail, from the shore of Lake Mead, to North Henderson, to Boulder City, and back to the car. It's been 7 or 8 years since we did that and, strictly out of curiosity, we wondered if we could still do that loop...me being maimed and us being "older." Maybe riding would help my rigor mortis???  

It was 35 miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss, gain and loss, gain and loss. Four hours later, we completed the loop, and I actually felt better when done than when we started...almost could touch my toes. This goes to show what I've always espoused here on the BCB: Movement Cures mind and body.

After 6 days at Government Wash on the shores of Lake Mead, we moved south. 
On the mend, Mark  



  1. We suspected as much, just about ready to check the obits in St. George & Ouray .......welcome to "O A" )

    Ok, now lets get some purdy pics posted and some interesting trivia and fine dinning recommendations there a bouts.

    D & A (you won't forget this lesson learned now, will you?)

  2. Almost 9 mph on that beautiful path! Wonderful way to keep moving despite old age and all the bodily failures that come with it. Song in my head while reading your post "There'll be days like this" by Van Morrison.

  3. You would have really qualified for the Darwin award had you suffered a brain bleed from falling off that giant bike!

  4. I sure am glad that you're feeling better! I have spine problems that cause sciatica, and riding my bike almost always helps.

    Have fun in the sun!

  5. Are you guys OK? Just wondering and worrying. -scamp

    1. still alive...lov'in this weather. be head'in north soon...time flys.

  6. Giggled through the first few paragraphs! As you know I've been too "busy" (there's a loaded word) to read any blogs in almost a year, but your title caught my eye when I opened my own blog today. Now I'll have to go back in time and see what other foolishness you've been up to. Congratulations on surviving into 2020!


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