I’m Half the Man I Used to be

The name of the song is actually Creep, and it’s by Stone Temple Pilots. I will cut a bitch if they say it’s by Nirvana. It doesn’t even sound like Kurt if you’ve ever really listened to it. And no, Nirvana never covered it. So fuck the fuck off if you think otherwise.

I’m half the man I used to be…

So I was out running the other day. I was about 3/4 of the way through what was supposed to be a 2 hour run. It was going great. I was at the exact pace I wanted. I was on the way home. All signs pointed to this being a successful run. The path was smooth and paved. There were no uneven conditions. I felt really good. I was in my best form in months. My feet were landing very well. Everything was perfect. I had just passed another runner as I was coming out of the woods. I got about ten paces in front of the person I just passed and then it happened. SNAP! I heard the bone crack. And then instant fucking pain. Severe fucking pain. I could barely put any weight on it. I stumbled along for a few more strides. I knew it was broken at that point. I stumbled for a few more strides and I found my relief. There was a bench. I dragged myself over to it. I sat down and considered my options. I had no phone, nobody else was coming along the trail. I stood to see if I could walk. It ached with the pain of a thousand needles for every ounce of pressure I put on it. It was bad, really bad, and I knew it. There was no way I could get home on my own. Fuck, I was fucked. And shit, there goes my marathon training.

I had been training for a marathon. Training was coming along so well. I had been losing weight and gaining speed. All that shit was over now. FUCK! Back to reality. How do I get myself the fuck out of this decidedly bad situation? I thought about my location. The path wasn’t too far off the road, I could try to flag a car down. It was pretty early in the morning, there weren’t many cars. I doubt any of them would want to stop for hobbling, sweaty, scantily clad runner waving them down in the wee hours of a Saturday morning. I decided to stumble along a little further to see which cross street I was at. Maybe there was a business near by. Then it hit me. The hospital was very close. I wondered if I could crawl that far. I sat down again. I took off my shoe and sock. It was swollen and red. I feel the area where I hear the snap. It wasn’t good. It was definitely broken. Any former Boy Scout, such as myself, could tell that. I started my limp drag. Before too long I could see the hill to the hospital.

How did I end up like this? It wasn’t to long ago that I was in pretty good fucking shape. I was a rather competitive runner for the group I was in. 50 pounds and 15 years I guess doesn’t do the body good. I almost got down and crawled as I trudged up the hill. My leg was hanging behind me like the shattered ego I was clutching to with dear life. I had to make it up this fucking hill. Who the fuck puts an emergency room at the top of a hill? After was seemed to be several painful hours (really just minutes), I could see the emergency room doors. It looked empty inside. That was a good sign. I could see the nurses moving around. One of them definitely saw me as I tried to finish my trek up Mt. Everest. She didn’t bother to come out and help me (That was not a good sign). I finally made it to the doors. I fell inside them and pulled myself to the desk.

“How can I help you today sir?”

“I think I broke my foot.”

I pulled myself to a relatively standing position. Still no offer for help. We conversed a bit over my injury and I got checked in. I was asked to go three windows down. I just fucking stared at the nurse with my jaw open. I started a one footed hop with all the pitiful stance I could muster. Another nurse called out.

“Would you like a wheelchair sir?”

“That would be awesome.” I practically cried. I really thought tears were going to appear.

They got me a wheelchair and I ambled over to the proper window. It turned out that I did not need to wait in the emergency room. The sent me upstairs to urgent care. This time a nurse pushed my wheelchair along. This was much better service than they started out with. Upstairs in the urgent care they finally determined that it was indeed broken foot. It was kind of a funny realization to see just how fragile our bodies can be sometimes. I saw the X-rays. It was just a tiny little fracture along the fifth metatarsal. It didn’t even go all the way through the bone. They stuck a splint on it, prescribed some top-notch pain pills, and sent me out the door with a referral to an orthopedist.

Turns out it’s not just any orthopedist. It’s the group of orthopedists that help treat our men’s and women’s professional soccer teams as well as the national teams. This set of doctors is top-notch. This makes me happy. I make my way in on my crutches. By the way, have you ever used crutches. They fucking suck. They hurt your armpits, they take a shit ton of effort and energy to use. I hate fucking crutches. The orthopedist takes more X-rays and comes to the same conclusion that the urgent care doctor came to. Fracture along the fifth metatarsal. It’s what they refer to as a Jones fracture. If it had been higher up, closer to the toe, it would have been considered a stress fracture. If it had been lower and closer to the joint leading to the ankle it would have been called another type of fracture.

Now there’s bad news and worse news, with a smidgen of good news. I get a boot, and the splint comes off. A really cool boot with one of those air pumps in it so I can pretend I’m reliving my childhood with a pair of Nike Air Force 180 Pump. I can almost hear David Robinson pitching the commercial right now. A bonus with the boot is that I can take it off to shower, so I don’t have to bathe with a bag around my leg. I also get a kneeling wheel walker. Goodbye crutches. That’s where the good news ends mostly. 3-4 weeks of no weight-bearing activity. Then 3-4 weeks of walking with the boot. After that, if everything is healing well, 6-8 weeks of physical therapy. All told it could be 4-5 months before I am fully healed and can start to run again. Even at the earliest I would only have about 2 months of training time available if I were to still do the marathon. That would be two months of training starting from scratch. Well that’s $90 down the drain. I most definitely won’t be doing the marathon. At least the orthopedist was optimistic about two things. I will probably be able to run again. I most likely will not need surgery.

But really, let’s face it. I’ll never be as fast as I was before. I’ll never be close to my desired weight. If I’m lucky I might race again someday. I guess it’s true. I’m half the man I used to be.

Feelin’ uninspired…

Yep that would be me.

Everybody run… Bobby’s got a gun…

Actually I don’t. I don’t believe in guns. So you can relax about that. I just like the lyric.

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The Pretender

Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend…

Don’t we all pretend in one way or another? We pretend we like each other. We update each other through statuses, posts, blogs. We pretend that these things are important. We pretend that other people care about them just to make ourselves feel better. We plus, we like, we share, we favorite, we re-tweet, we up vote. All just to pretend that we give a damn, or so that we can pretend others give a damn about us. It’s tiring, some days I’m just not sure I want to do it anymore. I mean I will, if only because writing is one of my outlets and I need it like Sonny needs Cher. But fuck all if I’m going to pretend more than I have to anymore. I’m going to write my heart. I’m going to say what’s on my mind, I’m going to do what the fuck I want and I’m going to fucking enjoy myself. What the fuck is the point of being an adult if you can’t do what the fuck you want to?

Keep you in the dark
And so it all began

Send in your skeletons
Sing as their bones go marching in… again
The need you buried deep…

Like the need to write, the need to be myself. The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten I’ve failed miserably to apply as I should have. I was on the verge of going to college. You can imagine a snot nosed brat all of 17 riding high on a full scholarship to a school that was over 3,000 miles away. I was  the shit, I knew I was the shit, and what’s worse was that I didn’t hesitate to make sure that everybody else knew I was the fucking shit. So about a month before I left a friend of the family gave me the once over and offered up their advice for going to college. She said, “Be yourself. College is one of the last times that you will get to be introduced to a brand new group of people who don’t know you, have never heard of you, and have no expectations of you. Right now everybody has an idea or notion of who you are and how you should act. Sometimes you act a certain way just to please these people. With college you don’t have to do that. You can be yourself and nobody will tell you that they expected you to be a different person. All they will know is what you present and then they will have to either accept you or reject you. If they accept you, great, if they don’t that’s okay too. Somebody will like you for who you are, and then you won’t have to pretend to be somebody different while you’re around them. Pretending gets tiring after a while. Don’t set yourself up to have to pretend all the time. Be yourself.”

I wish I fucking knew everything I thought I knew at 17. I listened to her, but I blew her off mostly. It makes me sad now.

The secrets that you keep are ever ready…

Oh do I have secrets. So many fucking secrets. I keep them. I coddle them. I make sure that they are close to my heart and I guard them. Only letting them out when I need to use them for my own awful fucking selfish purposes. In general I seem like a nice guy. But the truth is I’m selfish. Some days I feel guilty about that. Most days I don’t.

Are you ready?
I’m finished making sense
Done pleading ignorance
That whole defense

Spinning infinity, boy
The wheel is spinning me
It’s never-ending, never-ending
Same old story

What if I say I’m not like the others? …

I’m not like the others, I’m not like anybody else. Yes we all have similarities, such as we’re all human, we all bleed, we’re all special and unique. But because of that we’re all the same. It’s a lot like being a damn snow flake. No two are alike. But they’re all the same. At their basic core their just icy little bits of beauty. But when you put them all together they’re a devastating pile of frosty hell. And they all fucking hate you. At the very least they’re ambivalent toward you. They don’t give a fuck what your life plans are. They don’t care what you want out of life. All they do is whatever the fuck they want to do, which is usually making your life a miserable fucking mess. You plow the assholes out of the way and just keep falling back in the path. Because that’s what they fucking want to do. Well I’m going to do whatever the fuck I want to do.

What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays? …

You hear that world. I’m not your fucking whipping boy anymore!
You’re the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender? …

At least I’d like to think that’s true.

In time or so I’m told
I’m just another soul for sale… oh, well …

Seriously I’m up for sale. For enough money I’d promote fucking anything. I have no problem selling out. I’d laugh all the way to fucking bank.

The page is out of print
We are not permanent…

The number one cause of dying, so I’m told, is being born.

We’re temporary, temporary
Same old story

I’m the voice inside your head
You refuse to hear
I’m the face that you have to face
Mirrored in your stare
I’m what’s left, I’m what’s right
I’m the enemy
I’m the hand that will take you down
Bring you to your knees…

No I’m not, but sometimes I do say what other people are only comfortable with thinking to themselves.

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you? …

Seriously, who are you? Whoever the fuck it is I fully encourage you to go be that fucking person. Life is too fucking short to be anything else.

Keep you in the dark
You know they all pretend

What if I say I’m not like the others?
(Keep you in the dark)
What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
(You know they all… pretend)
You’re the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

So who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?