There's generous, and then there's GENEROUS! Over the past four months, I've been reminded time and again just how many of my friends and family members fall into the second category. The most recent reminder came today when I went to the mail to find, not one, but two boxes from my friends Matt and Mo. The last time I saw these two was back in September when they stopped by the hospital on their return to Boston from a race in Pennsylvania. This has been a busy fall for the two of them, to say the least. Mo's been racing a full schedule of 'cross races with other Elite riders and is currently in Belgium racing in the World Cup, while Matt has been riding quite a bit himself as well as supporting Mo and holding down a full-time job as a doctoral research assistant at Harvard.
When Matt and I first met on the Boston 400K last spring, we discussed a terrible crash that left him with a broken femoral neck and facilitated his switch from USACycling events to ultra-distance racing and randonneuring. It was a conversation I remember vividly, especially after I suffered a similar fracture in my own crash this August. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the danger with fractures of this type is the possibility of vascular necrosis where the femoral head dies from lack of blood. The window for this outcome is two years and Matt is luckily out of the danger zone. He's also one hell of a tough, fast cyclist who holds both the North-South and West-East Maine cross-state records.
So the care package I received today included countless goodies to speed my recovery (like hardcore calcium supplements), to brighten my days (Mo's Special Dark Roast coffee) and make me feel like a member of the ProTour (a signed Giro d'Italia leader's jersey signed by Ivan Basso). Matt also loaned me his custom-made titanium cane which was designed for him by a friend of his who builds frames for Seven Cycles. Needless to say, it's a work of art. More than anything else, I hope that I am as generous with others as others have been with me.
Today also marked an important milestone in my shoulder recovery. I got up early to head down to the City for a follow-up appointment to remove my stitches and review a fresh set of x-rays to ensure that everything is healing properly. I'm pleased to report that everything is heading in the right direction! I was also given a modest daily "pendulum" exercise to open up the shoulder capsule a bit. There will be nothing more ambitious in the rehab department for my shoulder for at least another four weeks to protect against an accidental dislocation of the reattached bone and muscle. In the meantime, I'm required to continue wearing the sling which means no driving for me. Physical therapy will be added in after my next appointment and it still looks like I may be riding on the road again by April.