Sunday, September 30, 2007

Veterinarians and (what else) Riding

So, this blog is of two completely different things on my mind. Kinda like Two Blogs in One. Buy One Blog and Get One Free. Happy Hour Blogs.

First Vets. I love them. Well, there have been a few that I didn't jive with, but by and large, vets are some of the most compassionate and helpful people I know. How come People Doctors can't be as compassionate and helpful as Animal Doctors? I like my doctors; they are OK. But my dogs' doctors just ooze with caring. I had a great Vet in Columbus, Ohio that was like that and now I've found one here in Boulder, CO. My older dog is sick with a terminal illness. Her Vet is always willing to squeeze her in to his schedule, no matter if he's booked for the day. He spends time on the phone and in person at the Vet Office talking to me in the most kind and helpful manner; answering all of my questions in the most compassionate way. You can tell he simply loves animals and also understands how important they are to people. Everyone at the Vet Office is the same way. Compassionate and helpful.

Why aren't People Doctors as compassionate and helpful as Vets? I don't think it's because the Veterinarians aren't as busy, because I think Vets carry a pretty full schedule of appointments. Plus, being compassionate and helpful really doesn't take a whole lot more time. It's something else. Maybe People Doctors used to be more like Vets. Probably the insurance industry ruined People Doctors. Maybe it's also something about the kind of person who becomes a Vet. He or she has to be smart (many Vet schools are harder to get into that Medical School) but I also think most Vets have a deep love of animals, and as such can see how much animals add to the human existence. I'm not sure if most people who become doctors have the same kind of deep love for people. I think they have other motivations to become doctors, perhaps the money or the power.

I'm glad my dogs are in such good hands, although I wish my father, my siblings, my boyfriend and I could find a doctor who provided the same compassionate and helpful care.

Enough about Vets, now on to Riding! After two weeks and one day off the mountain bike because of my leg injury, I got back in the saddle yesterday (Saturday, September 29th). I had been out on the road bike a couple of times, riding easy. But the leg still hurt quite a bit. Until Friday. That was a break through day. My leg felt orders of magnitude better. The wound was closed up and no longer oozing. So, I decided to go ride my single speed at Buffalo Creek with Jesper and a friend Judd. Judd is in fabulous shape (personal trainer, endurance runner and road rider) but has only started mountain biking this summer. I figured the pace would be slower with Judd and I know Buff Creek well enough that I could bail when I felt I'd had enough and go hang out at the car.

I ended up riding WAY more than I thought I would. Maybe a tad more than I should have (he, he). I stayed with the guys until about 10 miles in. At that point, my leg felt uncomfortable on the downhills; not painful, just uncomfortable. We had ridden down Strawberry Jack to Homestead, cut over on Charlie's Cutoff and then down the connector to the downhill on Baldy. At that point I decided to go back to the car and the boys headed off to add some more miles. Turns out they only ended up doing 5 more miles than me, but whatever! I headed west on Gashouse and then north on the same. Then I went back up Homestead, this time past Charlie's Cutoff, to Skipper. Shortly after I got on Skipper, a large Bull Elk (is there any other size?) ran across the trail about 30 feet in front of me. He was spectacular! A little bit further on the trail, I stopped to eat and heard a very loud crash. It was very windy that day and I was riding through an area that had been burned down in the 2000 High Meadows Fire, so there were lots of weak trees. Turns out one was crashing down somewhere very close to me. I crouched and covered my head, hoping it wasn't falling on top of me. I was lucky; the tree, a 2 foot diameter pine tree, was about 30 feet away off the trail. Later on, Jesper told me that he and Judd encountered 2 or 3 trees blown across trails we had ridden earlier that day! I finished my ride up with a downhill on Buck Gulch and relaxed at the car with a beer and a magazine while I waited for the guys.

The downhills had become very uncomfortable, so I was glad to be done. But my leg felt pretty good after 20 miles. The wound stayed closed up and I never whacked it or fell on it. I was so happy to have been able to get out into the outdoors. I think I would have been happy with 5 or 10 miles. I'm certainly not 100% yet, but it's good to be back!

No comments: