A Week Past Surgery

I have a new ACL and an expensive new knee brace. The ACL is from a cadaver, a fact that drives home the value of checking the organ-donor box on one’s driver’s license. I started PT Monday and had a second session today. The goal is strength, flexibility, and stability, but the real time frame is long. The donor tendon is actually nothing more than a length of collagen with a bone wedge on one end. It fits into holes drilled into my femur and tibia, the wedge holding one end and a screw the other. It’s carpentry. The tendon needs to ossify into place; in essence, the glue needs to set. But there the carpentry simile ends. My body needs to grow a blood supply and its own cells into the matrix the donor tendon creates.

It’s pretty damn cool, but the process takes months. Months where my main goal is not to damage the new tendon. So, I’m not going to be doing a lot of cycling soon, and certainly no mountain biking until well into next year.

I am buying a smart trainer this week though, a used Wahoo Kickr I can set my old Specialized up on. As soon as I have the range of motion, I’ll be riding the Zwift. Zwifting along. Upzwifting and downzwifting. Zooming the Zwift Zephyr.

Such is the price of one moment of stupidity, one moment of saying, “What the fuck? Let’s go for it.”

But all experiences become part of one’s narrative, and I’m grateful to live a comfortable enough life to have that perspective. I learned something about myself that day back in June, drawing the line between athletic growth and recklessness just a little more sharply. I’ll be a better rider for it.

About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s