Knee Debacle

I love waking up at my friends house in Bozeman. Sten is up early and has coffee brewing and is the only friend I have that wakes up in my universe. Usually I am faking sleep and just waiting around for everyone. This morning I slept until 7:30 which is sleeping in for me. What is most impressive is that I slept pretty well all night and my knee is feeling a lot better. Lately I have not been sleeping well and my knee has been hurting like hell.

How did the knee get hurt? Well let’s see … it all started on a Thursday Night. I was on a group hike with all my Missoula peeps and we were hitting University Mountain. Earlier that night I picked up my friends Jill and Norman. In the process of driving from Jill’s to Norman’s I got a little lost and ended up near Reserve street. Jill offered some directional advice but I went the dude route and “thought” I was going in the right direction. Note to self … listen to Jill next time.  I had to call Norm and get directions and it turns out Jill had the right instinct.

2011 University Mountain
The crust held us hiking up

We pulled into the upper parking lot and provided the group our reasons for making them stand up there for 30 plus minutes. And then we were off. I knew this “jaunt” was going to be interesting because for the first time ever my GPS would not acquire a signal.  Soon I just gave up, started my heart rate monitor, and caught up with the group. My ulterior motives was to do as many 15 minute tempo efforts as possible.  So at times it was Josh and I pushing the pace and getting up the trail ahead of the others.

2011 University Mountain
Jill, Norman, and I think Aaron

I got in three efforts and we topped out on top of University Mountain. Our group was 4 people short and the remaining 4 stood just out of the wind below the towers and chatted until we were all feeling chilled. We were headed back down when “it” happened.

We were pretty chatty  as we hiked down. Again Jill showed some great common sense and kept her headlamp on. The rest of us had our reasons for keeping our headlamp off.  Norman was practicing his nocturnal big game hunting skills. Josh was just doing what he thought was normal (The Thursday Night Group is migrating to a no headlamp group). Me, I am the one who started the no headlamp schema. Maybe I am trying to show off and convince everyone I am this super bat man type ultra endurance creature. In any case everyone found out that I am just this clumsy hiker that falls off snow shelves at night.

Everyone knows that being clumsy means you fall down a lot. You walk off of curbs a lot. You hit your head a lot. But hiking off a mountain without proper lighting just increases the chance for a clumsy person to do something stupid. For me I walked right off a shelf of snow and my leg extended to find purchase on some ground. The ground did not came fast enough and when it did the leg was in full extension with my body’s weight on top. My knee bent backwards and I felt two distinctive pops.

What does one do in this situation? Well for me I crawled on my side and whimpered like a baby. I slowly got to my good leg and tried to put my weight on it. It felt too weird and I was afraid to mess it up more. I feared the worst. The group fashioned multiple type of walking apparatuses and I settled upon this long staff that made me feel like Obi Wan Kenobi.  As the weirdness wore off I felt the pain. The leg hurt like shit and I just had to man up and walk out slowly. After all I drove everyone out there and Jill had to get ready for her trip to Hawaii the next day for a race.

2011 University Mountain
The group gathers on top

Today my leg feels a lot better and I am hoping it will heal up just fine. one thing is for sure. I will utilize my headlamp more, specially on the downhill’s. I cant wait for mountain biking season.

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