Yeow! I’m so excited by recent events in my quest to become a unicyclist that I’ve got to tell somebody about it. Since no one around here is interested in hearing me talk about unicycling, you all are elected!
Four months after the surgery to repair the ankle that I broke on my 3rd day of trying to learn to ride, desire overcame prudence and I cautiously climbed back onto the saddle again. Since my ankle was only marginally operational, the muscles in my right leg were about as strong as a bucket of veal, and I was truly terrified of falling and re-injuring myself, I had to chart a careful course.
So I rigged up a pair of handrails in the shop, giving myself a 16’ long “safety track,” where I could hopefully develop some basic skills without undue danger of traumatic damage. For weeks, practicing 30 minutes to an hour a day, the most common thought that ran through my mind was, “Who do you think you’re fooling? Unless gravity decides to take a holiday this is plainly impossible. How can anyone do this?”
Clinging to the hope that if I persisted long enough my body would eventually develop the requisite reactions in spite of my mental protestations, I soldiered on. After about 18 hours between the handrails I was given a glimmer of hope when I actually rode the length of my track without touching the rails. (I’ve been keeping a time sheet so I can give Klass Bill some accurate figures for his chart.) Naturally I was unable to repeat the feat the rest of that day. Since then, however, with every passing day my ratio of “clean” runs to “pinball passes” (wherein I ricochet off the rails and get splinters in my hands from desperate saves) has improved.
Today I was practically riding the length of my track “at will” (well, 50% of the time anyway!), making little zigs to correct for lateral imbalance, and deliberately slowing down before crashing into the drill press at the west end of my course! If it wasn’t for the persistent pain in my crotch I would have thought it was someone else perched up there.
No matter how frisky I get to feeling, I’m determined to remain between my handrails until the ankle has had six months to heal (that would be July 10), and even then I’ll have a huge psychological barrier to overcome before launching myself into the abyss. (I think Mikefule calls it “situation specific anxiety!")
But doggonit, Gild, I’m on the way … I will be one of y’all!