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comanionship.com - Chicks Dig Scars...

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Chicks Dig Scars... PDF Print E-mail

By Daryl Holmlund

Image "Bones Heal, Chicks Dig Scars, Pain is Temporary, Glory is Forever" Evil Knieval said that, though perhaps you have heard the paraphrase that fictitious Simpsons character Lance Murdoch tells Bart during the "Bart the Daredevil" episode: "Bones heal. Chicks dig scars. And the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!"

As an adventurous teenager under the influence of testosterone and adrenaline, I used to think it was cool to get a new scar. Every once in a while I would think to myself, Huh… I haven't bled for a while – must be a month or so… I need to get outside! Now, let's be clear: I'm not talking about cutting myself on purpose, but as a good Colorado boy, I was into hiking (or running up mountains), climbing, and mountain biking – and I didn't consider it to be a good adventure unless I came back with a few scratches.

When I was 19, however, I had more than my fair share of "adventure". I was sleeping in the back seat of a friend's car on the way home from college to see my family at Thanksgiving when a deer jumped across the road. The driver swerved and lost control. The car rolled and I got thrown out the back window. Between the beating my face took on the way through the glass, the rough landing in the median, and the 7 hour surgery where they put my spinal column back together, I had accumulated enough scars to last a lifetime. Not only that, but I had also sustained a T-9 spinal cord injury, which meant that it would be a long time before I could use my legs again – but more than likely they would never work the same.

And what came along with this was a crushing realization: My favorite outdoor activities were now a virtual impossibility. Sure, I had seen videos of paraplegics doing big-wall "climbing" - but using ascenders to pull myself up ropes that someone else was setting just didn't appeal to me at the time. I knew that I needed to get out again, but I wasn't sure what I could do.

That's when I got a welcome surprise. A friend had gathered the support of other friends and they had put together the money to purchase a handcycle for me (which is not a cheap item!). Handcycles generally look a little bit like a recumbent bicycle (where people sit and peddle) only with an arm powered crank in the middle. When I first got on my new bike and felt the burning in my lungs and arms, it brought me back to the days when I would push myself not to stop on a long ascent while hiking – and that was a great feeling. And it would only be a matter of time before I returned to some real "adventure".

It was a hot and dry afternoon at the end of July and my younger brother, Mike, and I were visiting a friend of mine who had been in the hospital with me after the car accident. Drew was also a paraplegic – he ran into a tree while skiing - and had been doing a lot of handcycling. Drew, his wife Jeanie, Mike, and I took off for a little ride around the hills of the Cheyenne Mountain area of Colorado Springs.

Image We were less than half a mile from Drew's house when I followed Drew down a very steep hill. Ever fearless (hey, even NOW I'm under the influence of testosterone and adrenaline), I went at it full speed ahead, probably getting up to somewhere between 25 and 30 mph. As I neared the bottom of the hill, I noticed that there was a large amount of sand on the shoulder from a nearby construction zone. I started to swerve out into the road, but then, realizing there was a fair amount of traffic, I attempted to swerve back. Swerving and hitting the sand at this high speed, my front wheel began to wobble back and forth.

In the next moment, forever ingrained in my memory and that of Mike, who was following me, I wobbled one way, then the other, and then flipped over so that my (helmeted) head and shoulder were dragging on the ground as I skidded to a stop – after sliding for about 15 feet.

Upon stopping, I realized that my mouth was full of gravel and my eye was covered with blood, and I first thought that I had probably knocked out my teeth and ruined my eye. I felt around my mouth with my tongue and gingerly opened my eye… It worked! And my teeth were still there. Trying to stay calm, I assessed the situation. I was in a world of hurt, but there were only superficial wounds, nothing structural or permanent!

ImageThen the pain signals hit my brain.

My shoulder was torn up. My eye had been saved by my sunglasses, which had broken and left a gash where they dug into my nose. There was road rash on my chin and a large chunk of skin missing from under my nose (of course, we couldn't tell that until it was cleaned up a bit more), from which it was almost impossible to stop the bleeding. I had been wearing gloves, but my hand still had a decent gash and my arm was pretty scraped up.

Jeanie headed back to the house to get her car to pick me up, and back in the house I got in the shower to clean off some of the rocks, but it was clear that I was going to need some stitches. That day I learned an important lesson at the hospital. If you want fast service, tell them that your pain level is high. Very high. On a scale of 1 to 10, tell them you're at 11, because I told them I was between 3 and 4 (hey, I've been in some painful situations!) and we waited for a LONG time before I got to see a doctor, and by that time the blood had been drying up so that when they brought a guy over who specialized in cleaning wounds, my pain level WAS an 11.

ImageBut what else is there to say? Cuts (and lacerations and abrasions) heal, chicks dig scars (at least I sure hope so), and the passage of time instills in me the desire for yet more "adventure" – though I don't mind coming back without drawing blood anymore.

Daryl Holmlund continues to handcycle and seek adventure. Last summer he rode up Colorado's 14,264 ft Mt. Evans, which boasts the highest paved road in North America.

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 March 2008 )
 
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Chicks Dig Scars...
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Image"Bones Heal, Chicks Dig Scars, Pain is Temporary, Glory is Forever."  Evil Knieval said that, though perhaps you have heard the paraphrase that fictitious Simpsons character Lance Murdoch tells Bart during the "Bart the Daredevil" episode: "Bones heal. Chicks dig scars. And the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world!"

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Little-Man, Man-Sized Scar
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ImageSo i still might be a little-man, but I've got a man-sized scar!  You see, I was born with Sagittal synostosis...
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Man-Duty
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ImageI was on Man-Duty when it happened. We needed a bunk bed for the boys' room. Not just any bunk bed, mind you...
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Never Wear Black Without the Blue
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ImageThese are chemical burns/scars in the making from the Summer of 2007...
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Boy Meets World of Hurt
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This trophy is the result of a trusting act of stupidity coupled with a healthy fear of God and His right hand - my mom...
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No Pain, No Gain
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In high school, I was playing catch with a softball on a fishing trip in northern Minnesota with one of my step-brothers. My attention was distracted as he threw the ball to me...
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Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::Navigation() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 549

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Boy Meets World of Hurt
Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::EditIcon() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 624

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This trophy is the result of a trusting act of stupidity coupled with a healthy fear of God and His right hand - my mom...
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Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::Navigation() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 549

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No Pain, No Gain
Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::EditIcon() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 624

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Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::ReadMore() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 538

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In high school, I was playing catch with a softball on a fishing trip in northern Minnesota with one of my step-brothers. My attention was distracted as he threw the ball to me...
Read more...
 
Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::Navigation() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 549

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Little-Man, Man-Sized Scar
Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::EditIcon() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 624

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ImageSo i still might be a little-man, but I've got a man-sized scar!  You see, I was born with Sagittal synostosis...
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Strict Standards: Non-static method HTML_content::Navigation() should not be called statically in /home/ryang/public_html/comanionship.com/components/com_content/content.html.php on line 549

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