Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Good Old Days (Pre RA)

I am one who always took their health for granted.  Other than the ER, I had no use for a doctor or hospital until I was diagnosed with RA.  I now go in for 6 month visits to my primary care doctor as well as get a yearly physical, go to my rheumatologist every month for an infusion and a brief visit, tomorrow I am having a bone density scan done.  Almost like night and day difference, from never seeing a doctor for 40+ years to seemingly overkill now.  I was talking with Mike Smith and Mark Schultz (2 fellow motorcycle racing buddies) this past weekend.  We started remembering stuff we have done over the past, from the good to the bad and some downright stupid stuff thrown in for good measure.  

Me and Smith were riding one weekend at White Rock early in the spring and hit Mill Creek.  I wheelied across it ... the only problem was the water was up, muddy and a little wider than normal.  My front wheel came down in a rut or on a rock and I went down.  At the time I hit the water, it was the exact same temperature as the water in your ice maker a milisecond before it crystalizes into ice cubes.

Then there was 1987, that I, for some dumb reason, decided to race the White Rock Enduro.  This is the race that our club puts on, which means the members work the race, instead of racing in it.  On the starting line it was a cold, blowing rain.  That would soon change ... to sleet about 3 miles into the race.  Then as we dropped off of the mountain and got down to Mill Creek it changed again ... to snow.  Big flakes that soon changed to freezing rain, then to sleet again then back to snow again.  By the time I saw the finish line (some 4 hours later) there was 4 inches of snow on the ground and my hands and feet were hurting so bad, I literally had to peel my hands off of the handlebars.  They wouldn't bend, and felt like they had knives sticking in them. I did not know if I would ever thaw back out or not.  I hurt for 2 days, and I was a healthy 29 years old.  By the way I won my class, missing the overall by 6 seconds that day.  I quickly forgot about hurting so badly as I tried to wrap my frozen little nubs around the first place trophy.

This was the same weekend that Mike's pop up trailer froze to the ground. He just left it and went back the next weekend to get it. lol

We had some crazy times up at White Rock. I remember one year we ran into Bill Eddy on a brand new KLX650 and he let Mike Smith ride it. Mike was blazing on the big turd and all of a sudden the front end twitches and he crashes hard. I have never seen plastic explode like that. Mike is rolling around on the ground holding his knee and Bill rides up and says "My bike, what did you do to my bike?". I still LMAO over that one.

Speaking of Bill, I stopped by his shop this afternoon with my daughter.  Bill was riding around the parking lot and when he sees me, rides over to us.  He was on a KTM 950R .  I try hard to hinge my jaw back together and roll my tongue back up and put back in my mouth.  My 525 puts out 55-57 hp, this 950R is rated at 104hp!  To hear it idling was enough to drive a non motorcyclist crazy.  I would kill to throw a leg over this bike and rev it out down a long dirt road!  My daughter looked at me and said, "Bill looks like a midget sitting on that bike".  I replied, "I know, isn't it cool".  

Me, Mark and Mike remember the same thing about riding the 87 Oklahoma City National Enduro.  It was so hard, long and rough, that toward the end of the race (100+ miles), if you fell down ... you just laid on the ground for 30 seconds to rest.  Any other time you can't get back on your bike and get it started fast enough.

There are so many stories/memories that I have from racing, I could overun a blog with just these stories.  But I won't bore you with them. You've suffered enough already!


Leslie said...

I love to hear your wild stories! I hope you can get some of the good ole days back again. Hope you are enjoying some nice Spring weather :)

Living It, Loving It said...

“I am one who always took their health for granted.” Yup I hate you. :)

I hate all the doctor visits. You forgot the dentist my friend. Because of RA, you should go at least twice a year.

I love 1987 – sounds like you were having fun. Well, at least you got the trophy – that is all that counts – not the fact you froze your butt off.

At least you did all these things. Now with RA, you have nothing to regret. :)

tharr said...

Leslie, it was supposed to be partial sun and 71 today. As I sit here typing this, it is heavily overcast, 57 with a 12 mph east wind ... in other words, it's downright chilly outside. Not to worry though, spring is close, even though we had 6 inches of snow over the weekend.

tharr said...

Lana, sorry, I was just lucky enough the first 40+ years to not have a need for a doctor. As for the dentist, my mother was a dental assistant. I have always gone to the dentist every 6 months. She is 75 and still inquires about my dental business! lol

We had so much fun racing, the competition, the camaraderie and especially the road trips! Every once in a while we get together and drag a few old stories out and laugh about them.

Anonymous said...

Good memories of old times are the best, aren't they? It sounds like you have plenty of them, too, Terry. Like you, I rarely went to the doctor before I got RA; most ailments came and went without any need for anything more than OTC cold medicine.

Now? Heh. I feel like I could find my way around the medical center in the dark. I'm beginning to make friends there -- people I see each time I go who also recognize me. We laugh about it, at least. And I'm thankful that I CAN get medical help now that I need it. I guess it's all good in the end.

Love reading your stories about your adventures. Keep 'em coming!

tharr said...

I had a great time in my 20's and up through my mid 30's. I really think that this was when my RA started setting in on me. I was just too dumb to realize that there was something wrong with me, just thought I was feeling the abuse of football and racing motorcycles all of those years.

It's strange having your own little click at the doctors office isn't it? I see 2-3 people that I know every time I go in for an infusion now.