Monday, September 25, 2006


When I was dating Kirk he once showed me a new years' resolution he had made that January - "I will not injure myself for the entire year of 19--." It was March when he showed me and he had already broken it several times. He was, to be honest, not the most graceful of beings. Athletic, yes, capable, definitely, but without that basic sense of his own body space that would stop him bashing into solid objects. Well, also there was the small problem with common sense.

He broke an ankle one night when we were in a park - they had recently watered the grass so it was a bit slick and he was goofing around somehow. But typically he insisted on hobbling painfully back, casually inspecting the swollen, discolered thing, and announcing he was just fine, done this lots before, definitely just a sprain. He didn't go in for an xray for several days to learn it was actually cracked.

In Virginia he took a mogul a little wrong - not an earth one, but a stacked log beast with a sharp lip you had to pop your front tire over at just the right moment. He was going too fast, took the corner and forgot it was there. I kind of wish I had seen that one because he said it was pretty funny the way he rotated slowly forward. Less funny was landing wrong on top of the logs. He rode out, and then rode again the next day (moaning a bit), insisting it was "simply bruised" until he finally got himself checked out and was told he had broken four ribs. His contention was that the treatment was the same either way, so why worry? My feeling was tearing over rough single track with broken ribs wasn't either intelligent or a reasonable therapy. Didn't stop him though.

The pattern was the same in California. He managed to do some utterly bizarre thing to his toe (quite impressed the ortho doctor) that apparently happens only to professional atheletes, and then only on the fingers. Kirk happily messed around with splints, gauze, and tape until he finally worked out a complicated strapping solution. His doctor was delighted and, I think, actually presented the whole thing at a conference somewhere, dubbing the taping method as the "von Ackermann technique" or something. Since Kirk was the only person who had managed to do this to himself, it's probably not ever going to become a household term. Still - moderate fame and glory!

One of the funnier (yes, I do have a slightly dark sense of humor) happened when we were biking up in the local hills. Kirk was ahead as always and disappeared around a corner where we heard:

SPLASH... THUMP!... "I'm all right!"

We came around to find him staggering on the far side of a steep-banked stream, covered in mud, his helmet completely bashed in. The muddy water had masked the very deep ravine - just the right size to trap a front wheel. Kirk had gone arse over tea-kettle, landing headfirst in the mud. Well, I told him, at least he hadn't damaged anything he used. Again, he insisted he was just fine, although I did make him let me drive us home. Only after he was sure he was healed up did he admit he couldn't really remember much of the rest of that day.

I got used to it. I stocked the house with wraps and knee braces, ace bandages and instant cold packs. Our freezer always had one or two ice packs ready to go, and we had several stashes of medical tape, disinfectant and gauze. Bandaids hardly got a look-in.

There is a great deal my kids have inherited from Kirk. They have his sense of humor, his quick mind - they certainly have more his nose than mine (probably for the best). And from the time they were tiny the house has echoed to.... *crash*.... "don't worry! I'm all right!"

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