It’s been about two weeks since my last blog post and, as usual, there’s about a billion things I should have blogged about: Tokyo, Japan; Dallas, Texas; strange Uber coincidences; etc. It’s tough maintaining the mythical work-life balance that we all dream about because when I DO find it, keeping it becomes a challenge (ironically) due to life itself getting in the way.
For example, I got into a really really bad bicycle accident a week ago. (NOTE: I’ve learned to say “bicycle” when recounting this tale in conversation because if you say “bike” then people assume you are a manly man and you were riding a motorcycle. Not in my case. I’m in perpetual puberty, so my 44-year-old-thinks-he’s-a-12-year-old ass wiped out on a bicycle.)
Here’s what happened: I love discovering local resources when I travel for conventions and a couple of years ago I took advantage of the bicycle share program in Columbus, Ohio. It’s inexpensive, fun, and – while I love walking during my urban exploration ventures – it cuts down time between distances every once and a while. I try looking up these sort of offerings when I travel now, and my favorite (to date) was the one in Boston, Massachusetts.
When I got to Dallas for Fan Expo last week, I discovered the the town had not one, but TWO bike sharing programs. I opted for the one I saw more often while walking around: a program called LimeBike featuring, you guessed it, green bicycles.
Now, Dallas is an interesting town in and around the convention center as there are a number of hotels that the convention staff stay in that are separated by unusual roads, underpasses, and hills. Getting from one to the other is sometimes more complicated than you think it will be. Each year I’ve worked Fan Expo Dallas, I’ve somehow wound up in a different hotel. The first year was the Aloft Dallas Downtown. Last year was the Hyatt Regency Dallas. This year: the Crowne Plaza Downtown which, while the lesser of the three hotels quality wise, was an easier walk to the convention center than the Hyatt, and I was given a free suite upgrade so my team had a great meet up spot.
A friend of mine was staying at the Hyatt Regency Dallas and wanted to get dinner my first night in town. Remembering what a pain in the ass it was walking from the convention center to that hotel, I signed up and logged into the LimeBike share system. Using my phone, I scanned the QR code on the back of the bike. It unlocked, I hopped on, and I was on my way. Pretty easy.
While doing downhill on a sidewalk, a gust of wind decided to kidnap the hat off my head, so I put on the brakes to stop… but only one set activated.
The front set.
The bicycle’s momentum continued from the back end and proceeded to throw me in the air off of the bike. Reflexively, I made sure to avoid hitting my head by attempting to make my hands take the brunt of the landing. At the angle I was thrown, however, I wound up landing on my left side and physically bounced off the pavement.
Disoriented and in excruciating pain, I immediately got up and dragged myself to a patch of grass on a hill off the sidewalk to assess my injuries. My first (and obvious) concern: broken bones. The good news(?) is that I have broken a number of them due to mishaps and sports incidents growing up, so I knew what I was supposed to check for. The three most apparent areas for possible damage: my left elbow, my right wrist, and my ribs. The potential for the ribs scared me the most… so I just lay there. Breathing. I calmly ran my hands across my body assessing the damage. At the slightest sign of a fracture, I was heading to the emergency room.
After about ten minutes with the adrenaline leaving my system, I felt better. Nothing appeared broken.
Nothing, that is, except my Apple Watch.
Thankfully, none of the elements in my backpack were damaged and (more importantly) neither was my cell phone. I mean, try running a pop culture convention in today’s day and age without access to the Internet! Impossible, I tell you! SIDE NOTE: I should point out that I do have contingencies in place for just about everything that can happen like this. Those that have travelled with me know that I have a backup flip phone cell that I carry, too, just in case.
That’s right: I’m that guy that carries two cell phones.
Total physical damage:
- Sprained and bloodied right wrist & palm.
- Scraped up left palm.
- Scraped up left thigh.
- Severely bruised inner left thigh.
- Bruised and sore right calf.
- Bloodied and scraped up left elbow.
- Bruised and “road rashed” left ribs.
I got myself to the hotel, cleaned up in the lobby bathroom, and in true “I think I’m invincible” order: I still went to dinner with my friend. (For the record, she and her friend that came along thoroughly thought I was insane for still going through with it.)
The next three days were an exercise in pain management. Ice packs. Hot bathes. Ibuprofen. Lots of coffee. KT Tape. Limited sleep. The occasional meal. Words can’t express how lucky I was that my team was there to support me all weekend. Becky, Casey, Dani, Jessica, and Joseph all made sure I was constantly checked on and supplied with the needed drugs and caffeine for the weekend. It was one of those amazing weekends where you put on a great event with top shelf programming that fans enjoy without they having the slightest knowledge of the challenges behind the scenes.
It was pretty damn epic.
I got home Monday night and I’ve been working in between resting and recovering the past few days. There is SO much I need to get done, but I also know the importance of giving time to heal… especially (I HATE this phrase) “at my age”.
So for those of you that missed the details of Tom’s epic injury adventure last week, now you have it. It still hurts – but I am getting (slowly) better with each day. Now I have a meeting with Advil, Starbucks, and e-mail – so I’m going to wrap this up.