Dec. 29th, 2013

beige_alert: (honk)
After breaking my ankle in a speed skating fall at the beginning of November, I'm finally just about nearly almost able to walk again. At any rate, I can walk awkwardly wearing a rigid plastic boot, or with just a bit of help from crutches, and I can drive a car since my right foot works plenty well enough to operate the pedals (though of course I have to change into a normal shoe from the Aircast boot, and then back again at my destination).

I ended up spending 26 days without leaving home, so it's been awesome to get out. I went 48 days without driving a car myself, though I got some rides during part of that interval. So now I notice that I'm a bit out of practice. Now, I'm 7 weeks out of practice, not 7 years, so it's not that bad. I did seem to forget the amazing laziness of the modern car-driving experience. Anything that could require some sort of physical effort (and did back in the day) has been motorized for your convenience. I actually had this moment of thinking that maybe the steering wheel had broken free of the steering mechanism and I was going to inevitably sail off the road into a crash until I remembered that it's not supposed to take any real effort to turn, there's a motor in there to help out. (I actually get that feeling when I'm quite in car-driving practice, after doing something arm-intensive like kayaking or skiing and suddenly I'm holding this tiny steering wheel and applying very minimal forces to it as the motor helps out with any actual work that might be needed).

The thing I really noticed while sailing down the highway at 88km/hr today is that I'm not so much out of practice at actually operating the motorized metal box as that I'm out of practice at that car-driver mental state of thinking, hey, I'm just operating a powerful multi-ton high-speed vehicle in close proximity to other people and objects, it's not like anything could go wrong or anyone could get hurt. No need to worry!

Clearly, a lot of people don't worry at all. You can tell by the stupid things they do! I've never been that unconcerned and I don't want to be, but I was extra worried today. You could get hurt doing this! I just spent two months sort of disabled after hitting a protective safety pad after falling without the aid of any motor, just pure human power.  I was going at best a hair over 40km/hr when I fell and slower by the time of impact after sliding some distance, and it wasn't by any means the worst possible body position for the impact, either.  (Turned the other way, I'd have needed neurology instead of orthopedics, right?)  You could get seriously mangled at 90km/hr, and take out a bunch of other people with you using that big heavy metal box on wheels!

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