This one was the grand daddy of all pain experiences for me. Bar None, nothing is even remotely close.

While growing up I was always somewhat surprised that I had never broken a bone. I had plenty of instances where it very well could have happened, but I had escaped with mere cuts and or bruises.

Finally in the Fall of 2001, I broke my first bone. It was under very odd circumstances. I was playing flag football at Cascade with the kids. Time was winding down in the activity, and I had decided to play. (it was no fun watching) The other team was threatening to score and I was out playing defensive back, A pass was thrown in front of me to the SMALLEST kid in the entire school, I ran at him as he caught the ball and reached for his flag, I missed with my right hand, and managed to jam my left middle finger squarely onto his extremely boney waist. It hurt quite a bit, but I assumed I just sprained it.

Well… a couple of hours later, I had myself a black and blue finger. The school nurse recommended I get it checked out, so the next day I paid a doc a visit. And sure enough, I had fractured my finger in two places. The doc said there was little I could do except splint it, so that was all I did for about a month until it stopped hurting.

That first break didn’t even come close to preparing me for the next one… my stomach still gets slightly queezy when I think about it.

In the spring of 2002 I finally broke down a bought a mountain bike. I had pined about getting one for a few years, and with my new job, I figured what the heck, I am going to treat myself, and go get one.

After the first few times of riding, I started to wonder why I had never owned one before… I loved it.

Well, as most of you know, there are inherent hazzards, and risks associated with riding a mountain bike. Most people that have done it for any length of time can tell stories of crazy wrecks and injuries. I knew that was a part of the sport. And after the first couple of wrecks were I emerged pretty much unscathed, I started to get some confidence, and understanding that wrecks are inevitable.

It wasn’t until a year and a half later that I would experience not just my worst wreck, but the most painful thing I have EVER experienced…

It was a nice early December day, and my boss and I (my boss was / is my most common riding companion) went out to get a nice after work ride in. We have a favorite place that we ride right off the River Trail. The Jump Trail, to the Twister, with the finale being the Salt Creek Run.

Salt Creek (it actually has numerous names… but this one has stuck with us) is a SUPER tight and technical run through the little creek canyon. We had done it a bunch of times, with a few crashes, and never a perfect run through without touching down.

There is one place in particular which has stumped everyone I have ever ridden this trail with. It is a section where you head down a rocky hill, through a tiny stream, and up a SUPER steep but short uphill. Nobody has ever made it up the uphill part, at least that I had seen.

Well… this particular run through Salt Creek, I was riding kinda sloppy and tentative. (A couple of rides before I had almost tumbled down one the cliffs to the creek below… luckily I grabbed a tree that stopped me.) In fact, I had even told my boss that I was going to “take it easy” this time.

However, once I saw the unridable section, I did what I usually did, and decided I was going to go for it. So I started to ride down the rocky hill, through the stream, and I started to push up the steep section back up to the trail.

About half way up I realized I didn’t have any momentum to get up, (I hadn’t really tried that hard in retrospect which may have been my downfall!) I tried to clip out of my pedals, but was only able to clip out of the right pedal, and the next thing I knew, I was falling backwards down towards the creek.

Instinctively. I reached out with my leading left arm to break my fall…

CRACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I immediately felt the most intense pain I have ever felt in my left arm. I momentarily lost my train of thought and blacked out (it lasted maybe a second at most) and then I pulled myself out of the stream and stumbled forward.

I am sure the words that came out of my mouth were pretty faint and muted…

“I think I broke my arm…”

My boss yelled back in a panic,

“No $%#&! You DID break your arm!!!!!!”

TO BE CONTINUED