by Amber, aka Defi Diva
For those of you that don’t read or partake in Astrology, I will offer that there is this one little pesky astronomical aspect that haunts us a few times a year. It is called Mercury Retrograde. And if you were to watch and track the stars in the sky it would look like the little red planet of Mercury reverses direction from its normal path to transit in the opposite direction. It continues this “backward” course in the sky for a little over a month before it reverses direction to travel again along it’s normal path. Of course there is a logical explanation for this perceived reversal of course and it has to do with the Earth’s position as it orbits around the sun in relationship to Mercury’s orbit. But without getting into all the geometric details lets just say that ancient Astrologers identified that when this happened communication and travel just seemed to not quiet go according to plan. And as luck would have it, this spring’s Mercury Retrograde goes smack dab right over the DEFI from 28 April – 22 May. But plan as one might to take extra care and caution during these periods, suffice to say sometimes all you can do is just hang on and ride. Kind of like sailing in the northwest winds during an east coast winter.
So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, when on the afternoon of the 28th, after I got back from a very gusty session on the Avon sound, I found an email from Chris in my inbox…
“Not to freak you out (my turn), but I played a (now regrettable) game of soccer last night. I slipped and fell hard on my upper left back and knocked the wind out of me. I think I bruised my ribs/muscles on that side…a little painful right now but I think I will be alright. It only hurts when I try to breathe, lift my arm, or when I squat and try to pick something up. Since we have a week until the race, I am going to take it really easy. I should be fine though and will drug myself if necessary :).”
Ugh!… After a bit of email coaxing, Chris was convinced to finally check in with a doctor on Saturday morning, the day before we were due to leave. The Doctor confirmed that nothing was broken and that it was only bruised rib muscles. Eventually in six weeks or so, the Doctor told him, the pain should subside…
So, when Chris showed up the next day at my house, and I watched him gingerly get out of his little red car I knew he was still in pain. But ever the optimist, he still had a big smile on his face and an eagerness in his eyes. He was ready in mind and spirit, for sure! But now we just needed to get his body to catch up. So in a last ditch effort just as we were getting ready to leave for the airport, I ran back upstairs to my bathroom medicine drawer and emptied it of all the Advil and (legal) pain related meds I could find. The least I could do was to make sure he would be comfortable for the 9 hours of flying time we had scheduled for that day (and night).
Before Chris arrived I had spent the morning hours packing for the trip as I didn’t get back from Avon until late the evening before. Despite leaving relatively early from Avon, and having good intensions to get back early to start packing before I had to head off to my dear “Crazy Aunt” Linda’s birthday party, I found myself stuck in the usual Saturday afternoon (that turned into evening) I-95 parking lot. One of the coping habits I have for dealing with mounting stress involves eating…and in this case my food choices were limited, and unfortunately I had stopped by the Orange Blossom Cafe in Buxton with my friend Joe before I left that morning. I had bought one of their amazing and decadent Apple Uglies with every intension of eating it over the next few days, and perhaps even leaving some of it for my doggie sitter. Well, why I wasn’t exactly freaking out, I became increasingly more stressed as the traffic delays lingered, and my packing time shortened…enough so that by the time I was in Stafford I realized that I had consumed the entire Apple Ugly. Bleh!…I was then nauseous and feeling ill from way too much sugar and fried dough. Suffice to say, that when I finally made it to my Aunt’s soirée I ate very little, and then bid my leave as early as was socially acceptable so I could get home and try and sleep it off.
Because of my sugar coma, I ended up sleeping a bit too soundly and woke an hour later than planned. While I still had plenty of time before I had to leave, the biggest chunk of of the packing time that morning ended up being devoted to wrapping my boards and gear in bubble wrap and swimming pool noodles. Which despite the fact that it sounds easy enough, was in fact quite the opposite. So much so, that when my friend Lou arrived to help drive Chris and I to the airport, he discovered a living room and kitchen cluttered in scraps of foam, plastic, and packing tape amongst a melee of half packed bags. Perhaps the look of desperation in my eyes gave it away… “Ummm, maybe I should help?…”