Monday, February 17, 2014

Back in Black

So as someone mentioned in the comments of my last post yesterday, it's been two weeks since I last posted, and with some pretty dour news at that. Sorry if I've left anyone in suspense! I'm alive and feeling much better after my brush with a Darwin Award earlier this month, though it has been a slow two weeks getting fully back up to speed. At this point I would consider myself fully recovered, though I do still have some random bouts of slight dizziness when I'm walking around Oxford, especially when I'm in a weird lighting situation. But I'm back reading, writing, and rowing (the three (w)Rs??), which has allowed me to feel like I'm approaching normalcy again.

And in great news, I actually got to row on some actual water yesterday!! It was a miracle!! It had been four long weeks since our last outing, and I was beginning to get really sick and tired of erging and erging and erging while staring dolefully out the window. How people in places like New England train indoors all winter with no prospect of getting out on the water, I have no idea, because I felt like I was at the limits of my sanity after just one month inside.


(What we've been stuck with: rain, rain, and more rain, which has turned Christ Church Meadow into Christ Church Lake all term)

Of course, since it had been so long since we'd last actually been on the water, I was really nervous that it was going to go embarrassingly badly. Amazingly, though, it didn't, and we all agreed that it was actually one of the best water sessions we've had all academic year. We had a guest coach in addition to our regular coach, and it was really refreshing to hear things in a new way and try out some new exercises to get us thinking differently about what we were supposed to be doing. Plus, after a month of erging, we're all significantly stronger now than we were last time we were out, meaning that we were actually able to put some power in the water a few times!

It was a great, reinvigorating day, that made me feel a lot better about the fact that Torpids--the big intramural winter race between all the Oxford colleges--has a good chance of getting cancelled this year due to the historic winter flooding we've had in Oxfordshire since the end of December. These past few weeks when we'd been stuck inside it was hard not to get feeling very grumpy and fatalistic, but it was a nice reminder yesterday of how lovely it is just to be out on the water and rowing, even if things don't work out with the race (though I would really, really like for it to go on!!).


(Can you blame me for getting grumpy when this is the journey to go sit inside and erg??)

And now, since I totally failed at taking pictures at our outing yesterday, here are some snaps from life at Oxford these past few weeks. Don't be fooled by the sunshine visible in many of them; they were taken in the 5 minutes each day that it wasn't raining!

 (The Sheldonian in a passing glimmer of sunlight)

 (More the average view... still pretty though!)

 (Oh Pembroke, you do find a way to be gorgeous)

 (Our sad, flooded boathouse launch)

 (Christ Church, flooded. Still.)

 (At least it's pretty?)

(Pembroke on Valentines Day - a reminder of how truly blessed and spoiled I am, all whinging aside)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bad Luck. Again.

So... I'm getting pretty sick of being unwell. I had just gotten over my sinus infection and, besides some winter blues, was actually starting to feel like a human again, when...



Oh why yes, that would be me. In a head board. With a busted nose. On Saturday night I decided to spend a night out on the town with some friends, and at some point we think that I must have fallen down some stairs while trying to find the bathroom and hit my head against a wall (I say 'we think' because I have absolutely no memory of this happening). Then, instead of going home, I decided not to tell anyone that this had happened and instead go on and continue clubbing for another 3 or 4 hours, with the end result that I woke up on Sunday morning with absolutely no memory of the entire afternoon/evening/night. It was like The Hangover in real life, only with fewer tigers and more neck and back pain.

I ended up taking the precautionary measure to go into the hospital to get a scan, just in case, though by the time I decided to go it was Sunday evening so if I was going to die I probably would have already done so. Mostly I was worried because my neck was really hurting me and, because of my previous injuries to my neck, I am trying to be a grown up and be more cautious (not my natural strongpoint, given my hatred of going to the doctor!).

Fortunately all my scans came back clean, and so besides a run of the mill concussion and some whiplash, I'm going to be just fine. I was so thankful to my friend Millie who came with me to the hospital and kept me company for 5 hours there. I'm really, really bummed to be injured again, and in such stupid circumstances, but what are you going to do. It's another week off from rowing, and another week trying to focus on getting better (and hopefully not fail out of school at the same time??).

I'm getting sick of this! But I'm also feeling very lucky that my injuries ended up being as minor as they were, given the extreme degree personal stupidity involved. It could have been a lot worse, and I'm really lucky to have such great friends. Now to get feeling better again!

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