By Larry Feisntein

Larry Feinstein

I really wanted to start writing this story yesterday, but I held off because I knew I’d be able to complete the cycle of the tale today. It all has to do with the magic of the motorcycle, serenaded by the best music in the world, while rolling through one postcard view after another. I’ve been pretty much unable to walk for a solid two weeks, slowly coming out of it. I was finally able to sit atop Flaming Lips with no pain. It’s a good story, accompanied by a live Springsteen recording. It was a special moment, but I need to do this other stuff first.

We have to go back a few weeks, when I realized something wasn’t quite right with my left leg. I walked on it for several days, knowing it was a kind of pain I hadn’t ever felt before. Honestly, I’m not sure if I thought it was going to mysteriously disappear, but the initial strategy was seriously stupid. Eventually, I went to the ER, because the pain was definitely winning the fight. Now would be the time to complain about our healthcare system, or I could move right through that chapter, which is my preference.

I have an injured hamstring, a couple of straps that run down the back of your thigh. It turns out these rubber bands connect your butt to the back of your knee. If they are hurt, walking and simply standing become a challenge you have to give in to. You’re looking for any position that will alleviate the pain. At its worst, it knows where you are going and it will get there before you. I did us both a favor by waiting until I was able to laugh, and it took some time.

I withdrew into a cocoon for days, like a wounded animal, patiently waiting for his body to recover, just enough to start doing the many things I simply took for granted. Getting out of bed and taking a very short walk for coffee was too long for me to travel, and I broke it down into stations, with couch breaks as buffers. At its worst, I’d say the pain was a 10. It just took my breath away, lurching me into some prehistoric poses, making the sound of a moose with bad feet.

I don’t remember exactly when it hit me, realizing I was standing, not in any pain. The euphoria was short lived, but I swear, it felt like a miracle. I was actually waiting for the water to boil for that morning coffee, without diving for the couch. The deal with the hamstring is that it is going to be reminding me of its presence for months to come. As a runner and yoga practitioner, I have a slightly higher bar for myself and I will have to fight to get my body back.

I had a feeling I’d be OK on the bike, but until I rolled her out of the garage and fired her up, I really had no idea. I sat there for a few minutes, figuring any immediate discomfort would only get worse. It felt almost like a regular leg, so I headed out to the Kipu Bypass, a sweet little, backcountry road.

You gotta love riding a motorcycle as much as I do to understand what incredible medicine it possesses. On Kaua‘i, on a perfect day, on a perfect road, you kind of disappear into the endless deck of picture-perfect, postcard scenes. There I was, leaning into the bypass, and the Boss blasted through my speakers, with a live version of Jungle Land, punctuated by the Big Man on sax.

Oh, my God, I felt a kind of joy I can’t explain. I had zero pain and no memory of it. I rolled back into the garage, ready for my Sunday ride with the Sons of Kaua‘i.


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