I saw a few guys walking around at the criterium Sunday in Lawrence with broken collarbones. I’m always interested listening to the story about exactly what happened, from the rider’s perspective, how they perceived the wreck occurred and how they thought they could have avoided it. It is sort of weird, but all they guys I talked to, it was their first broken collarbones and they didn’t seem too bummed out about it. I like that – “Just a part of racing and I’ll move on.”
Anyway, I was talking to this one guy and he asked me how my shoulder was doing. He looked at it and say something like how gnarly it looked. I told him his collarbone might not heal all that perfectly either. I was talking about some of my thoughts about surgery or not surgery. I did agree with him that it didn’t look that aesthetically great and maybe, if anything, surgery might help with that. He said something like, “Dude, You’re just gnarly anyway, don’t worry about your shoulder.” It wasn’t exactly it, but that was pretty close. He was a super nice guy and seemed to mean it in a complimentary way, but it was going through my mind while riding yesterday what he actually meant.
When he said it, I thought that I am pretty scarred and broken up in general, so if I was only fixing this one drooping shoulder for aesthetics, it would be like putting a bandage on a sucking chest wound. But, thinking about it, I doubt this guy has any idea about how many broken collarbones, legs, etc. I’ve had through the years.
So, I’m not actually sure what he meant. Now I’m thinking of just gnarly in general. I’m not sure what that means, but I know he meant it nicely.
Anyway, I looked up the definition of gnarly and saw a million different definitions. Not until I got to the UrbanDictionary.com did I find a few that I hope he meant.
I don’t really think that much about describing myself. I’d hate to have to do a questionnaire that you have to come up with adjectives that you think describe your personality. But, if I would, I know I never would have used the word gnarly. But, after talking to this guy, I like it; so, maybe I would now. The after race interactions are sometimes just as memorable as the in race experiences. The sport is very cool.