Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Harvest feast, personal accomplishments and derailment

It was a great weekend for me because, baby, I'm back! Back on the bike!

October 11th marked a horrible two year anniversary for when I first injured myself, sustaining a blow to my right knee, which resulted in bursitis of the upper patella. I had fallen down the stairs of a double decker GO bus after the driver missed my stop. I went down the stairs to tell him but had no idea he would brake suddenly. It took 18 months to be able to walk without pain. To help with the healing process, I took up cycling more aggressively, working my way up to 35 km bike rides through Courtice and Bowmanville. I did this up until November of last year. I stayed active over the winter using a treadmill. In April, I took up long-distance walking again, and well, I had no idea I had weak hamstrings when I decided to teach myself kickboxing in my basement. Also, I never was one to stretch religiously. SO MANY LESSONS WERE LEARNED WHEN I TORE THE HAMSTRING IN MY LEFT LEG on May 3rd.

It's been a long road, folks, to get better, and thousands of dollars for physiotherapy, massage and yoga. The first time I tried to cycle 10 km was August 3. I cried the whole way. It hurt so much to pedal. I stopped trying and took up yoga on the advice of my sports medicine doctor. Two months later, just this past Wednesday, I hopped on my bike and did my 10 km training route -- a route I designed to train my body to climb hills with a considerable, but gradual, elevation. I did it without pain. And I did it again two more times! Tonight I ride again and this time, I am going to add 5 km to the route. As some of you may know, back in early 2013, I embarked on a journey to get in shape as I was tired of being tired (and round). After an almost 100 pound weight loss, I gained 40 pounds of it back, and all of it after I injured myself. In the past six weeks, I've lost eight pounds of that gain.

I trust you all had a lovely harvest and long weekend? You did?! Great. Imma keep going on about my life, k?

On Sunday, we took our boat out onto Lake Simcoe and... NEVER AGAIN. It was too windy. The water was too choppy. Although we caught some impressive jumbo perch, I'm not cut out for that kind of fishing. It was too terrifying even though my husband swore we wouldn't capsize. The drive up was breathtaking, though. This is my favourite time of year! I ate too much but exercised enough that I broke even. 

On the weekend, I had a lengthy text conversation with a GO train passenger questioning the safety of the trains, commenting they travel too fast and doubtful anyone at Metrolinx cares about derailment, because he/she was one of the people affected by the three and half hour delay last month, and doubted that there's a procedure in place to handle a derailment and ensuing evacuation in a "timely manner". It's a valid concern, but it was the "timely manner" part that left me scratching my head. I told this person that much. Also, all GO trains have, what, a crew of three to five Bombardier personnel, including the CSA? These folks have families, too. I am positive safety is paramount to them. We're not the only ones who want to get home safe. 

I don't think anyone can accurately predict the consequences of a derailment, so much to a point, that Metrolinx has a time frame for the rescue effort. There are so many factors to consider. Do I trust there is a plan? Yes. I trust there is a plan on what to do and who to call to coordinate a rescue effort. Do I still have an answer as to what warrants a train evacuation? No. Sometimes situations may result is passengers having to make executive decisions. I'm always ready. I know where the tools are. I'm not afraid to ask for help. If the train is on fire, I'm the first one out. If we've gone off the rails and we're upright, I'll wait for emergency personnel. If we're on our side and people are gravely injured, and I'm okay, I'll do my best to administer first aid. As for evacuations after engine failure... guys, I have to believe in my heart of hearts, there is no way in hell the mistakes made that night will be repeated. I'll keep my eye on the Metrolinx website for the report. I will share it when it becomes available.


G said...

Glad to hear you're back in the (bicycle) saddle, CJ! I think I mentioned it before but we should really do it: Team Crazy Train for the next Ride for Heart.

Skin Man said...

Loved the message!

Sylv said...

Glad to hear things are on the upswing :)

Bicky said...

Yay, CJ! Glad to read you're back and on the mend.

As for derailments, I'm sure Metrolinx/GO Transit has a plan in place (on paper). Whether they'll ever have to execute it and have it work, is another matter.

Not sure we could have a replica of what happened in NJ but let's not find out.

TomW said...

On the "travelling too fast" comment... I'd love to know if there's any specific places that person has in mind.
It's worth rememebering that GO has never had a derailment caused by travelling faster than the set speed limits, which implies something's working.

As for evacuations after an engine failure... given what happened to me back in December 2014 (four hours on a staionary train after it hit some object late at night), and what happened to CJ recently (three years later), I'm not optimistic.