Back on Saturday I went out for an hour ride up highway 1 and back home.
On my way back home I stopped in at B&L to pick up a skewer for my rear wheel. As I was standing in the bike shop talking to one of the mechanics, I suddenly noticed Dr. Serge Keska walking towards me. Dr. Keska was one of the guys who put my hip back together.
Back when I was in the hospital, struggling my way through life, he'd stop in every day or two to assess how I was doing, provide treatment as necessary, and if required give me a kick in the pants. When I think back to my lowest day in the hospital, the day that it became clear that my nerve damage was a very real thing that wasn't going to get better just because I wanted it to, I remember him telling me that he wasn't sure that I had the fortitude that was going to be required to get through this thing. To this day I don't really understand why it matters how much fortitude you have, when all you can do is lie in a bed and suffer. Regardless however; his challenge helped me pull myself together, adjust my perspective on life, and get through what was in front of me.
When I saw Serge, I introduced myself using my first name. He shook my hand and asked how I was doing. I thought he knew who I was, but I guess he was still a little unclear. He asked me for my last name and then all of a sudden his eyes lit up. His first reaction seemed to be surprise that I was out riding my bike. We talked a bit about how things were going with my recovery, how my hip was performing, how my knee was doing, etc. He took off on the remainder of his ride south, while I finished up with my business at B&L.
As I was leaving the shop on my bike I could see him up ahead on the road. Bad hip and all I was able to catch up to him without over exerting myself. We rode together through Solana Beach and Del Mar. Every now and then he would look over at how I was riding, seemly a little disbelieving of the fact that I was riding with him and doing so without screaming out in pain.
Bottom line, it was a really nice surprise to run into someone who had such a positive impact on my recovery. Without Serge's perspective on what it takes to recover from the sort of injury I had I'm not sure I would have come through it as well as I did.