Winter Has Come

5 Feb

Well, well, my longtime fellow reader. I sense you there on that computer/phone/tablet screens. (It would be very interesting to see the breakdown of reader’s choice of viewing device. We have a large, diverse reading demographic, so the sample size would be statistically significant. I¹m saying 30% phone, 30% tablet, and 40% computer. I’m about 80% phone, 20% tablet, but that¹s because the shinny brass in the all powerful keyboard regime are racist against the quadriplegic)

A long time its been, and many things have happened. I will try to be both entertaining and succinct, but this post may be quite long. Or quite short, I really just talk until my dad gets tired.

Also, its been almost 6 months since my last blog post. How the hell did that happen? This is definitely a long post. Or, again, it may not be.

• I’m now a badass wheelchair rugby player
• I’m about to take my first trip on a plane to a rugby tournament in Phoenix this weekend
• I went monoskiing last week
• I’m moving into a warehouse district apartment next month
• I’m moving into a warehouse district apartment next month, where my parents will not be living.
• I’m planning on writing a biopic book, estimated to be 60-70% factually Based
• Have had many friends come to visit and have successfully maintained my awesomeness to hang out with
• Continued progression in the ABLE program with most successful return in lower core muscles
• ATK (Alex, Thomas, and Kevin make beer) Brewery brewed its first beer. A rebellious, but contained, American Pale Ale.
• Mired and painful acceptance I won’t walk without outside medical/technological help

And, oh, I won my fantasy regular season and lost by just 6 points in the championship. So everyone else in my league can eat it.

Man, wouldn¹t it be so easy to end there. That’s what all the pro writers are doing now. If you can¹t read it on one screen, don¹t type it. Alas, 6 months bottled so many words I can do nothing to stop their bubbly outspringing.

I¹ll begin with what seems the worst bullet point. As of January, its been18 months since I broke my neck and injured my spinal cord. The majority of recovery comes in the first year, with diminishing returns after that. So everyday that goes by and I’m not doing significantly better, the less likely I will do better the next day. It is this logic and my yearly work up with my doctor and therapists (which happened a few weeks ago) that I now know I won¹t heal completely by my own body and will. As much as I hate to rely on an outside force, I will require some kind of technological assistance. That assistance will most likely be in the form of one of my own stem cells, treated, then injected into the injured section of my spine, combined with rigorous therapy and a few blood/animal sacrifices. Here is where I would post links, but basically the US is just entering the stem cell game and unfortunately spinal cord injuries don¹t sit with the cool kids such a heart disease, Alzheimer¹s, and cancer. But then again, as with any tech, after you break the barrier things improve and develop exponentially, and I guess it would be good to cure heart disease, Alzheimer¹s, and cancer. I’m guessing that we are at least 5 years out, so my long term game plan (LTGP) is to stay/increase my fitness level so that I’m a prime candidate for trials and/or rogue scientists.

I wish there was a career where one could set his/her own hours, write off d-rate film watching, b-rate apocalypse themed book reading, and garner the kind of media fame of Richard Castle. For those of you who don¹t watch ABC¹s long time and always original hit, Castle, he is a writer. But I’m still drawing a blank as to what I can do to meet those previously stated requirements.

Wheelchair rugby a.k.a quadruby is really fun. I started playing November, practice once or twice a week, and even traveled with the team to Milwaukee to dominate a tournament and score 2 goals. Because I’m really classy, I won’t disclose the score of the game in which I scored the 2 goals, but can say my offensive prowess brought us to 52 points, which was 19 points more than the team that lost. The best way to understand the game is to watch the documentary ³Murder Ball², streaming on Netflix…. and that¹s pretty much the only place (I think there is still a market for video stores; specializing in movies not found on Netflix/Hulu/Redbox etc. If anyone has the capital, I¹ve got the spare time). Forgoing a breakdown of the game, another huge benefit is the communal knowledge of a 10 man team full of quadriplegics who have lived their lives for as long as 40 years after their injuries. Basically, I return from every practice with a least 2 handi-hacks. For example, just squeeze the toothpaste into your mouth instead of placing it on a toothbrush. The unexpected piece of returning to competitive sport is learning how much my new body blows a competing at sports. Its very weird to throw and catch a ball for 26 years, implanting your ability in your noodle, then trying to do it with only 20% of your body working normally. Catching, throwing, turning your head, picking up a ball, yelling, drinking water, playing sports is still very fun, but I think it will be a couple of years before I am comfortable in my new, still very athletic, damaged skin. As I said, I’m going to Phoenix this weekend for a competitive D1 tournament. I will post some pictures and post-tournament stats next week. Go Northstars-actually we are the Minnesota Steelheads because the Northstars wouldn’t let us use their name.

The list above was not chronological, but based on another system-can you guess it.

At the end of this month, I’m moving into a 2 bedroom loft with my good pal Kevin Flaherty. The North Loop, or the warehouse district, borders downtown Murderapolis and is a burgeoning area for cool people and hot babes. My only complaint is the egregious overuse of the term ‘loft’ in the 12 buildings that have gone up over that last years. In my book, a loft requires a 2nd level space only accessible by a ladder. I’m beyond excited to be on my own, especially with a good friend and in a cool area. I look forward to using my manual chair to navigate the streets and hopping on the bus for 50¢. I know I will encounter a lot of difficult situations, but as long as I run at them head first in full speed, there will be absolutely no problems. There will be more on this in a few weeks. Probably.

Cokely just looked at his watch and exhaled. We are all running out of time.

Let us close with the announcement of an opening. The 2nd annual TC Classic or the TC SuperClassico 2014 is going down. Its going down on Saturday, June 21 and you are all are cordially invited. Except you Flaherty, a lot of lifetime bans can develop in 3 months. I will also be hosting a welcoming shindig on Friday, June 20. Live music, booze, good food and a hot tub. So mark your calendars, these dates are hard. More information to follow. Last year you all, and many more who are not reading, blew mine and my family’s collective mind with your generosity. The money raised paid directly to my continued participation in ABLE, which is directly responsible for me regaining muscle function, PCAs to help me out when I need it, and every other little piece charged by having a disability. This year, I will donate a % of the money raised to a charity/NGO focused on spinal injury cures. Clearly, I¹m not disclosing all of this yet because I need to vet all of that which needs to be vetted.

And huge thanks again to everyone who helped make TC Classic 2013 such a huge success.

For those who like to go against their bodies¹ will and run long distance, the Wings for Life Foundation (NGO that funds research for SCI cures founded by Red Bull CEO) is holding an interesting fund-raising run this May 4. Check out the website (www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com)-35 cities around the world all starting the race at the same time, last person running is the victor. One hundred percent of proceeds go to funding research. I will be wheeling in Denver for those who want to join me, look for a Facebook group in the next few weeks. Alright, that¹s it.

Its been a pleasure re-connecting with you all, its been far too long.

Hasta la proxima. Tbone.
Thomas Cloyd

5 Responses to “Winter Has Come”

  1. Alexa Bartel February 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    I am excited about the travel to Phoenix and the apartment. I want to lots of pictures and suggestions for housewarming gifts. It is so heartwarming to know you know you are awesome. You are my favorite Godson.

  2. Mick Hawkins February 6, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    I think of you often, Thomas, especially when I see Jack Jablonski often at hockey games where he hangs out a lot.

    I am interested in some of the events you mentioned, but wonder if an old guy would put a ka-bosh on the festivities.

    Does your newest crony still work at Target?

    Always great to read your stuff, Thomas. Hope to see more and more .

    BTW, iPad &/or smart phone are my experiments of the day. I am not good at either and certainly not fast, but at least I have entered the 21st century, albeit 14 years late.

    All the best…

    Mick Hawkins

  3. Cody Forst February 5, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Great to hear an update, TC. Keep on keeping on! Hope to see ya soon señor.

  4. Dimitra February 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks for posting, Thomas. I’m so proud of you. I just told all of my friends in Iowa (all 2 of them) about your post and how you’re going to the rugby tournament. Have fun. Proud of you.

    Love,

    Farest

    • Dimitra February 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

      Also can’t wait to start inviting myself over to you and Flar’s new house asap.