#HighFivesAthlete Matt Leonard shares his most recent achievements and summer plans //
It is I, Leonard. I know you’ve missed me, and I’m sorry for that. I’ve recently been a little too busy throwing my legs around to properly update you on myself. Luckily for me, my calves have generously gifted their muscle to my triceps thus making the throwing easier. So, here I am.
About a week ago my acupuncturist tried something new. During some meditation and cranial therapy she asked me to “recite my mantra” over and over to myself in my head. Now I, like most people, don’t consider myself to have a mantra. But when she told me to do this my mind surprised me by settling immediately on a single word. When I mouthed it I realized I’d been saying this word to myself every day. Forward.
Despite what you may have seen and heard, things haven’t been a whole lot of fun here. The days have been filled with pain, fake smiles and adjustments. Everything is harder than it was before. Everything. I don’t know if that’s hard to hear from me or if it’s refreshing, but it’s the truth. Yes, I’ve lost the back and neck braces and am out of the hospital. I no longer puke each morning or faint from low blood pressure when I sit up. People love to say “it gets better” and yes, if puking and fainting are your baseline then sure, it gets better. Today marks 15 weeks since I tried feebly to take down lift tower 9. But I got hurt skiing and that’s ok. It was a terrible ski day by normal standards. Grey, icy and cold but we snapped this picture, a selfie if you will, on the lift ride up, all smiles.
This picture is a bit of a haunting snapshot in time
I used to say there’s no such thing as a bad day of skiing, but I think after this I’m willing to concede that I’ve now had one bad day of skiing. Would I go back and do anything differently? Of course I would. But that’s not how this works and so to me it’s pretty simple. There’s only one way to go. Forward.
I’ve said that word, almost subconsciously, as I’ve struggled to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve said it after three hours of therapy when there are two more to go. And I’ve said it at night when I know I’ll dream that I’m walking, only to wake up and start all over again. Luckily for me, I haven’t had to say it alone very often. Friends and family have come to visit and every single weekend since getting hurt. They’ve raised money, brought gifts, and even took me back to Coachella.
This weekend I finally got to go visit some of these amazing people when I headed back to Cali for some birthday fun and a much-needed break from rehab. “Oh good! Lenny got to get away from his parents for a weekend” you might be saying. But you’d be wrong.
Luckily we’ve graduated from the stage of taking pictures of every single thing I do (as evidenced by nearly every previous update) so there are no photos of me going through the airport or getting on the plane or getting off the plane, or any of that. The travel was easy and as with most things I imagine my parents were more freaked out than I was. Actually I’m sure of this – evidenced by my mom repeated attempts to rub my lower legs for fear of blood clots.
Max, Hal, Dan, Henry and I got to break in the new apartment a bit on Friday night (Ned and Justin slow and not pictured). They have the plans and permits to begin apartment renovations which is a massive milestone. A huge thanks to my uncle Michael and Henry for their work in getting us to this point, I know it’s been a tough project to say the least but it was pretty amazing to finally check it out in person and we all can’t wait to call it home.
And if five bros weren’t enough for your eyes, here’s the view from the living room.
The second item of the weekend was to buy a new car. As exciting as this was, the thrill was a bit diminished by the terror of letting my mom drive the car. I’ll spare the details of the many illegal maneuvers (Brendan is my witness) but let’s say I’m glad the sexy new car is sitting safely in the garage at last. A big thanks to my parents and grandfather for all of their car research and help with buying this beautiful baby.
Saturday night we had a small dinner with some of San Francisco’s most eligible bachelors at Anchor & Hope. Wine was quaffed and Oysters were shucked. Great times.
Sunday we all headed up to wine country for an epic birthday bash. The sun was shining and everything was perfect. Good friends, good wine, good tunes and an all around perfect day. A huge thanks to Gigi, Lucio and Marta for hosting and throwing such an awesome party. Everyone has said they wished that party could’ve lasted for a week.
This is the part of the update where I’m supposed to have some profound conclusion about the past 105 days but I’m not sure I do yet. I’m continually reminded that although it feels like forever, it really hasn’t been long that I’ve been hurt. I don’t know enough about the future, near or distant, to make any profound statements or inspirational conclusions yet. I just know that I plan on being the same happy person as I was back on the morning of February 27th and the only way to do that is to keep going. Forward.