An inherent part of the sports we participate in is injury. Living with a disabled person and having blown my knee on several occasions I am very aware on the potential consequences of my actions. However lately I think I may have been pushing my luck. I am not what one would call a cautious snowboarder, I have noticed a reckless streak in myself become more and more apparent over the years as I dance between the trees skirting tree wells and threading the needle between trees too tight for a larger person to even think of. Becoming a tail guide this winter reined me in a little, realizing that the space in the trees needs to be wide enough for both me and my pack and that I am my own buddy. Getting hurled into a tree, stuck in a tree well , busting a limb by dropping something outside my ability or being snagged by a snow snake is just not an option, there is no one there to pull me out! Best case I have to sit in the snow cold & embarrassed while my group comes back to rescue me, their fearless Tail Guide, worst case I suffocate in a tree well, not happy thoughts.
However, this has led to a hunger to just let go and charge when I am on the ski hill hurtling down my favorite run. I had a close call earlier in the season, glancing a tree to the side of my head as I avoided the one next to it. I took note of this incident however it seems the last few weeks I have been looking for trouble. It started with a tree to the side while paying more attention to the spaces than the obstacles, that put me on the couch for a week. Feeling good and ready to get back to action I was enjoying the Spring powder when I found myself stopped and suddenly upended with my knee hyperextending in the process of trying to catch up with the rest of me. That was the end of that.
Coming to terms with a quicker end to my season than I had been hoping for I wonder at what put me in this painful predicament? My one friend kindly pointed out that I was getting old, but I have trouble believing that bad luck stems from old age. Point taken though that a younger more limber person may have flexed and bounced where I did not. Old age jabs aside it is hard to be the one sitting at home while my partner in crime heads for the powder. This is an interesting role reversal in our house, and I think he is probably enjoying it – just a little bit. I have noticed myself that when he is injured there is a subconscious recognition of gratitude for being able and making the most of it as with these activities that can change at any given moment.
Being injured sucks; one moment you are playing, loving life, plans for the rest of the day sit waiting then bam you are stopped. Not just in your activity at that moment but the rest of your duties and responsibilities loom at the edge of your consciousness adding to the ‘oh f**k’ factor. Not being able to get out and play as the snow we have been waiting for all season falls silently outside my window I fight the urge to feel sorry for myself. However at the end of the day as is always the way with these sports there is no one to blame, maybe I could have been more careful and been paying more attention, maybe I should slow down, maybe…..But the reality is that if you play hard there can be consequences. Appreciation is my lesson, knowing that there will be more powder days and they will be sweeter for the ones that I have missed. Plus nothing seems to be broken and biking is good for the knees….