07 March 2010

Ski Day 18: Almost The ACL Anniversary @ Ski Bowl

Sunday found me in a familiar place, not surprisingly - Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. Other than having to 'fly solo' as a toboggan coach for the patrol, there was really only one thing noteworthy about Sunday.

It had been just one day shy of a year since I blew out my left knee up there at that very ski area.

It wasn't like it was the first time I'd been back there, and aside from it being a beautiful morning despite a severe lack of snow in the lower parts of the area, I was too focused on the task at hand - training apprentices - to give much thought to what had transpired 364 days prior. But after a few runs, my gaze as I rode the upper bowl chair drifted to my left, in the direction of the traverse where I crashed.

That section of the upper bowl hasn't been desirable skiing most of the season, and particularly so on Sunday, since there's been some melt-freeze action going on, and that area isn't in the sun until late in the day. So, I haven't really been to the exact spot. But I kind of hope I get the chance.

I put it out of my mind, like always, and focused on how much I was enjoying skiing and coaching the apprentices. They're improving, and I'm pretty sure they'll be ready in a couple weeks. The skiing got really good around 9:30, and since we got to start running sleds right from the start, we took a few runs off and just skied the soft spring snow over on Pizzazz and Cliffhanger. We would do that again later on. The bulk of the day was spent getting reps in running loaded sleds. Trying to observe two sled teams by myself was pretty taxing, but there isn't much one can do when the other scheduled coach doesn't show.

We paid for our turns later in the day by getting tasked to pull a crapload of rope lines at closing time. A great deal of the lower part of the bowl has been closed off because of poor snow coverage, but the area wanted the rope lines pulled in anticipation of the coming snow, since they'll be closed much of the week. But a task that big with 7 of us working was no problem at all.

I'd be remiss at this point if I didn't thank the people who got me back on skis after my injury, and to thumb my nose at the people who suggested I quit.

Thanks to:
My wife - I can't say enough about her support through it all. I would have been pretty miserable without all her help.
My surgeon - Dr. Montgomery did a great job, not only with the repair, but also just being a cool guy who took the time to make sure I knew as much as I could about what to expect and how to handle the whole process. He understood what my goals were, and made sure he was keeping them in mind every visit.
My physical therapist - Amanda did a great job tailoring a PT program that focused on the right things to get me back on my skis and feeling comfortable about the repair. All the balance work paid off in spades - I feel like I'm skiing better now than ever.

I don't think anyone who reads this was among those who suggested I quit skiing. But here's a nice frosty keg full of Shut The Fuck Up with a side dish of Kiss My Ass for them anyhow.