Friday, February 26, 2016

Three Years... and Skiing Better Than Ever!

Three years. Hmmm. I still can't believe it's been three years. Some days it seems like only yesterday I was laying below the chairlift on icy snow waiting for ski patrol. Some days it seems like only yesterday I was in the hospital attempting to walk again after my surgeries. Some days it feels like I never broke my back. Some days I wonder why I'm so lucky to be walking and skiing again.

The Struggle Is Real

There are those that think I'm doing great - physically and emotionally. Physically, I am doing pretty damn great considering what happened to me three years ago. I mean, if you didn't know what happened, you wouldn't be able to tell these days. Ripping around Mammoth, hiking and backpacking in the Sierra, those aren't things someone who broke their back pretty bad would be doing, right?! There are some aspects I've started to give up on, like say the nerve regeneration in my legs and feet, because it's been three years. I've learned to adapt the best I can given what I've been dealt. Emotionally, now that's a whole different ballgame. Yes, I'm beyond stoked that I am skiing my little heart out again and I'm extremely grateful for all that I can do. There are still demons from the accident that I can't shake. There are some friends who think I've talked about and have overcome them, but it's really not true. I might look great from the outside, but I'm really good at hiding the internal struggle. I'm pretty sure that this side of things feels worse than the pain I was in after the accident. I'm really hoping this will fade away with time, just like physical scars do.

No Goals, Just Fun!

I wrote in my last post that I didn't really want to have any hard goal for this year. I didn't want to put any pressure on myself for the 3rd ouchiversary OR have any pressure put on me by others to do what they thought I should do. Heh. I honestly just wanted a fun and mellow weekend, and ouchiversary, of carving up Mammoth. I think I got that after I decided to disregard what everyone else wanted. It helped that I had skied Dave's Run two weeks prior with Cara when the opportunity presented itself, so there wasn't any major pressure to ski that. I think I'm going to let some photos do the talking since I'm not feeling too wordy today...

Kicking it back to two weeks prior when Cara and I skied Dave's Run with absolutely perfect snow. Note that I'm smiling... and that smile never left my face. We forgot our selfie sticks, but I think we did okay. 
No side slipping. No being a pansy ass. I actually skied Dave's Run. Oh, and it's much steeper than it looks in this photo. PC: Cara
Sunday morning was absolutely beautiful. Spent the morning skiing with Maggie and exploring new-to-me terrain at Mammoth. Super fun!
Skiing partners in crime. We hadn't really skied together since the 2nd ouchiversary, so it was really nice to ski together again... and let Maggie see just how much progress I'd made since the last time we skied together. I enjoyed mentioning how I wanted to warm up on Patrolmen's.
Just another beautiful afternoon at Mammoth. 
Monday was an absolutely fun day of skiing with Dave and Carolyn even joined us for a little bit.
Ripping down Face of Three might be one of my favorite things to do these days. Love the Face! Who would have thought I'd spend 90%+ of my time skiing blue-blacks and black diamonds?!?
Last year on the ouchiversary, I skied Patrolmen's as my goal. A black diamond scared the crap out of me back then. Now I'm warming up on Patrolmen's with style! What a difference a year makes.
An absolutely fun morning of shredding awesome snow with so many friends at Mammoth. I could not have asked for a better way to mark the 3rd ouchiversary.
Post-skiing lunch with great friends. So thankful for so many coming out to celebrate the day.

No Pressure... Just Say YES!

Last year, I made it a goal to ski a black diamond on the ouchiversary. I was about to ski my first black diamond on the day of the accident, so skiing a black diamond meant something to me. While it might not have given any sort of closure to what happened, it was a good goal for that day. With all the progress I made after that day, and especially this season on the twin planks, a fun and mellow day of skiing with no pressure is what I wanted... and is what I needed. While I might not totally have closure or be able to deal with the stress of the ouchiversary, I've learned that I can still have a lot of fun on that day. Making fun memories to replace the bad ones is a good start. One thing that I have learned this ski season for sure, especially while skiing with Cara, is that my new favorite word is YES!

Many thanks to all of my friends that have been so supportive during this crazy journey. Much love.