One could say this blog post is actually one month in the making. On February 19th, 2012, one month ago today, I proceeded to completely tear the ACL in my left knee while skiing at Squaw Valley. In less than one second, I altered my current life and reality. One minute, I'm skiing and having an awesome time and the next, I am collasped and can't walk.
I guess I will briefly summarize the entire background of the story but since I have repeated so many times in person, I'm kinda of sick of talking about the whole thing. I started skiing around the age of 5 years old back. My grandma lived close by to a very small ski resort, Woods Valley, in Rome New York. Skiing was a family event which we did every winter with my parents and cousins. As my sister and I got older, the family ventured off to other ski resorts and excursions throughout the Northeast and Canada. I remember one trip to Montreal which was freezing! I always loved skiing and I wished that I could convince my mom to buy me the cool ski clothes and ski boots with heaters.
The last time I remember skiing was around the time when I was 14 years old. I had tried snowboarding for the first time and did not have a great experience. I remember falling a lot and hitting either my knees or head depending on the direction. I also decided that I didn't like to be cold and skiing in general always made me cold. So the family ski trips ended. When I moved to California in 2000, I always intended to one day go skiing in Tahoe. But the timing was never right and when I was teaching a lot of fitness classes as one point, I recall thinking that I would not want to risk getting injured by taking up skiing again.
Fast forward to this February with Madison's 4th birthday approaching, we thought it would be great fun to take her to the snow in Taheo for the first time. Originally, we hadn't intended on skiing but after checking out all of the new equipment and changes in the sport in the past 20 years, I was instantly excited about what I thought would be another great sport for me. So we brought ski snow gear (everything but the actual skis, boots and poles - which we would rent) and headed to Squaw Valley with some friends.
Day 1 of skiing was even more wonderful then I expected. I was absolutely in love with it. I started on the easy greens and was doing black diamonds by the end of the day. I also loved the moguls. I could feel my heartrate growing up and I liked the challenging of conquering them as you find your path down. I completed that full day of skiing and was eager to return.
Day 2 of skiing was the culpit of my accident. Now that I thought I was familiar with the whole 'skiing thing,' I got overly aggressive. I just couldn't be content having a good time on the immediate trails or even flat black diamonds. I really just didn't feel any sense of fear. It's funny because I actually remember thinking that I feel more fear descending on my bike which I have been doing now for several year as compared to this new skiing experience. Of course, I chalked up by lack of fear as some sort of bladge of honor and how athletic I must be. Big mistake. It was around noon time and I debated stopping for lunch or hitting up the Ski Up Starbucks but instead, I decided on doing a run on the backside of the mountain. I choose the mogul trail. I had started down it and stopped briefly while some snowboarders were dropping in. I don't really recall specifically what I did wrong but I hit the top of one mogul and started crashing forward. I felt a pull in my left knee and lost my skis and poles. Another skiier brought my skis to me, which were about 20 feet up the hill at this point. I definitely had felt something in my knee but I wasn't in any major pain so I really didn't think much of it. Then I went to stand and my knee collasped. I thouht that was strange. Like maybe my knee popped out and just needed to go back in. So I stood up again, and it collasped again. Hmm- I thought, this is odd. The other skier suggested that I get off the moguls and try on the flat. So I slid down on my bottom. I stood up and it seemed better. I put the skis down and attemped to clip in my left foot.... then the intense pain and collaspe. At this point, I knew I needed medical assistance.
The Webster's online dictionary defines 'downside' as a part of something that you do not want or like : a drawback or disadvantage. That is definitely the exact definition of this incident. In the upcoming weeks, I plan to write periodic updates on the situation.