Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Early season trip to Colorado- A back breaker!

"This is gonna be your season" everyone would say. I couldn't get that out of my head as I was being taken down on the sled. Just a few minutes before, I was standing at the top of the course, ready to take on the day. My knee had been hurting from the first day of practice so I had been off my board for a few days. Going up the chairlift, Dustin was telling me to take it mellow and we'll warm up slow, but all I could think about was how I was going to take this course head-on. I had so much confidence as I dropped in, I forgot to look around me. It had snowed a little, my board wasn't running fast, there were hardly any riders on the course...needless to say I was somehow blinded by my ego and I went to hit the 3rd jump and lost all my speed going up the lip. Now, in the past, I have made the mistake to decide to stop at the last second and I accidentally fell off the lip to the deck and broke my neck. So I decided to go for it! I popped as hard as I possibly could and then there was whiteness. All I remember seeing was white everywhere and then a little bit ahead of me was the line for the knuckle of the landing. I knew I was screwed. I just tried to stomp the shit out of the deck. Surprisingly my knee didn't hurt at all. I took it all with my back, and as I landed from 30 feet up to flat, I got major whip-lash that broke my T11. At the time I had no idea what happened. I tried to get up but my back muscles felt like they were clenching harder than ever. I was so happy I could move my arms and legs and knew that everything was going to be alright. I was hoping just my muscles got damaged, but knew the pain was pretty severe. Laying there waiting for the appropriate people to come help me, I was in awe. I had no idea why I thought I could clear this jump and I knew I had just made a horrible decision. A choice that would cost me my season. And could've cost me my career and life as I know it. Dustin looking over me, I could only make out blobs of colors through my fogging lenses. He calmed me down but it was hard for him to keep his emotions that were rushing through him inside. The Dew Tour medical crew worked fast to get me comfortable and into the ambulance. I was so sad that tears would just rush out of my eyes like someone had just turned on the faucet. What was I thinking? I was such an idiot. In a blink of an eye, I had veered off the path to glory and had strayed off course down a bumpy path. Not a path anyone ever wants to take. But like I've said before, this profession is all about sacrifices. And if you think you're never going to get hurt, then think again. Sacrificing your body has been a big one for me...maybe one day I'll wise up and stop getting hurt. So there I was in the hospital in Frisco for the next 4 days, while Jamie Anderson and Torstein Horgmo take first (surprise!) in the first comp of the season. I tried to cheer myself up by thinking there must be some sort of reason for this. I was super optimistic while I was in the hospital. I don't know if it was all the drugs or what, but I was always thinking how I'm going to make the best out of this situation that I put myself in. I had a choice. That's the glory of being human. We have the power to decide things and make choices that will affect the future. I decided that I wouldn't let this little bitty road bump stop me from making my way back to the path to glory. Whatever my glory would be...
Christmas went by, blah. New Years went by, blah. I slept the days away and layed up during the night thinking a million thoughts all at once. The worst part was that I wouldn't be going to Switzerland for the two major comps of the year. I had been looking forward to Europe so much. I have never been there to snowboard. As I stopped taking those nasty little chemical capsules and the drugs wore off, I became so angry at myself for making this stupid mistake. I was now transitioning from the denial to the bargaining stage. After a few days of constantly griping at myself and wishing I could turn back time, I have finally come to face the fact that I must move on with my life. I have to accept the fact that I was an idiot. I haven't gone to the doctor at home yet or started physical therapy, so I have no idea how long it will take until I can strap in again. But all I can control is what I do during my recovery in order to get stronger faster.
There was a moment through all this that I thought it would be easy to just give it all up and get a real life. But why should I take the easy way? And I love snowboarding so much, it would be so hard to not go everyday. I haven't given up yet, and I was just getting the ball rolling. I decided I would take these next couple months easy and focus my energy into marketing myself and the Wasatch Project. It's an area I lack skills in, and I am a modest person so it's hard for me to "show" myself off. I just want to ride. But in this day of commercialism it's important to make yourself known. I will have more opportunities and time to network with the companies who support me and possibly make new connections with other companies. Whatever the reason is for me being an idiot and hucking myself to a broken thorasic, I'll try to make it the best reason I can think of. Because I have a choice! And I choose to brush myself off, and learn from this, so it never happens again.

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