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  • Writer's pictureKate

Whoops! Tore My ACL, Alas!

So I won't be doing any of these morning meetings anymore. Imagine the base of a mountain filled with 100 or so folks in blue uniforms. That's us. Those in the red jackets are supervisors. And they are surrounded with hundreds of kids, parents and people who want someone to teach them to ski or be a better skier.


Got tangled up with one of my students--classic, and something our supervisors are always lecturing us about avoiding.. But, my spatial awareness was still geared for four-year-olds and I was teaching some adults and one big teenager. And, skiing is pretty dynamic, it just takes being in the wrong place for a second. I was in the wrong place for that split second.


I got a brace and am surprisingly mobile. I am in the novel arena of workmen's comp, Vail apparently has to take care of it. I'll find out more next week but will probably start physical therapy in two weeks.


I am in zero pain. When I say zero, I mean zero. Some of you know I've been having real hip trouble and tearing my ACL has taken pressure off my hip! Last night I slept better than I have in months because my hip didn't bother me!! Nuts, huh?


Gav is here for Christmas break, which was huge. She's been a big help!


The big bummer was I was really hitting my stride as an instructor--I mean, the student who inadvertently took me out was ecstatic, she texted me today to see how I was and said she had had been the three hours of her life! I got the same reaction from my last several classes with skiers of all ages and sizes and capabilities. I can teach non skiers to ski and help skiers do even better! In fact, one day, I even coached a snowboarder! I have only tried to snowboard once in my life and done zero training on snowboarding. When the supervisor assigned me a private lesson and said I'd have four kids who ski and one kid who snowboards, I thought he was joking. He was not.


"You'll do great," he told me.


"Mike," I said to top supervisor, "I have only been on a snowboard once in life!"


Mike looked me in the eye. We were in the middle of hordes of people, dozens of ski instructors and hundreds of kids and their parents. It was like being in a hurricane.


"I don't care if you teach them a single thing," he said. "Just keep 'em safe and let them have fun."


"That I can do," I said. And I did.


Plus a little more. I know very little about snowboarding. I just pulled up the training info for snowboard instructors on Vail my training app and gave the kid some tips and off he went! That night they begged their parents to have me teach them another day. So I did!


Sigh. But that is probably it for this season. HOWEVER, I have been down this road before. I tore my ACL when Gav was about four and Eliana nearly ten. And I did not do it while skiing. I did it when I caught my foot in a mat while getting off a damn New Jersey Transit bus! Not only did I navigate New York with a torn ACL and two kids while living in a triplex, I healed through physical therapy and NO surgery! I intend to do that again. I skied Telluride with my brother Tom three or four months after that ACL injury. The doctor I saw yesterday at the clinic that is on the mountain was totally in sync with me.


The clinic doc said current protocol is totally reversed from the past. Once, places like Aspen would do surgery the same day if they could. That has since been found to be counterproductive. He said I'm looking at physical therapy, then possibly surgery and then more physical therapy. He said those who do PT pre surgery fare much better post surgery than those who do not do pre-surgery.


He also said that he knows a woman here in Park City who tore her ACL, went in for surgery three months later and it had healed. That's gonna be me! "ACLs," he told me confident, "can heal."


Got a party tonight and a good bar for watching the fireworks on New Year's Eve with a few friends. Gav is going to join us! The fireworks are, conveniently for me, at 9 pm, so all is good in the entertainment department. I've plenty to do without skiing but I am trying to find something I can do once or twice a week to make sure I get a lot of interaction with people!


This injury leaves me no excuse for not kicking butt on marketing my book with the same effort I put into making sure people who took a ski lesson from me got something out of it. You know how I believe the Universe works with you, including giving you a kick in the butt when it thinks you need it. So the Universe had me tackle huge range of ski instructing challenges that terrified me. And every single time, I did well! So now, I can put that same kind of effort into book marketing, knowing that whatever gets thrown at me, I can not just handle, but succeed at.


And I am still going to work out, but just do upper body and abs until physical therapists tell me what else I can do. No yoga, unfortunately. But definitely meditating and visualizing!


In the comedy department, after I fell, I assessed my knee and thought maybe I could stand,. I tried to stand and then my knee totally gave way and I fell back down. A heart doctor who was skiing nearby missed my initial fall and just saw me collapse and thought I'd had a heart attack! His ski instructor very kindly took the one student who was a minor down to the base for me. The other two, who were really fun women in their 30s, quite sensibly went to the bar. "Have a few for me!" I told them.


I got injured mid mountain so the ski patrol took me down on a sled to the gondola and the entire gondola line cheered me as I hobbled between two ski patrollers onto the gondola. Another instructor took my student down for me. So, all in all, an entertaining day. 


In addition, a bunch of cute guys came to my aid. One lives in the Cayman Islands but the other is local. So, who knows? Heh, heh.


Meanwhile, my view this morning!




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