(Last Updated On: October 1, 2009)
This photo of me was on February 13, 2009 by photographer Alex Fenlon on the most deliciously deep day of the year- my last day in the backcountry, only two days before injury ended my season. My thoughts keep revisiting this day, one of the highlights of my season cut short.
Today is October 1st. I woke up early to falling snow, over an hour before my alarm was to go off. Maybe it was the silence of the snow that woke me. I’m not sure. But, here I am, at 6:30am, one cup of coffee down and breakfast already finished. Not the normal kind of morning for me.
I awoke in a cold sweat, in a slight panic about something. I’m not sure what that something was but as I lay awake unable to dream the ‘something’ transformed. I found my thoughts consumed by skiing, but not with the usual blissful excitement that usually fills my mind this time of year. Instead, I found myself anxious.
Today marks seven and a half months since that fated day that I tore my ACL. This equates to exactly 228 days that I have not skied. Never in my life have I gone this long without strapping on two planks to my feet and swooshing down a blanket of white snow. Even when I tore my ACL twelve years ago, my doctor ensured a quick recovery, so I returned to the sport that I love within five months of being injured.
So, I find myself wondering- What will it be like to ski again? I’ve been away from this sport for so long that I forget what it’s even like anymore. I’ve had to search deep inside my brain to remember the elation, the exhilaration, and the contentment skiing brought to me. I even find myself a bit nervous- Will I even be able to ski? Have I forgotten how?
But, I rummaging through last years photos conjures those delightful memories that have been put aside on the dusty shelf. I am lots of things in life. But, first and foremost, I am a skier. When I am skiing, I am in the place where I feel most inspired and satisfied. These past seven and a half months I have been walking around in a stupor, my eyes fogged over with what ever task is at hand.
I’m looking forward to awakening from this dream that has clouded my mind for 228 days. I know the moment I strap those skis to my feet, the dust will exit my mind. The clarity I’ve been lacking will return and all the memories will come flooding back into my brain. I will lucidly remember that inexplicable feeling. I will remember why I ski.