It's really hard to believe that this happened just over 5 yrs ago! I can remember it as if it happened this morning!
It struck me late on the 11th of this month, that it was the 5 yr anniversary of my leg injury. Prior to this, I had only been conscious of the 1st anniversary. The others just slipped by me.
I didn't ski again that season (spent it behind a desk working in Vail Activity Center), but I did ski just a few days short of 9 months from the date of the initial injury down in Argentina. The next 2 seasons I spent very part time at Vail, as I had gotten a full time gig flying corporate and charter aircraft in Houston. In March/07, about 16 months after the injury, I had the hardware removed from the leg while on a trip to Vail
. It was a relatively simple, 30 minute outpatient surgery, followed by about 2-3 weeks of taking it easy (but no crutches).
But as the economy went sour, I got furloughed along with about 10 other pilots at my company. That was in late Sept/08. I looked for another flying gig, but when the season was ready to begin, I hopped back to Vail and just slotted in where I left off.
That season was a tough one, as the leg had not really been stressed in the 30-40 days of skiing I had done the previous 2 seasons while part time. But last season it really came back strong. Now there are absolutely no doubts about it's strength and durability.
I am now about to begin my 3rd season back at Vail full time. Just the past couple of days, I have been skiing some outstanding snow at Breck, during PSIA-RM Examiner Training... Yes, I have decided to reactivate from Emeritus Examiner to Active.
Obviously, I have a certain respect for the first day on snow that 5 or more yrs ago I'm certain I didn't have. Not trepidation or anything negative, just a bit more attention and respect.
But I must admit, it is a treat to get that 1st day under your belt with no incidents!
I hope everyone has a safe and snowfilled winter! Vail is scheduled to open on Friday with one of the biggest openings we have had in many years- almost the entire front of the mtn! And no doubt the back (China, Blue Sky, and the Back Bowls) won't be far behind!
A person HAS to be excited by that!