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The Comeback Kid

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, 8 months and 4 days past ACL surgery, today was my first day back. A bright, warm sunny day at Breckenridge was actually a good way to begin.

The day started off well.

Since Mark now teaches at Breck, I am now eligible for the $25 season pass. I expected hours of paperwork, but was delighted to find that it could be completed at the ticket booth. The very competent staff had it done in five minutes!

We started at Beaver Run, but I really wanted to get my legs back on Silverthorne, so I skied down the very flat run to the Quicksilver lift. At first, it was hard to figure out how well as I was doing. The run is so flat that if you turn, you will slow down way too much. After awhile, I decided I wanted to try something slightly more challenging and less crowded. I noticed that the left leg is a bit "hesitant." However, since my right leg used to be my bad leg, at least both legs now perform the same way!

We eventually went up the Mercury lift, and headed down what I thought was Columbia. WRONG!!! It was Sundown, and who decided to turn that into a mogul field this year?: Since we are in "polite company," I will resist describing my reaction to being there. Although I've been cleared for skiing, I am not cleared for moguls, so I was convinced that this was going to be the end of my days on earth. I became even more panicked when people either skied or snowboarded right next to me, and said:

"I don't know nothin' about skiing no moguls."

There was only one solution:

I side-slipped down the entire mogul field! :

When I finally reached the botton, night had fallen.... No, I'm kidding! My first words were "I WILL NEVER SKI AGAIN!!!"

Mark had a better idea.

"You need one of Weems' gratification runs."

We skied Silverthorne again, and life was good.

On the lift, we saw our friend Gerry who teaches at Breck. I told him about my sideslip down the mogul field, and he said that he often uses that as an exercise.

To every instructor who has ever taught the side slip, you have my eternal gratitude.

So how do I feel now? You, see, it's an ego thing. Objectively, I've gone from being a level 6 skier to about a level 3. Can I live with that? Only the season will tell.
post #2 of 15
Way to go, LM! Getting back on skis was the hard part... Just you wait!

And next time, go with someone who knows the mountain!
post #3 of 15
Welcome back.
PS. After a "wrong" turn my daughter actually took off her skis and walked down. Now that I've read a review about the Head lightning ic 160s she had rented. I understand. On my first day ever on the mountain, I snow-plowed all the black diamond runs. Crazy kids!
post #4 of 15
LM,

Good for you! 8 1/2 months is a pretty quick recovery. It won't all come back over night, but you've already done the hard part, which is just getting out there again.

Too bad Mark didn't choose Loveland - you could have saved 25 bucks.

Jim
post #5 of 15
For the record, I let LM totally choose the route today. I was totally willing to hang out down lower watching some of the classes on Silverthorne.

BTW, I did come out with a "there are more bumps over thataway" comment. Prior to Lisa diving down into it. : : She also of course decided that skiing over to the side that had the bigger bumps was the better way down!
Guys - just note - it's ALWAYS your fault even if your wife/GF chose the route! Just go with it.

Seriously, she did great for first day out post-ACL. I expect she'll be out with the rest of the gang pretty much regularly.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Interesting thing about the snow plow or wedge. Now that I have done damage to both my right and left MCL, wthe wedge no longer feels like a viable option. I did resort to it for a few moments, simply out of the trauma of getting down the moguls, but it felt really wrong. Another observation: since both legs are now equally dysfunctional, there is less of an issue with getting them to edge simultaneously, IF and WHEN I can get them up on edge. The difficulty getting them on edge is probably psychological. I don't have a problem when I'm playing on my pro-fitter.
post #7 of 15
Go Lisa, Go Lisa, Go Lisa, Go Lisa
post #8 of 15
Good for you. Nothing wrong with sideslipping or walking down or hiking back out of a run that's too difficult. If you had sideslipped it on a snowboard we would hate you for ruining the snow and the line, but on skis its OK . Welcome back, it's a start, take it easy, you'll be fine.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
It was Sundown, and who decided to turn that into a mogul field this year?
A lot of trails this time of years won't be groomed daily because the snow depth is still a bit marginal inspite of the recent snows. 30" of natural packs down to a lot less and the cats can dig up dirt very quickly.

Quote:
So how do I feel now? You, see, it's an ego thing. Objectively, I've gone from being a level 6 skier to about a level 3. Can I live with that? Only the season will tell.
You'll be back. Sometimes the hardest recovery from an injury is the 6" between our ears. Move forward at your own pace-if you don't feel comfortable opt for an easier trail.
post #10 of 15
Lisamarie,
Good for you getting back on skis. Nov. issue of SKi has an article on ACL injuries. Most skiers I know that have had ACL sugery do climb back to the level they were before the injury, or even higher. It is very important that you ski very centered and not get in the back seat(easier said than done) and by no means, try to save your self from a fall to the back of the skis, let your self go. Be carefull not to get up from a fall by lifting yourself from the back of the skis or from the side by lifting with your legs (puts strain on the ACL or what you have left of it). Take a ski off to get up.
It takes time to get "back on the skis". Take it easy and enjoy the process of getting back the skills you had. This is a really good time to review the funtimentals of skiing, you might find there was something missing from previous learning.
Best of luck!

RW
post #11 of 15
Good start, LisaMarie. You'll do just fine!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
Interesting thing about the snow plow or wedge. Now that I have done damage to both my right and left MCL, wthe wedge no longer feels like a viable option. I did resort to it for a few moments, simply out of the trauma of getting down the moguls, but it felt really wrong. Another observation: since both legs are now equally dysfunctional, there is less of an issue with getting them to edge simultaneously, IF and WHEN I can get them up on edge. The difficulty getting them on edge is probably psychological. I don't have a problem when I'm playing on my pro-fitter.
Snowplows are really hard to do. Hard on the knees, hard on the legs. Just Wrong.

Sideslipping is way better, I just had never heard of sideslipping on my first time out.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Believe me, the sideslip was totally unplanned. However, finding myself on an unplanned bump run, it was my only option. An ACL graft is not fully healed till one year after surgery. Even bumps done correctly can wreck havoc. That's why I still contend that a sideslip is probably the most important move a skier can ever learn.

A few other notes: Even though it was not very mobile, my knee did not hurt one single bit. I chose to ski without the brace, because I felt my movements were already too restricted. Perhaps I will try again with the brace to compare, but right now I am working totally on intuition.

Another observation: The one I have had trouble getting back into was running. My knee just does not like it anymore. However, as a result, my toes are less chronically swollen, making my boots feel more comfortable.
post #14 of 15
LM,
Glad to hear you got back to the slopes. I was surprised to read that you still don't have the go ahead to ski bumps. Is that due to range of motion isues? Keep at it and I hope to see you and Mark at the Beav soon.

Chuck
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisamarie
So how do I feel now? You, see, it's an ego thing. Objectively, I've gone from being a level 6 skier to about a level 3. Can I live with that? Only the season will tell.
It'll come back - I had a similar situation a few years ago (back injury, not knee - but a definite and immediate drop back in skiing ability). Once I resigned myself to the fact that I was really "starting over" and had to re-learn everything, it was much easier. You will learn much more quickly the second time around, and the rewards will come much faster than the first time. Remember the joy you experienced the first time you __________ (fill in the blank with "really carved your first turn," "skied a black," "linked a bunch of carved turns," "skied in the trees," really any accomplishment in skiing ability or terrain)? You will get to experience those same joys all over again. And, this time around, those joys will come more quickly - instead of weeks, months or even years between those milestones that mark progress in our sport, you'll find that the time between them is sometimes only hours and often just days.

Basically, don't fall into the trap of being remorseful about the things you "used to be able to do;" delight in the things that you can do again, and when you do that, you'll find that the day that you can do the things you used to do will come a lot quicker than you thought it would.

J
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