Originally Posted by Noodler
So Kaptain Karl please finish the story. What has the past 16 years been like for you? What kind of skiing have you been able to do? I think Bonni and I would definitely welcome an inspirational story.
Okay, here's more. I'd skied Alta for several years and learned I love
the steep and deep ... but this was a Spring Skiing trip (March of '90) with classic spring conditions.
My brother -- who works right there -- and I had been fooling around in Greeley Bowl and I'd already broken *both* of my Siderals acting stupid. (We all have a "Stupid Filter" in our heads. It's what usually keeps us from doing or saying stupid things. That day mine had obviously malfunctioned. I should have taken heed when I broke my "Side Rails"....) [I remember breaking my skis. The rest of this story is what my brother tells me happened. [u]I don't remember the rest of that day -- or the three following days....]
Later-on we swooped down the Glory Hole chutes and skied over a big "Pitcher's mound" shaped bump (like what the Jolly Green Giant would use if he were pitching) getting a fun "Negative G" feeling ... which made me stop and suggest we see if we could get long "air" over that bump. Apparently I got frustrated at our lack of big air and sidestepped all the way up to the top of one of the chutes. My brother says he wondered where I'd gone and looked up just in time to see me drop into a tuck at the top of the chute ... carry lots of speed to this bump ... and LAUNCH the entire bump ... the nicely sloped landing area ... and well out over the flat. He says I was at least 30 feet up.
<This is the *only thing* I remember of that event.> I remember being *way* up, spotting where I was going to hit, and thinking "This is gonna hurt." I elected to attempt a Judo-style shoulder roll (I'd studied Judo and Karate for many years; it seemed logical at the time.) </End of my recall.>
My brother says he couldn't tell what I was doing, but he could tell I was doing it with intention
. He says I landed in what Yoga people call the "Plow" position ... which means I didn't time that Judo quite right. He was sure he'd just watched his brother die....
He skated around the mound to me and found me stomping all around grumbling about "not timing my roll properly." (Oh yeah. I'd broken another ski, too.) He was surprised, but I seemed fine to him. We got a pair of Demo skis for me (I'd brought only two pair with me.) and kept skiing ... for about three more runs. Then he says I went "Nut Job Twilight-Zone" on him. He took me to Patrol. They determined I was manifesting a concussion....
The next two days my Denver buddy skied with my brother while the very accommodating Staffers at the Rustler Lodge worked-out a rotation where one of them would (Drs' orders) wake me every three-four hours to be sure I didn't go into a coma ... or something. Then my buddy drove us back to Denver Sunday and Monday I drove myself to work in Boulder (I lived in Washington Park, for your Denver folks).
I was managing a Chiropractic Clinic at the time. That Thursday the Head Doc informed me I had been acting really strange
. Evidently I'd made collection calls to the same Insurance Adjuster for the same case three times ... I'd hung-up on patients seeking appointments ... I'd told other docs calling one of our docs "Sorry, she's not here" (when she had been) and hung-up on those docs, too.
Doc arranged for a Psyche Consult and they quickly determined I had a severe concussion and should have been getting treated starting the second day after my crash
. (This was a week later. Supposedly the faster you begin addressing head injuries, the better the chances of recovery.....)
The Psych Docs said, my decision-making and reasoning capabilities were damaged (My brother says it was damaged BEFORE I crashed.) They also said my spacial reasoning / eye-hand coordination was so bad I shouldn't be doing any driving at all. (I'd been driving 30 miles to work and back the whole week. It's a miracle I didn't kill a few people.)
Three times a week I was put through so many psych / cognitive tests you wouldn't believe them all. After two weeks they allowed me to return to work and said I could drive *only* to work and back home. After four more weeks they told me I still needed work on my eye-hand coordination and I should play video games
as therapy. I quizzed them about "why" and they said video games were actually great for both spatial reasoning AND coordination training. (Did you know South Korean Fighter Pilots spend HOURS "training" on video games....?)
I really don't like video games, so they agreed that I could go to my Karate sparring classes ... so long as I was completely confident my classmates would not hit me in the head. (My school allowed light contact during sparring.) My Instructors agreed and "KK's head" was "Off Limits" for three months. (You should have seen how many guys wanted to spar me when the Docs said, "You're fine. You may be hit in the head again." GEEZ!!!)
I returned to Alta the next winter and my brother showed my son and me where I'd crashed. I was fine looking at Glory Hole. I was fine skiing the chutes again. But the first time I went over that mound -- even though *I* don't remember -- my body
must have remembered something. My knees nearly buckled as I did a whole body flinch
. After that ... no problems at all.
I'm still skiing chutes. I don't try for big air anymore, period. I just skied Alta again two weeks ago. The only thing is ... I still have no memory of most of four days of my life.
While some may still question my decision-making(!) my coordination doesn't seem to be affected. I play and coach tennis and I'm known for my "good hands" at net. (Good reflexes.)
All is well.