New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Joy of skiing stolen by bum knee

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Had my first "real" ski day since my knee injury.* Went to Taos. No bumps or anything that might cause impact on orders of Ortho. It was hard-pack and hard to look at all the sweet terrain and softer snow from which I was banned.

 

I skied pretty hard  for being relegated to the groomers. At first I was skiing too defensively. But eventually, mostly it came back, even if i was conscious of needing not to get too close to the edge.

 

At the end of the day, I felt flat. I had fun sort of -- or did I? I wasn't overly scared, although i did feel this nagging wonder if my body would react properly. 

 

What I did not feel was the wonder of freedom and childlike joy that usually accompanies a ski day. Even those days when the conditions are crappy. I always felt joy.

 

Yesterday, it felt more like exercise or work. It was a horrible feeling. like having something very precious stolen.

 

Anyone else experience this coming back from an injury? Is this just a phase? (i hope, i hope)

 

* sprain of ACL/MCL hairline fracture of tibial plateau and bone bruise on December 29th.

post #2 of 16

I had a similar experience coming back from knee surgery to clean up a medial meniscus tear. The fear definitely goes away. In my case, I had to make something a conscious effort to get over the fear and trust the orthopedic surgeon who said, "trust me, your knee can handle it."   But it wasn't a big "Other Side of the Mountain," Movie of the Week type of moment. It may happen in its own sweet time, but it does happen.

 

A couple of things that were major factors in getting past this fear for me:

 

Time -- the memory of the injury fades, as does (hopefully) any residual pain, intermittent swelling and stiffness. And the good stuff flows back in where it belongs.

 

Shadowing -- I got behind some good skiers and tried to emulate them while I was recovering. It forced me to forget about my knee, and I started feeling like I was back in the groove in spite of myself.

post #3 of 16

I know that last season coming back from breaking both my wrists it was day 17 when I finally felt I was back "in" the game.  This year, tougher, as it's my knee and still hurts when I go too long.  I've looked at my notes and my first 4 or 5 star day was day 8 and I've really only been skiing partial days so far.  Now at day 28, there are more 4/5 star days than there were before this.  I am strictly on groomers and it's frustrating that some days I have more knee pain than others, rather than a steady improvement.  Days are definitely more "flat" because I don't feel I can cut loose, speed-wise, conditions-wise, etc. 

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

 

I know that last season coming back from breaking both my wrists it was day 17 when I finally felt I was back "in" the game.  This year, tougher, as it's my knee and still hurts when I go too long.  I've looked at my notes and my first 4 or 5 star day was day 8 and I've really only been skiing partial days so far.  Now at day 28, there are more 4/5 star days than there were before this.  I am strictly on groomers and it's frustrating that some days I have more knee pain than others, rather than a steady improvement.  Days are definitely more "flat" because I don't feel I can cut loose, speed-wise, conditions-wise, etc. 

Do you find that, when you do have a 5-star day, you appreciate it more fully now than perhaps you did before your injuries? 
 

post #5 of 16

No.  Because my "five star" day this year is nothing like the totally different scale I've had in the past.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gnarlito View Post

 

Do you find that, when you do have a 5-star day, you appreciate it more fully now than perhaps you did before your injuries? 
 

 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys. it's good to know that five star days can return. Sibhusky, I'm sorry your recovery is taking so long. It is frustrating. But at least in the aggregate, you are heading in the right direction. Hang in there. Gnarilto, thank you for the inspiration and the shadowing advice. I think that's a great idea.

post #7 of 16

For me it was great just to be back doing something I knew I loved, but I knew would be a challenge to be "myself" again when skiing.  I just kept thinking about all the times over the past 2+ years that I missed skiing with my friends, my family, just being out in nature on a mountain.  Forget about the skiing itself and concentrate on the things that make the skiing "experience" what it is.

 

I now have 5 days back on snow since being carted off a mountain.  The fear is subsiding (especially after getting my first fall out of the way - I had a beautiful double ejection with a face plant on Sunday) and my strength is slowly returning while the pain is slowly subsiding. 

 

Everyone around me (non-skiers) is questioning my sanity in getting back out there, but I reason that I had one major accident in 30 years of skiing.  How many people go 30 years without a car accident or maybe a fall doing some other sport?  I just have to get past the fact the skiing has its risks and that I value the rewards so much more (even after 4 surgeries ).

post #8 of 16

Phase, you will be back ripping in no time.

 

Even the professionals feel the way you do, some quite being professionals, most bounce back.

 

After my bad accident I was second guessing if I want to risk skiing again and getting hurt or worse....but as soon as the next season came around, I was out there, a bit tepid, but out there nevertheless...that was last season.  This season I am skiing with 99% confidence, I still get much more afraid of crashing than I used to, but I'm hauling a$$ and skiing better than ever before.  Lovin' every minute of it!

post #9 of 16

Hey, Mom, one word:  P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E

 

No doubt you're feeling like Wiley Coyote these days, but be glad you're back on the stix and recognize that sometimes the doctors are right (even the non-skiers among them).

 

I cycle as well as ski and know a triathlete from Toronto w/injuries similar to yours and she was also impatient and anxious to get back to "normal," which varies for every one of us.  Point is, she rushed it, did more than docs and PTs said, and dug herself into a deeper hole to work her way out of.

 

If you rush it, maybe some day you'll end up like me, with double knee replacement.  Messed up my knees from various sports long ago and, after my first surgery in early '80s, I was bone-on-bone in both knees. Couldn't run at all and while son and daughter were home I could barely ski once or twice a year, and then only with lotsa pain day of and night after.

 

My salvation was a bilateral TKR three years ago that let me return to skiing when I never thought I would. I now ski 3-4 days a week as new patroller on little local hill and find skiing (my first love) is undermining my passion for cycling, which was all I could do physically for a long time.

 

So just take your time and when you're whole and healthy, the joy and passion of skiing will return. It did for me, even after a 30-year hiatus.

 

Cheers,

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the cheer-leading. It really does help! (I feel like a bit of a whine-y piker, after reading some of my fellow skier's experiences.)

 

I took a lesson this past weekend and that helped a lot. Sort of like Gnarlito's shadowing idea - the focus on technique helped get my mind off the injury and back to the slopes. I think you are right. it will come back.

 

post #11 of 16

I had a tibial plateau fracture 2 years ago, and last year I felt like you do - I could ski, but it took effort with some pain when hitting ruts and it took a lot of the fun out of it (which didn't stop me).  I wondered if I would ever feel really good skiing again.  Being in my mid-50s didn't help.

 

This year I am really back at 100% and skiing better than ever (staying out of the bumps though).

post #12 of 16

Yesterday was my first day back following a 5 week recoup from a shoulder seperation / bruised ribs fall. My injuries really don't compare in severity to many others, but, the first day back is a milestone that needs getting through. I have a vivid memory of laying on the snow thinking "thank god it's not my legs", and, my best wishes to those who are returning from leg issues. My issue that I just don't want to fall as I'm not fully recovered.

 

I waited for a bluebird, good snow day because there has always been a joy associated with those days. There's nothing like being able to seen all the small variations in the snow. The plan was to do greens and blues and just work on getting basic technique back. First few runs were tenative and mechanical. Then, it began to flow again. Never cut loose, couldn't even look at bump runs. The only real downside is the physical conditioning deterioration over 5 weeks. Small muscles hurt, runs I could do non-stop required stopping. Did almost 4 straight hours and then left. 4 stars.

 

Smiled all the way home. The plan is to continue in small bites.

 

 

post #13 of 16

I ruptured my left ACL on March 5th this year after blowing the landing on a jump. Everything I was told in the immediate aftermath of the injury led me to believe I'd be lucky to be back on snow in a year even if I didn't need surgery; two years if I did. Within two weeks, I'd been told that it was a complete tear and I wouldn't ski again without a reconstruction.

 

Something in me simply didn't want to accept that. The immediate aftermath of the injury was just awful; I was on crutches for a week, and the week after I stopped using them I would climb on my stationary bike every night and see how close I was to being able to turn the pedals a full rotation. I'd get to a certain point and the leg would just stop, and each time I'd struggle to comprehend the fact that my limb simply wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.

 

At about 2.5 weeks post-injury, I finally managed that full pedal rotation. Three days later, I managed five minutes of pedaling on the stationary bike at work. Two days after that, I got on my road bike and rode 25k. And a month post-injury, I finished a 100k road race (with a very lousy time, but I really didn't care.)

 

Six weeks post-injury, my PT cleared me to ski. I strapped on my new bionic brace and headed up to one of our local mountains where I could practice on short runs with slow lifts. I skied, and while I was out there I couldn't stop grinning. I was six weeks out from a total ACL rupture, and I was on snow. I knew how lucky I was, and how happy I was to be out there. 

 

Then I got home, and to my surprise I was totally bummed out. The fact that I'd made it out, and all the doctors' predictions, faded into the background. All I could think about was how cautious I'd been, how shot to shit my technique was, and how much I'd lost. I was so freaking afraid that the injury had permanently compromised my confidence, and I'd never be able to ski at the level I was at before again.

 

I spent two weeks working on really aggressive quad strengthening, and then I went back to Whistler. Still restricted - groomers only, no bumps or jumps or rough stuff - but it was a different picture altogether. My leg felt stronger, and I was skiing really well. Not quite as fast or hard as before, but my carving was good and strong and there was no fear. It was maybe 75% of  the speed and strength of my pre-injury level, but that wasn't the important thing; the difference was that the fear associated with the injury had gone. And with that, the fun came back.

 

I suspect the length of time it takes is different for everyone. But it's not the same going back after an injury, and it takes time to get over that. If it doesn't happen right away, the only thing to do is practice till it does. :)


Edited by kcxd - 5/12/10 at 9:32pm
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Congratulations on such an amazing recovery. I am living proof that it only gets better and you will be sking with joyful abandon once again. I lost the brace this season and, although i do think about the injury when i'm off snow, i never think about it when i'm skiing.

post #15 of 16

Good to hear. :) I know I've been very lucky with the recovery from the original injury, and that there's still a very long road ahead of me (wait list, surgery, and rehab) before I'll be skiing at the level I was at before it happened. The difference that the extra couple of days on snow have made is that I've shed that fear that I'll be permanently compromised, and am now confident that (barring unforeseen complications) I'll one day be just as strong as I was before, even if it takes a while. So glad to hear that you have your joyful abandon back - that really is the best thing about skiing. :)

post #16 of 16

Delete

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: