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Beginner - Sort of - Page 2

post #31 of 36
Thread Starter 
******BUMP******

Well, it's been quite a while. I still hang out here and read but haven't posted in forever so I thought I'd give an update on my progress. I have new boots custom fitted with footbeds. My boot fitter is Jeff Bergeron in Breck. I've been working with him for 2 seasons now and he is awesome. He has nearly alleviated the disparity in my right and left turns. Thank you Jeff!

I have an Epic Pass and season long lesson club pass. My goal this year was to overcome my fears and continue to improve my skiing from a technical standpoint. Another, secondary goal is to ski 500,000 vertical feet. I'm at 470k in 32 days on 4 mountains with the majority of my time at Breck. I have at least nine more days on the mountain so should be a piece of cake.

I LOVE ski club. I have had the good fortune to ski with some remarkable instructors this season. Favorites are Kneale and Mikey Elefant. I am now a high level 6/ low 7. I would likely be advancing more quickly in level 7 classes but I don't ski bumps because of my knee. It's doing great this year and I'd like to keep it that way.

I am happily skiing all blue and black groomers with confidence. We have had a lot of powder days this year and I've had some fun demoing powder skis and playing in the soft stuff. It's more of a challenge for me but oh dear god, how fun!!!

As far as the fear, my skiing has improved, I am skiing faster and have a ton more confidence. Nothing has really gotten my heart pumping except for one black mogul run that an instructor took me on. I made it down though not prettily. The last class I was in, my instructor said I am ready for a level 7 steeps class. Hmmm.

Thanks for reading. I hope everyone is having a fantastic season!
Tracy
post #32 of 36

From 2010 to 2014

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by TracyMcP View Post
 

Hello everyone! I am just getting back into skiing after an injury and surgery and I'm having difficulty getting my head in the right place. My story is long, and I hope you won't get bored reading, but here goes.

 

I'm from the southeast and never experienced winter weather or sports until late in my adult life. A couple of years ago, at the age of 46 or so, I went to Park City with a man I was dating that is an expert skier and very passionate about it. I wanted to try to learn to ski so I could spend time with him in his sport of choice. Despite his ability to teach me himself, he put me in a full day group lesson. I loved everything about being there, the scenery, the excitement of learning something new, but I really did not do all that well. I was extremely fearful and uncoordinated. After our lunch break on my first day, I took a fall that resulted in a 75% MCL tear. Ouch.

 

Back to Georgia I go, marry this skier expert of mine and then we get transferred to Denver. Time now to get serious about skiing. Got all new gear, K2 True Luv skies, good boots, Epic pass... I started out in another beginner class and did a little better. Had a blast. Totally hooked. Skiing a little faster and doing wedge turns. I did have a ton of trouble with my right turns. Complete mental block. But not giving up.

 

Any how, I progressed from a timid, almost never ever to a fairly confident blue groomer skier. I pushed myself to do a couple of blue blacks and even one black. Wow! Now mind you, I picked my way down these more difficult runs rather than actually skiing them. But it was still quite an accomplishment for a scardey cat like me.

 

So our routine every weekend, I would ski the first run or two, a green, then a blue with my guy and then he would take off to hike to his double black diamond terrain. I would happily ski my blue groomers all day and we would meet up later. We skied 35 days that season ( year before last ) until I fell on Lost Boy at Vail in fresh powder. Never skied powder before. It was a slow, nothing fall, that managed to damage pretty much every structure in my right knee. Another 75% MCL tear, complete ACL tear, another unnamed tendon tear, tib/fib damage from bones colliding as well as some meniscus damage that required some clean up.

 

This resulted in 12 weeks of pre-hab and collateral damage healing, surgery and 8 months of physical therapy. I missed a whole ski season and this year is my first chance to get back into it. I am very excited and scared *hitless.I am now 49 years old and despite working out in the gym, nowhere near as fit or flexible as I was just a few years ago.

 

So we went to Breck last weekend, my first time on skis and we went straight to the bunny hill just so I could test my legs and my brakes :-) I was bored instantly and we went to the next chair that took us up to a longer green run, can't remember the name.Springmeyer. Did this run 3 times and had trouble with my right hand turns and was terrified of the faster skiers coming down from above. So, on my 5th run, I tried to make a right turn, didn't pick up my uphill ski at the same time I hit an icy patch. The perfect storm. I landed on my bony hip  (I'm 5'6 and 112 lbs so no padding) and then my elbow/shoulder on what felt like concrete. I hit the ground so hard I heard all the air leave my body. Ouch! Took a few minutes to get up. Knee held up fine. I was worried about the ACL graft but the knee was not at involved in this crash. I now have the worst bruise I have ever seen on my right hip. My husband didn't see me fall and asked me if I got in the back seat. I don't think so. I can always feel my shins against my boots.

 

So after all of this intro, what I would really like to know is, do any of you have advice for regaining confidence after an injury. I didn't have a lot to begin with and I am my own worst critic. I am considering taking a beginner lesson. My husband thinks I should take an intermediate. I think I might have ingrained some bad habits skiing alone so much.

 

What do you guys think? Oh, and thanks for sticking with me if you read this far.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TracyMcP View Post
 

Update on beginner sort of.

I have been skiing every weekend. Still hanging out on green runs. My husband says I am ready to get back to blues, but I haven't had a chance to have my boots looked at yet and I don't want to risk getting hurt again, I just posted on the bootfitters forum and have a long weekend in Breck coming up so I will have time to get them looked at. I've had zero pre-releases on my Kneebindings and they did release on my one and only fall since I've had them. So far, so good.

 

My goal is to get 100,000 vertical feet this season which is a challenge for me since I was out 12 weeks with a tibial plateau fracture. I think I can still get there. It's really weird, going from an intermediate all the way back to a beginner. I think I might have gotten rid of a couple of problems. Most noticably, the problem with my right hand turns. I would love to get my skis more parrallel and skid my turns less. My husband says that will come when I start skiing faster. Right now I don't have the confidence to go faster. I would love to post some video of me skiing to see what you guys think, but I'm not sure how to do it. I have video from my husbands Blackberry.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TracyMcP View Post

******BUMP******

Well, it's been quite a while. I still hang out here and read but haven't posted in forever so I thought I'd give an update on my progress. I have new boots custom fitted with footbeds. My boot fitter is Jeff Bergeron in Breck. I've been working with him for 2 seasons now and he is awesome. He has nearly alleviated the disparity in my right and left turns. Thank you Jeff!

I have an Epic Pass and season long lesson club pass. My goal this year was to overcome my fears and continue to improve my skiing from a technical standpoint. Another, secondary goal is to ski 500,000 vertical feet. I'm at 470k in 32 days on 4 mountains with the majority of my time at Breck. I have at least nine more days on the mountain so should be a piece of cake.

I LOVE ski club. I have had the good fortune to ski with some remarkable instructors this season. Favorites are Kneale and Mikey Elefant. I am now a high level 6/ low 7. I would likely be advancing more quickly in level 7 classes but I don't ski bumps because of my knee. It's doing great this year and I'd like to keep it that way.

I am happily skiing all blue and black groomers with confidence. We have had a lot of powder days this year and I've had some fun demoing powder skis and playing in the soft stuff. It's more of a challenge for me but oh dear god, how fun!!!

As far as the fear, my skiing has improved, I am skiing faster and have a ton more confidence. Nothing has really gotten my heart pumping except for one black mogul run that an instructor took me on. I made it down though not prettily. The last class I was in, my instructor said I am ready for a level 7 steeps class. Hmmm.

Thanks for reading. I hope everyone is having a fantastic season!
Tracy

Thanks for the update!  Didn't catch the you grew up in the southeast before.  Kudos for persevering after the injuries.

 

I've ended up in the southeast but grew up in NYC.  Was lucky enough to spend a couple winters learning to ski in the Adirondacks.  Didn't ski much as a working adult.  Luckily, my daughter turned out to love skiing too.  The challenge in recent years was to keep skiing after popping off an ACL (not skiing).  Opted to skip ACLr surgery. Spent time and money on lessons with very experienced instructors instead.  Combined with more ski conditioning, it's worked out pretty well.  I ski better and longer during a ski day at age 57 than I did at age 55 with two intact ACLs.

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 
Hi Marznc!
So you are in Raleigh? My sister and family live in Raleigh. I grew up in South Florida, did 20 years or so in Atlanta before landing in Denver. This feels like home now, though we dream of retiring in Breckenridge or the Frisco area.

I see you are an ACL "coper". I'm always impressed by people who are fully functioning, especially sports minded at that, that are ACL deficient. For me, I simply had to opt for reconstruction. I had absolutely no stability without the standard set of ligaments. After the sled ride down after my fall, the patroller had me stand on my good foot holding my poles. Then he asked me to put some weight on the injured side. My knee completely buckled and collapsed ( which made me pass out for a beat or two). Yikes. I knew there was surgery in my near future.

I had a couple of years there where I honestly thought I would never be the same. But amazingly, this year I heaved turned a corner. I threw away the knee braces, even the compression types and I have almost no knee pain. I can do stairs completely normally without a thought, in both directions. And I am able to squat. I have as much, if not more flex and extension in my repaired knee than the other. It feels really strong and healthy.

Consequently, I have had a skiing breakthrough this year. Got a firm handle on the fear thing. I am skiing faster, in control with much improved technique on a wider variety of terrain in different conditions. Really all I had hoped for! And it will only get better from here. I take a lot of lessons. Yesterday, I did my first double black! It wasn't especially pretty, but I did it!

Looking forward to at least 6 more days this season. Might even try A basin after Breck closes for the season. How often do you get to your hill? You must have a pretty good commute?
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracyMcP View Post

Hi Marznc!
So you are in Raleigh? My sister and family live in Raleigh. I grew up in South Florida, did 20 years or so in Atlanta before landing in Denver. This feels like home now, though we dream of retiring in Breckenridge or the Frisco area.

I see you are an ACL "coper". I'm always impressed by people who are fully functioning, especially sports minded at that, that are ACL deficient. For me, I simply had to opt for reconstruction. I had absolutely no stability without the standard set of ligaments. After the sled ride down after my fall, the patroller had me stand on my good foot holding my poles. Then he asked me to put some weight on the injured side. My knee completely buckled and collapsed ( which made me pass out for a beat or two). Yikes. I knew there was surgery in my near future.

I had a couple of years there where I honestly thought I would never be the same. But amazingly, this year I heaved turned a corner. I threw away the knee braces, even the compression types and I have almost no knee pain. I can do stairs completely normally without a thought, in both directions. And I am able to squat. I have as much, if not more flex and extension in my repaired knee than the other. It feels really strong and healthy.

Consequently, I have had a skiing breakthrough this year. Got a firm handle on the fear thing. I am skiing faster, in control with much improved technique on a wider variety of terrain in different conditions. Really all I had hoped for! And it will only get better from here. I take a lot of lessons. Yesterday, I did my first double black! It wasn't especially pretty, but I did it!

Looking forward to at least 6 more days this season. Might even try A basin after Breck closes for the season. How often do you get to your hill? You must have a pretty good commute?

Well, our mailing address is Cary but only people who know NC would have any idea where that is so I usually stick with Raleigh when someone asks where I live.  Does your sister ski?

 

It's a 4-hour drive to Massanutten from our house, but no mountain driving and no city traffic to worry about since it's mostly up US29.  I stay overnight so the drive is not that bad.  Have done day trips but that was only when my daughter had a snow day.  There are many reasons Mnut is worth the slightly longer drive compared to NC ski areas or Wintergreen.

 

Since I'm retired I also take a couple trips out west.  Heading to Alta on Saturday for an annual meet up with friends at Alta Lodge.  That will be just over a week of nothing but skiing and relaxing.  My daughter is off enjoying boarding school in the NY Adirondacks.  She's at the middle school where I learned to ski long ago.  Decided to learn to tele this season.

 

Glad you are fully recovered from the last ACL injury.  The mental aspect seems like the hardest to deal with, especially after the relatively long post-surgery period.

 

If you are curious to know more about how I've become a successful coper, take a look at these threads on TheSkiDiva.com.

 

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/learning-to-be-a-coper-without-an-acl.14847/

http://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/no-acl-no-surgery-no-problem-my-new-normal-as-a-coper.15049/

post #35 of 36
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am familiar with Cary. My sister's first house was there before they built on 7 acres in Raleigh, Theys Road area.
Last night I read some of your copers thread on Ski Diva (I'm a Diva too!) Very interesting stuff indeed. So glad you've had a good outcome. Reading about your experience sure made the memories flood back. I had forgotten about things like the difficulty of walking on grass, the pain of PT.
For me, having to tear through scar tissue was far more painful than the surgery. I'm still glad I did it though. There was no way I could enjoy life without an ACL.

Your Alta trip sounds like great fun. You must be excited! Safe travels.
I hope you have nice weather and great snow!
Tracy
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracyMcP View Post

Yes, I am familiar with Cary. My sister's first house was there before they built on 7 acres in Raleigh, Theys Road area.
Last night I read some of your copers thread on Ski Diva (I'm a Diva too!) Very interesting stuff indeed. So glad you've had a good outcome. Reading about your experience sure made the memories flood back. I had forgotten about things like the difficulty of walking on grass, the pain of PT.
For me, having to tear through scar tissue was far more painful than the surgery. I'm still glad I did it though. There was no way I could enjoy life without an ACL.

Your Alta trip sounds like great fun. You must be excited! Safe travels.
I hope you have nice weather and great snow!
Tracy

Thanks!  No question that ACLr surgery is the right choice for a lot of situations.

 

Going to Alta in April has become an annual affair.  Next March I hope to tag along to Denver with my husband when he attends a conference.  Then I can stay and ski Aspen/Snowmass using the MCP before heading to Utah.  He's a non-skier so he'll head home first.  I take full advantage of being retired. :D 

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