Flavio's thoughts on the decisions that led him to hurt his leg
February 16, 2015 -- A tibial plateau fracture
It was cold, but otherwise a beautiful day at Killington. Not a single cloud in the sky and near perfect grooming conditions. The kids were excited to be outside and the grown ups were no different.
Right on the second run, I spotted a mound of really white snow, sitting at the side of the trail. Thinking how fun it would be to dash through it and make an explosion of white powder, I pointed my skis towards it and sped up.
The impact was nothing I predicted. Instead of dispersing fluff, my shin felt the reality of what I ran into: a block of super packed snow, with the density close to a solid block of ice. It felt like hitting a bowling ball. As I tried to cope with the hit, my balance control gave in. It all happened very fast; within a second I recall violently hitting my right knee on the ground and losing the skis and poles while rolling. I'm sure it looked very graceful. :)
At that point, I was already looking forward to a quiet sit down, waiting for the pain to succumb. Only then, I could put the skis back on and finish the run. But it did not work out that way. The minute I tried to get up, my right leg would revive the pain back to its climax. After repeating the cycle one more time, I knew I was done. All I had left to do was to chill out and wait for my 'limo' service. :) The medic staff at the mountain were great. I still don't quite understand how a knee immobilizer can cost $200 bucks and how that charge cannot go into the insurance bill. Must be a marketing thing I will never appreciate. :)
The silliness of how it all happened and the outcome is a bit troubling. It is true that getting old may have something to do with this, but I narrowed down to 3 items that would have made for a much better ending:
- warm up in a cold day is definitely more than a single run;
- fluffy looking snow is to be taken seriously;
- knee pads are not just for snowboarding.
As I write this -- sitting on the sofa with new screws in the leg -- I can't help but feeling thankful for all the patience and support I get from the fam. Modern medicine has definitely made this easier too. It was a really short season; I can't wait to be out skiing next year.
This is how I remember it.