Injuries, Adversity, and Plot Development


It’s quite astounding how quickly ones outlook, aspirations, and goals can change. I was struck by this as I was walking through the forest with my dogs the other day. While I am thankful to have a forest to walk through and two outstanding fur balls who love me unconditionally, this day I was simply thankful to be walking.

I have long known that injuries are part and parcel to the lifestyle I have chosen but to one day be planning epic ski adventures in the Orient or scoping Alaskan peaks off in the distance and then only a few short days later be laying on your back in the snow watching those visions disappear into the ether can be a disconcerting feeling. My seasonal goals quickly changed from corked 7’s in the backcountry to being very excited about walking down stairs somewhat normally.

In the face of adversity, Andy Stanley once said, and I am paraphrasing,  that when you look back and tell your story, this moment now will merely be a sentence.

That is how I am choosing to approach this minor setback. This is a sentence in the narrative of my life. Surely there are events that require the devotion of a whole chapter and other still that are merely a footnote. The moment my ACL and I decided to part company I had a choice to make – is this a footnote, sentence, or chapter in my story?

A footnote feels overwhelmingly inadequate. This is not something I can brush aside and continue on unaffected by. Too many elements of my life are focused on my ability to be in the mountains in pursuit of my passions. But I refuse to let this become a chapter. A chapter is dangerously close to the development of a storyline. An inciting incident leading to a climax then on to resolution. Drama, intrigue, despair, joy, and closure. A chapter could imply that this will be a some inglorious tragedy or some compelling victory that will forever alter the person I become. Surely this will be a period of growth for me. It will come with some challenges and some victories but this will not be a event that drains my positivity or ushers me into despair.

Moreover, this is an opportunity to revel in the happiness of others. While this should be something I practice daily, it is something I don’t do often enough. So maybe that is the biggest lesson to learn from all of this in the end.

So while my friends stealthily avoid the topic of their last epic run down Corn Biscuit or how excited they are about the storm front moving in, I say we should all celebrate it together – Let me share in the excitement through you if I can’t be with you! This is not the nail in the coffin of my ski career. I am not shunned from the mountains forever. I am taking a hiatus. I will be back in a short amount of time and all will be well. In fact, it will be better than ever. There will not be lingering affects; physical, mental or emotional.

This will merely be a sentence in my story.

This one time, I tore my ACL but that was OK, because I came back better than ever.


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