This weekend was my first time back on skis since my wrist injury on ATWFF in 2011. Sustaining that injury changed my life in many ways. Not only did it allow me to stop my hectic pace and realize where I needed to re-evaluate my life but it forced me to discontinue my adrenaline packed, routine physical activities. I couldn’t practice my beloved vinyasa yoga anymore. “Boxing was out of the question,” laughed my doctor, hysterically. Even running I found to be too jarring to do without serious pain. The injury I sustained required two surgeries and overtime, I became physically weaker, tired and began to withdraw socially. Not realizing that this is the body’s natural response to healing, I began to freak out, thinking something else was wrong with me. The last thing I wanted to admit was that I couldn’t DO something, so I pushed myself to be active and go out. Finally, I couldn’t fake it anymore. I was completely exhausted and needed a break. Admitting that to myself, brought me an instant rush of peace and surrender. Thankfully, I was able to take some time to recover. Now, I am able to do some modified vinyasa yoga to strengthen my right arm and balance out my body. It’s a much slower and more conscious practice than ever before.
This weekend was a huge eye-opener, showing me how far I’ve come since my last surgery and how much the past two years of pain have impacted my psyche. My friends all know me as a fearless warrior, so seeing me timidly weaving my way down the mountain this weekend on skiis was a shocker. Even I didn’t know how I’d take to hurling myself down an icy mountain again. In the past, before my injury, I would barrel down black diamonds without a second thought. This time, I took it much slower, allowing my body to begin to trust itself at it’s own pace, not forcing anything. Skiing this weekend showed me how much of an effect my injury has had on my body and mind. Because injuries happen fast and are normally intense and traumatic, our mind tends to block some of the pain and memory from the accident. As our bodies heal, we have the time we need to process the injury and it’s effect on the course of our lives moving forward. It’s important when we are hurt to really give ourselves the time our bodies need to heal, otherwise we end up storing emotional trauma in our muscle memory that will be more painful in the long run to work out.
Today we were skiing with a group and a friend of ours was trying to do a trick on a flat part of the run when he went down, hard. He tried to get up a couple times and couldn’t; his knee kept giving out. Concerned witnesses summoned the ski patrol who zipped him up and sledded him down the mountain to the clinic. After a few tests and some grueling wait time, the diagnosis: torn ACL, MCL and miniscus (the trifecta of knee injuries). He’s got a long road of healing ahead.
My heart goes out to him and anyone else who is injured, because I know the physical and mental anguish involved in injury recovery. I also know that as soon as a person can wrap his head around the benefits of being injured, the faster he will heal and grow from his experience.
Now, I can honestly say that I’m grateful for my injury because it led me to deepen my Kundalini yoga practice, slow down enough to discern the direction I want my life to take, and it gave me time to reconnect with friends and family. Had I not been injured, I’m not sure I would have given myself permission or time to do any of those things. Then, where would I be?? The psych ward, probably.
Day 11: Rebuilding.