A couple of weeks have passed since I broke my leg and I can’t help but think that my injury is relatively minor.
I did undergo a surgery but it was straight forward and I didn’t have any cast on my leg. Yesterday after a follow up visit to my orthopedic surgeon, who is awesome chill person and a skier who has gone through similar injury of his own, the staples came off and I could bear some weight on my right leg. He gave me some exercises to do and my complete recovery timeline would be around 4 months which is not bad considering I broke something, underwent surgery, It could have easily been lot worse and I have seen it happen.
It hasn’t been easy couple of weeks by any means, there isn’t a single day where I don’t think about how it happened and what could I have done to prevent it, if anything. I can’t help but blame myself about messing with the DIN though my injury could still have happened without it, I would never know. I had to cancel couple of backcountry and ski mountaineering trips which I was looking forward to for a long time, along with some other personal stuff and it was painful to do so.
It makes me sad to take look at my right leg, I am surprised by amount on muscle atrophy in two weeks but at least I can start working towards building them back so early on instead of having to wait another few weeks.
Overall, I am really optimistic about my recovery timeline which is about 4 months and motivated to put in the effort required to do so. It certainly won’t be a walk in the park but in the grand scheme of things I certainly consider myself lucky. I am already entertaining the idea of being able to ski in May but it is too early to say if it will be possible.
This brings me to the second half of the blog post, taking risks or rather calculated risks. I have always had discussions with different people about it and its interesting how everyone perceives it differently. After my accident the first response from my mom was “ok so you are not going to Ski again right, you have had enough fun”. Sorry to disappoint you mom but my parents know me and I doubt they expect me to stop, it was more spur of moment reaction.
I wouldn’t have been so much into outdoor sports if it wasn’t for their encouragement while I was growing up. I have been hiking since I was a kid, skipped a month of school in 10th grade to go hiking in Himalayas and 10th grade is very important in India. I have been in a nasty bus accident on way to Pindari glacier in May 1995, the bus got stuck on a tree which prevented it from going all the way into a ravine. Luckily I escaped with only scratches in this one but remember it very vividly.
I always get asked and specially now it will get worse, Isn’t it is risky to keep doing all these sports? My usual response is Yes of course it is but you drive right? I don’t know about statistics on driving injuries/accidents but I consider it to be equally risky and not many people think about it. We are in control of few tons of steel and we drive it at crazy speeds not to mention there are others around us doing the same.
Takings risks is a very personal thing and it all depends on what you are comfortable with. I won’t hesitate to swim with sharks or ski a steep chute in right conditions but riding a bike on LA freeways is out of my comfort zone, that is not going to happen.
I have been skiing only for 6 years and my first season at Mammoth I didn’t even go to the top since I knew I couldn’t have skied down in one piece, my first day was spent only on one chair lift which is a beginner chair. I have taken it quite easy and have slowly pushed my limits as I have progressed in my skiing.
Steep and Deep Camp at Jackson Hole this year was one of the ways I wanted to push myself. I was thinking about how I would ski Corbet’s couloir, mentally preparing myself about the turns I will have to make after dropping in, visualizing them but after taking one look at it, I knew it would be stupid to attempt it. I wasn’t ready to take the risk, at least not this year. Yep, I do intend to go back to Jackson Hole and take the camp again.
The scariest run that we did during the camp was probably the Alta 2 chute, one left turn was between two trees and then had to make immediate right turn to avoid the rock. I nervously held on the tree as I dropped in which was a mistake but I made it out and that felt like certainly pushing myself.
Looking back at my accident, I attribute it to my own mistake. I had to make a easy right over a whoop, wave like feature in snow, but for whatever reason I didn’t follow the earlier tracks and the snow where my tip got caught was rock hard or it might even have been a rock.
Sometimes shit just happens and nothing you can do about it, doesn’t matter if you are skiing, rock climbing, driving or for that matter even walking. Of course at the same time there is a fine line between pushing the limit versus being totally stupid and I hope never to cross it.