About This Adventuring: The Toboggan Ride Was Fun



A perfect day at Alta, Utah.

All my excitement of the New Year came to a crash on the slopes when I made one turn and lost my balance. I went skidding down the mountain spinning on my back and side—but only after feeling a rather awful snap in my left knee.

I stood after a friendly stranger helped me up and I thought I was okay. I skied a hundred yards more and “yikes!” The pain in my knee was sharp, intense and I collapsed. After a third try with the same result, I told my ski companion that I needed help down the mountain. I crossed my poles and we waited until a ski instructor stopped and called a number for the ski patrol to come get me.

Long story, short…actually, it’s a short story because it was only the first turn of my third run on a perfectly beautiful, sunny day in Alta. I was lifted into a toboggan with my left leg in a splint and wrapped like a burrito as ski patrol Chris, skied me to a snowmobile patrol, who took me the rest of the way to the clinic. I held onto a little flap of tarp over my head because the ski patrol Chris said it would keep the snow kicked up by the snowmobile from hitting my face on the way off the mountain.


My view from the Ski Patrol toboggan.


The nurse, doctor and receptionist were really kind. They empathize with all their patients whose vacation has been ruined. In my case, I’m not worried about the torn ACL ruining my skiing days. I’m worried about the rest of this week taking care of my daughter’s house and puppy. (I’m in Salt Lake City, Utah to housesit and puppysit for my daughter, who is with her swim team in Florida. I thought I’d take advantage of her proximity to gorgeous ski resorts and ski for the first time in a decade.)

I have a lot going on and I don’t have time for this. In addition to taking care of the pup, there’s a swim meet I was going to compete in early February. Also, I’m traveling back to Salt Lake for my daughter’s senior day and final dual meet. Plus her final PAC 12 swim meet in Seattle. My cousin is coming to visit. My high school friend plans to stay with me. Yikes again. How do I have surgery and participate in all the momentous occasions ahead? What will I do to keep my sanity without my daily walks and swims?

I think a lot will depend on my attitude and outlook. After a good cry that hasn’t happened yet, I’ll pull myself together and face life every hour the way it’s put before me. I remember after my big accident in college, when I was crossing a street and hit by a pick-up truck going 35 miles per hour, it hit me to appreciate the little blessings in life. Don’t take anything for granted. And live life the best you can.IMG_9968

13 thoughts on “About This Adventuring: The Toboggan Ride Was Fun

  1. I am so sorry you got hurt. Best healing wishes to you! And depending on injury and timing, you may be able to keep swimming with good taping and be both reasonably comfortable and not doing other damage. The point of this being able to schedule repair work at a slightly convenient time. Stinks anyway, even though it may be better than being hit by a truck. Which puts me in mind of one of my mother’s expressions “Damning with faint praise”.
    On the practical side of things–I don’t know what your dog care requirements are–like does the pooch need walking which may be hard to do (if he has a yard, its easier) At any rate, there are a lot of dog-walking services around that could help out temporarily (Rover is one, I have a niece that works for them while she’s going back to grad school–its an online app, and I imagine that theres some in SLC).

    • Thank you for your concern. I’ve never been hurt skiing before, so it’s an ego issue, too! My daughter, who is in Florida, arranged for other schoolmates to take “Waffles” out for an hour walk at least once a day. I will call a service like Rover, if I can’t manage the the other times he needs to go outside. Fortunately, he’s only 16 pounds and his pulling on the leash doesn’t hurt my knee. This put a damper on how great I was feeling, but it also gives me an opportunity to reflect on health, fitness and to appreciate the small things.

  2. Oh, man…I feel for you. My husband ruptured his achilles just before Christmas while playing soccer. Six weeks in a walking boot and now he’s starting physio. I hope your surgery and recovery go well. Hey, at least we can all look forward to more blog posts while you’re off your feet for a while. 😉

    • How is your husband’s achilles recovery coming along? Is he back to feeling good and normal activity? I’ve heard that’s a tough one!

  3. I’m right there with you. Well, I guess you’re a little ahead of me – I ruptured my left ACL skiing on March 17. Surgery was April 5 and the recovery is going well. The hardest part is in my head. My blog is mostly about hiking the PCT, but I am writing about my recovery too (since I’m off trail for a bit). Wishing you a smooth and speedy recovery!

    • My surgery was March 5, so you’re exactly one month behind me. My doctor wants more weeks of PT prior to surgery to get strong. I’m guessing you’re already there! I’ll check out your blog about hiking the PCT and your recovery. Good luck!

      • I was surprised my doc did my surgery after only 2 weeks, but I was ready to get on with it! This is my 2nd go round – I had the other ACL repaired 6 years ago. Thanks for checking out my blog!

      • I postponed my surgery for more than a month. I wanted to enjoy my daughter’s last season of swimming in college. My doctor said the final senior events are important for parents and that I could put off the surgery so I could travel. It does make this injury seem to go on forever, but at least I have good memories during the process. How did your first surgery go?

  4. My first surgery and recovery went well. It took about 2 years before I didn’t think about it daily due to stiffness or minor discomfort, but it’s solid now. Both repairs were allografts.

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