Happy to be skiing,  (Spring 2010 - Copper Mountain)
Happy to be skiing, (Spring 2010 – Copper Mountain)

As I was driving home last night, I realized skiing is a good metaphor for the anticipation of PAO surgery.  Against my better judgement and thanks to my stubbornness, I went skiing yesterday at Eldora, the local ski resort in the Front Range. The conditions were ideal: 19-29 degrees, partly sunny, winds calm, and the recent storm that dumped 16″ of snow the prior weekend draped the trails with now packed powder.

“I will only do blue runs” I told myself. I was a bit concerned that I may hurt my hip, especially since I strained a muscle in my “good hip” 24 hours prior by stepping on snow slush in a parking lot,  and skiddering to prevent from falling (the skiddering of the feet and trying to stabilize my body pulled a muscle in my groin area).  But, as some of you who know me personally, know I am one of the  most stubborn people you will ever meet.  In summary,  I am not 100% by any means, but I was determined to get out of the city, breathe fresh mountain air, appreciate Mother Nature in its finest form, and test my body physically.

On to the chair lift – scoop!- and  I am whisked up the mountain.  Suddenly filled with self-doubt, I practice deep breathing and am wondering if I am making a mistake. “Just take it easy” I coach myself silently. I am appreciating every icy cold breath, every glance around me. I blink against the bright sun, waking up.  I FEEL ALIVE! I am taking nothing for granted. Its amazing when you are truly in the present moment, nothing else matters.

OK, off I go! I decide on an easier long blue run to warm up. I haven’t missed a beat. Knees slightly bent, hands in front, I gracefully glide down the mountain. The conditions are pretty damn perfect for packed powder.  I find myself thinking surprising thoughts while I am skiing: “trust your skis” and “trust your body, it is strong.”  Those two statements were my mantras yesterday.  While I only did six runs and learned I can’t do black runs at this time, I was proud of myself and had a great day.

In regards to my opening statement, skiing yesterday reminded me to trust:

  • “Conditions are ideal”  = Jen, you will be in one of the best hospitals and have an experienced, compassionate surgeon and staff.  You will be surrounded by friends and family who love and support you and will help you recover.
  • “Trust your skis” = Jen, trust in the process and equipment (!) of the PAO surgery (from the osteotome that will break your pelvis to the screws that will hold you together) to fix and correct your hip once and for all.
  • “Trust your body, it is strong”= Jen, while you may feel compromised physically, the rest of your body is strong. It will help heal itself, resulting in a seamless, fast recovery.

I have two more ski passes.  I will be sure to stick to the blue runs, ski only in ideal conditions, and use my trust mantras.

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