Winter attrition

I’ve been getting introspective of late. Don’t get me wrong, things have been going well – a good ski trip, some great ski days, some items on the ski tick list checked off, and some solid workouts for running. It’s also pretty nice to be able to run trails in the evening with no headlamps. These longer days, some sun and spring conditions, are making things look really nice out in the backcountry and on the trails, which are starting to clear up a bit.

The introspection, though, is about injury. I’ve had a pretty good go of it, injury-wise, over my sport career (knock on wood), so injury’s been a bit of a stranger. In the last two weeks, however, two of my good friends and training partners have gotten some pretty serious injuries. The first tore her ACL dropping into a gnarly line at Whistler and will be out for the summer; the second was skiing a steep line backcountry, caught an edge, and shattered his tibial plateau. He will likely be skiing again next season, but won’t be telling the surgeon.

I can’t imagine what I’d think if I had the news that I was out for a while. Both my friends were admirably philosophical (though it might have been the morphine). Their reactions were along the lines of “I’m glad I broke myself doing something memorable, rather than tripping on the stairs.” I suppose I’d hope to be in the same boat myself. The possibility of getting injured is a small price to pay for the experience of time spent in the mountains.

Still, it pays to be careful. Heli evacuations can cost a pretty penny. I probably won’t ski the same lines or do the same silly things far into the backcountry that I’d do around Whistler. And it might be time to cave in and get a personal locator beacon…

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