The last few days have been stressful with fifty percent of our four man team down. Steven and I drove back to Panorama on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we went up to train a day of slalom and giant slalom. The conditions weren’t the best, it had snowed over night and had warmed up a lot, leaving the snow very inconsistent; sugary in some places, icy in other and grabby. I wasn’t skiing all that well and decided to focus on some technical free skiing instead of getting frustrated. When Steven went for his second run in the course that day, I followed behind him. As I was skiing down my coach Mike waved me over and told me to ski down to where Steven had crashed. Like any regular day, you don’t always suspect that something bad will happen and even when someone goes down you remain positive that everything will be fine. Steven had gone down and I could tell he wasn’t okay, the first thing that he said to us was that his knee was in a lot of pain. He made his way down slowly and knew that he was at least done for the day.`
The rest of the team finished the day training and on the last run of the day, training slalom, Gina went down. She got up relatively quickly and waved that she was okay. I finished my run and when I got to her she said that her head hurt, she was dizzy,and said her neck felt tingley.
We came back later and Steven had headed to the hospital. Later that night when I went to the hospital (ironically, a 1.5 min walk away), having not heard much about what was going on. After a five-hour wait in emergency Steven had finally gotten in to see someone, he had an x-ray done revealing a fracture on his tibia (up high, in the knee area) and a six to eight week recovery. It wasn’t good news, but we knew it could be worse.
Later that night Gina’s head was still hurting and I could tell that she wasn’t in good shape. I was concerned, knowing myself what a concussion is and means.
The next day Becca and I, the two left, headed up to Panorama for the day while Gina headed to the hospital to get checked out and Steven and Helmut went to Banff for further check up from the best in Canada.
The first news we heard was that Gina had a concussion and was heading back home for some serious down time.
When we were driving back home we got the news that Steven not only had a fracture but had torn his ACL.
Concussions are the most unpredictable of injuries, recovery time can not easily be determined and can last up to a few days or several months. The recovery time is the hardest and most boring, not having a good idea of when you will be recovered and spending endless days unable to do anything and hopefully sleeping a ton. You need your brain for everything, and it’s one of your most important organs which can affect you seriously in many ways. It is very important to protect your head and make sure that you are fully recovered before you get back at it.
For those of you who don’t know, a torn ligament is most often worse than a broken bone. The recovery time is much longer and surgery is required.
Injuries like this suck. You can in no way predict them and then all of a sudden everything changes. Its hard enough for the person targeted but also for the friends and family effected as well. I was left confused, scared, nauseous, frustrated, and angry. I didn’t know what to do or think and was in a very fragile state. In the end we will be there for each other. We have to be strong for each other and stay positive through these times.