Those are the breaks
It was a beautiful spring day in early April. A fresh blanket of snow had fallen the night before and the sun was out to provide excellent conditions that day at Ajax. There were about 10 friends cruising along when someone suggested a run to the bottom for a gondola ride back to the top. We reached side of Bell, saw a nice freshly groomed run below.
While everyone was discussing I took off, making wide turns and gathering speed, feeling great, the rush of that fulfilling wind in face and gravity. All of a sudden, while trying to slow down, the snow changed to a softer and slushy condition. Like a bad dream I caught an edge when I was thrown off balance and whipped back, smacked the ground, hit my head, ski and poles launched, while skidding to a halt at the bottom of the run. Later realizing it would play over and over in slow motion, with only thoughts such as “what could I do differently?”
My friends came and as I heard someone calling for ski patrol, another held a hat, blocking the sun. As I lay there with no way to move, the thoughts came flooding through my mind like a kaleidoscope at a million miles an hour. Fortunately there was help, as the ski patrol came and assessed my situation, put me in a stretcher and carefully delivered me to a waiting ambulance. They removed my boots and I could move my feet, gave me some medication and soon was off to hospital.
After CAT scans and MRI, was then placed for my first helicopter ride to Grand Junction. I spent two weeks in the hospital, worked extra hard in rehab and am now back at home in Aspen to further heal my body to 100 percent again.
I would just like to send out my deepest thanks to Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol, the ambulance personnel, the people at AVH, the staff at St. Mary’s hospital, the Snowmass transportation family of folks, and all my friends who sent helpful, healing thoughts and prayers my way.
I guess my point is that as springtime approaches and conditions change, we all need to pay closer attention to details. Just as that instant of bliss and a second later the loss of control on skis and/or snowboards occurs. How quickly our lives can change when an accident occurs and transforms our lives in an instant.
May everyone carry on living full lives, love and respect your fellow human beings and share the slopes. Most of all, pay attention so you don’t end up spending your spring vacation in a hospital instead of the beaches of Florida, as I did.