Colbert: Yet another rant about how truly terrible concussions are
Are you tired of reading about my concussion yet? Well, I’m tired of writing about it.
If you’re out of the loop, I caught an edge on my snowboard back in December and knocked my head hard enough I could barely walk straight. Now, the purpose of this little column is to talk about our “adventures” on the mountain, but when you’re still getting over a concussion a month and a half later, there isn’t much to talk about.
I had so much excitement entering the winter. It was going to be full of powder days and friends, and I was going to raise my snowboarding to a whole new level. Here we are in February and none of this has yet come to pass.
Some of this, like our lack of snow, is out of our control. My optimism for us getting any significant snow this winter is pretty much gone. My definition of a “powder day” has become anything more than an inch.
What the concussion took from me — and continues to take — is everything else. I haven’t gone up Aspen Mountain since my accident. I’ve been on my snowboard at Buttermilk and Snowmass to cover X Games and the Grand Prix, but that hardly counts. I’m already socially inept and struggle with making friends. Add the inability to ski or snowboard while living in a ski town and the despair certainly sets in on a whole new level.
Now, I’ve still enjoyed the winter thus far. It’s been a lot of fun getting to cover the big events leading up to the Winter Olympics. From Shaun White’s perfect 100 at the Grand Prix to seeing our local boys Alex Ferreira and Torin Yater-Wallace share a podium at X Games, I can’t complain. More than anything, my job has kept me sane.
The remainder of the time, I spend countless hours sitting at home, alone, unable to do much else. I’m already a bit of a homebody by choice, but when a concussion forces you to be one, you come to hate it. The loneliness of a concussion is doubly worse when you can see the runs on Ajax out your living room window, always taunting you.
Someday, hopefully soon, this concussion will be behind me and I’ll be a fully functional Aspenite again. But the more it lingers, the more it takes from you. It takes away your social life. It takes away the pure joy of being up in the mountains.
Is there a silver lining to my story? Maybe, although it’s hard to see what it is from my couch. If anything, it’s that no matter how nonexistent the snow is right now, if you’re able to get out there and enjoy it in some fashion, be thankful. Life is short and sweet and it’s amazing how much can be taken from you in one instant as your head crashes to the ground.
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Andy Mill shared insights on ski racing and life this fall with U.S. Ski Team member and Aspen native Bridger Gile. Mill, an American skiing legend, is part of the Aspen Hall of Fame’s class of 2022, which will be inducted in January.