Why Do Bad Things Happen?
Why Do Bad Things Happen?
We never really know why things happen to us in life. I find that as I go through life, perceived “bad things” happen and at the time they seem devastating. I also realize that when I look back on these “bad” things that happen, I realize they happened for a reason and it was actually a good thing.
Broke My Fibula in Whistler
I wanted to share my story from last week where I broke my Fibula, the reasons I feel it happened, how I dealt with it and what I can learn from it. Hopefully, I can learn from this situation and that will make me a safer and better person in the future.
Barb and I were out in Whistler skiing last week for Laurens school break. My accident happened the 2nd day I was in Whistler. The night before, we had a major storm so I was really looking forward to skiing that day so got up super early to have a workout and then headed out. The back bowls of Blackcomb after climbing up “Spanky’s ladder” were amazing and I was skiing them most of the day.
Wicked Fall in Diamond Bowl
There was a chute into a super steep slope called Diamond bowl (see above pic) that I wanted to drop into but after looking at the entrance to it a couple of times, I backed myself out as it looked too treacherous. Although I have skied Diamond Bowl many times, the conditions change immensely from time to time and even day by day due to the storms, high winds, ice, etc. One day you can drop into the bowl very easily and other times it is Unskiable due to rocks, wind, snowpack or ice.
I skied by the cliff entrance to the bowl a few times that day and looked at it again the last run of the day around 3:00 p.m. I evaluated the situation and felt that I could safely drop into the bowl and ski over to another chute and safely ski the slope largely based on the fact that I had skied it a bunch of times previously.
I safely dropped into the bowl and due to rock faces and cliffs, skied a safe route down the slope. I veered over to the skiers right and slowly dropped into another chute and that is when #@*! happened! When I dropped in, one of my skis popped off and I quickly started catapulting down the slope. The crazy slope had me cartwheeling head over heels down the slope like a rag doll and all I could think of was that I had to do everything to get stopped as I knew there was a cliff below me. I used every piece of energy and muscle I had and the good news is I stopped prior to heading over the cliff. When I stopped I looked beside me and saw my ski half buried in a vertical position beside me. I originally felt that I was lucky as my ski was right beside me……..then realized it wasn’t good as my foot was still in my ski!
Knew I was in Trouble
Once I stopped, I took scope of where I was and the situation I was in. I took inventory of my body and although my helmet was full of snow, my head felt ok, leg was sore, ankle was sore, and my ribs were also very sore. My ski was beside me and my other ski had tumbled down the slope with me so was a few feet above me. When I tried to lift my ski that was still on me, I realized that I was in trouble as my ankle was killing me. Since it was so late in the day, there was no one in sight and I realized that I needed to ski down the rest of the mountain in order to get down. After a few minutes I managed to pop my other ski on and very gingerly tried to pick my way down the mountain mainly on one ski.
7 Km Ski Out in Pain
When I hit the ski out I was feeling sick but realized I needed to get down so skied another 7 km on the ski out mainly on one ski. Every time I put any weight on my “bad leg” I was in excruciating pain. I was meeting Barb and Lauren for Apres at the bottom of the mountain so skied in to meet them. When I got my skis off I knew I was in trouble as I was having a really tough time walking on one leg. I figured that since I skied down the mountain that my ankle or leg could not possibly be broken and hoped that it was just bruised.
We went back to our place that night, ate dinner, I iced my ankle, took some pain killers and hoped the next day I would wake up and it would be fine. When I woke up and got out of bed the next morning, I knew it was more serious as I couldn’t walk on my one leg.
Visit To Whistler Medical Center
That morning Barb took me to Whistler Medical Centre that sees their fair share of sports/skiing injuries. They took X-rays and confirmed that I fractured (broke) my Fibula (outside leg bone). They put me in an air cast, gave me crutches and booked me an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. This would determine whether I needed surgery, plates or screws, a full cast or an air cast.
When I got back that day I “googled” quick healing of fractures and I must say last week and ever since my accident, I have been doing everything possible to speed of the rate of healing as I have a few other ski trips booked this winter. I will share what I have been doing to heal quickly in the next blog.
Fractured in 2 Places
I saw the orthopedic surgeon this week when back home and they confirmed my fibula is fractured however it is broken in 2 different spots. They compared my x rays to the ones that were done in Whistler and my break has shifted a bit and they are hoping it does not shift any more or I may need surgery. I go back to see the orthopedic surgeon next week so am keeping all my weight off it (or as much as I can), taking all healing supplements, eating healthy, consuming anti-inflammatory foods and supplements in order to speed up healing.
Could Have Been Much Worse
Although I am not pleased that I have a broken leg and am hobbling around with the inconvenience of crutches, I actually consider myself lucky. Based on the situation that I was in, the outcome could have been much worse. If I was unable to get stopped, I would have careened over a cliff face and the outcome would not have been good. I was also catapulting down a super steep slope with rock faces beside me and could have easily hit the rocks or ice. I could have had sustained much worse injuries. Therefore I consider myself very lucky and a situation that I need to learn from.
What Can I Learn?
I always feel that everything in life happens for a reason(good and bad) and I always try to learn from any situation or ask myself what my take away is.
Here are some things that I have learned/realized from this latest setback and I know when I look back on this fracture later in life will know it happened for a reason and for the better.
1. I am not invincible (even though I often feel that I am)
2.I need to slow down
3.I am not 20 anymore
4.I should not have dropped in that slope not knowing whether it was skiable or not
5.I should not have skied it alone that late in the day
6.I should have trusted my earlier instincts of not skiing that slope based on what I had seen earlier
The Value of being Fit
My other take away is that I was fortunate to have the muscle mass and fitness level to allow me to stop my crazy fall. I feel that my fitness level allowed me to take very quick scope of the situation and use all my fitness, muscle and energy to get stopped. In fact, the day of my accident, I had been at the local gym doing a weight workout at 7:00 a.m. before I went skiing. If I wasn’t in the shape I was in, I don’t believe I would have had any chance of being able to stop in the super steep chute and would have gone over the cliff. In addition, I feel that my break could have been much worse (Tibia or other bones) had I not been in the shape that I was.
My take away here is to continue to put emphasis on fitness and more importantly strength as I get older.
Fortunate – Small Setback
Although I am not pleased that I broke my Fibula, I look at it as a learning experience moving forward. As I said earlier, it could have been much worse so I am actually ok with the outcome. I have been skiing many challenging slopes on many mountains for many years and this is the first time I have had any type of injury which I consider myself fortunate. I look at this as a very small setback in the overall scheme of life and hope to be back skiing in no time.
Yours in Great Health, Kev