I Pushed My Luck

March 1, 2017
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It was a mini and I was certain I could take it.  Unbelievably, I did not break a bone. 

In my tenth year of life, my family and I went up north to go skiing as we had done for many years.  Everyone paired up and had a cell phone with each group.  I partnered with my cousin Omar.  He got to hold the phone as he was a smug 2 years older than me.  We were warming up on a slope that was rated green - the easiest besides the bunny hill.  Our first time going down I saw a mini jump near the end of the slope.  I really wanted to try it.  So Omar and I went back up the chair lift.  We started down again and I was ready to go.  I tried to make the jump but fell, luckily, to the right.  To the left was a six foot drop into a pile of powder that looked pretty grim.

Undeterred, I wanted a shot at redemption so back up we went.  Unfortunately, the jump was not safe as it had been made by other skiers, not the ski lodge.  I felt as if I was in the movie Groundhog Day as I fell again to the right.  Everything seemed to happen exactly the same.  However this time I was not so lucky on my landing - my skis flew off and I twisted my right knee.  The pain was so intense I was sure my leg would fall off.  I felt like it would swell up and rip my pants.  Omar stopped and asked if I was ok but it was obvious I was not.  The look on my face told him so.  We tried to phone one of the other pairs but they did not answer.  We agreed that Omar would go to get the ski patrol as I knew I couldn't walk, much less ski, to the bottom of the slope.

After he left, I sat for what seemed like hours but really must have been only 20 minutes.  Lying in the cold snow helped with the pain in my leg but it still felt on fire.  Many skiers stopped to see if I needed help and it was encouraging to see the number of people offering assistance.  I assured everyone that my cousin was getting help and I would be fine.

When the ski patrol finally arrived, I was more than ready to go.  It was just like on TV - they strapped me onto a backboard and secured my arms and legs.  Then they put me in a toboggan and dragged my behind a snowmobile to the bottom of the hill.  During the ride, snow kept getting on my face and when we stopped they found me making weird faces trying to blow it off as my arms and legs were tied down.  I know I looked ridiculous but laughed it off with them.

After helping me into the building, the ski patrol doctor checked my leg and found no permanent damage.  He wrapped it in an Ace bandage, recommended ibuprofin as need and proclaimed me good to go.  The ski patrol told my dad I had been one of the most agreeable patients they had ever had to bring down the mountain.  My reward for being able to limp around was lunch at the ski lodge.  By the next day, the pain was mostly gone and I was flying down the slopes again.  Even though I had gotten hurt it was probably the best trip we ever had.  I will never forget that day.

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