It happened in the terrain park. My teenagers were saying to me, "Yo, Mom, you're looking wicked nasty – you oughta hit a jump. Come on, wreck this piece up." And I was feeling pretty confident today, because I'd been flying over the slopes and the conditions were right, so I headed towards the biggest jump, carving toward it as fast as I could and hitting it just right to get all kinds of air. I spun too, managing almost a full 360, before crashing to the ground, twisting my knee against the slope even as strangers around me applauded the daring move.
Well, that's the story I am telling my students tomorrow. The real story? I got injured getting off the chair lift. Yes. Possible the lamest injury in the history of snowboarding. In my defense, chair lifts are designed for skiers, not snowboarders, and the triple chair lift is especially difficult to maneuver if you are in the middle seat like I was because you've got a person on either side. Well, that is my excuse, but really, I don't know what happened. One minute I was getting off the chair lift, and seconds later, I was lying on the ground with my leg twisted in a way that it is not ever supposed to twist and my right knee throbbing in excruciating pain.
I couldn't tell how bad the injury was, so I decided to wait and see if the throbbing stopped. I sent Skater Boy and With-a-Why on without me, and then spent the next 45 minutes icing my knee in a snowbank. It sucks to get injured at the top of a mountain. All around you, happy skiers and boarders are congregating and zooming off to take a run, perfectly healthy people on strong, functioning legs. It was about 0 degrees Fahrenheit out this morning, so by the time Skater Boy and With-a-Why had come back through for a second run, my whole body was feeling pretty numb.
I was, ironically, about ten feet from the Ski Patrol shack, which is situated at the top of the mountain, and several of the Nice Skiers Dressed in Red offered to give me a ride down the mountain on their toboggan. But I was too stubborn to admit the injury could be that bad. So eventually, I got up and snowboarded down, even enjoying the run despite the pain, and then made my way to the lodge. Once I was inside and my body warmed up, the knee resumed its throbbing, and I realized that I was done for the day.
So I spent the next few hours in the lodge, eating random food, holding a bag of ice to my knee, and talking to my kids whenever they came in to get warm. Older Neighbor Boy, who is an aggressive boarder, gets injured all the time, and I tried to adopt the same cool attitude he has when he is injured. For the record, this did count as a snowboarding injury, even if I wasn't exactly snowboarding when it happened. I mean, my leg would not have twisted in that bizarre fashion if it wasn't attached to a snowboard. All right then.
Eventually, I tossed the car keys to Boy in Black, since my right leg is needed for driving. Now that I am home, warm and dry, I still can't tell how bad the injury is. I am notoriously bad at judging the severity of injuries – I once mopped a kitchen floor with a broken hand because I thought it was just a bruise, and when I broke my leg in two places several years ago, I walked out to the car rather than call an ambulance. So I've assured family members that if I am still in pain on Thursday, I will go to the doctor's. On the other hand, it's better by then, I am taking the day to go snowboarding.
A photo of my nemesis, the evil chairlift, taken just minutes before the injury.