Whitetail has been closed for more than a week now, and I’m thrilled to be looking forward to the beginning of the next ski season rather than slogging through the remains of this past one, which saw my ski-patrol training postponed thanks to a wayward, ACL-tearing snowboarder. In a complete reversal of how I usually feel at the end of the ski season, I’ve been overwhelmed with relief and contentment since closing day—no more rubbing my own face in the goal I wanted so desperately to achieve!
Now that I’m no longer traveling up to the resort every Saturday and watching all my friends go play while I stay inside, I’m able to see my training, which I’ll resume in December, as a positive motivator rather than a weight on my shoulders. There’s one image that motivates me more than any other: That damn red coat, which signifies full patroller status, and which eluded me this season.
So great was my obsession with the red coat during the season, it once haunted my dreams. Literally. Steve had worked a shift at Whitetail, and got home after I’d gone to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, and happened to see his super-cool red vest (even better than the coat) hanging over a chair at the kitchen table. I barely slept again that night. The next day, at one of my physical therapy sessions, I flipped open an old issue of Real Simple to find an eerily fitting fashion spread about the supposed “color of the year,” titled “Seeing Red.” Unbelievable. But just like the ski season, I’m now seeing the red coat as a positive motivator rather than a visible symbol of my injury-spurred inability to live the life I want to. I picture it hanging in my closet when I grab my running shoes to go lift. I imagine myself wearing it while skiing the bumps when I do squats on the wobble board in physical therapy. Here’s what else I’m picturing while I’m working my way back to normalcy:
Skiing at Mount Hood this summer. The Oregon resort has snow year-round thanks to a huge glacier, and I have my eye on its adult mogul camp in late August. It costs $1,175 for the adults-only camp Aug. 28 to Sept. 3, and includes everything—room, board, even your ride from the airport!
Michelle Parker, a pro skier who wrote extensively about her own ACL reconstruction and ensuing therapy. She’s back at it now, skiing harder than ever, which reminds me that I will be, too. Also, she talks about stuff like “balancing your skier thighs out with lots of hamstring and V.M.O. (the muscle that runs on the inside of the quad) exercises.” In other words, this pro skier who hucks huge cliffs speaks my language.
The StairMaster. My first day in physical therapy, a high-school basketball player was finishing up on the StairMaster as I was getting ready to start it. She was muscular and fit-looking, and I imagine she’d kick butt on suicides. She audibly groaned in exhaustion as she got off the machine. I have not had a single experience to contradict hers. The StairMaster, when done on a high level, is SO HARD! I took my pulse (which is normally creepy-slow) after finishing the other day, and got 190 for my heart rate—supposedly my max at age 30.The terrific chocolate-chip cookie-dough “blizzard” on Oh She Glows as a post-workout reward. One word: Yummmm.
Finally, my friend Alexis, who’s battling breast cancer. You can read her full story on her blog, Brave and Bubbly. Or you can trust me that she’s a brave and amazing woman who deserves your vote in a contest to be a bat girl for the Orioles May 8. As she says in her profile, she’s a rookie in the fight against breast cancer who’s confident she’ll dominate all nine of her “innings” (four rounds of chemo, five weeks of radiation). Click here, then look under “A” for Alexis to vote for her!
What’s motivating you this week? When’s the last time you took a difficult situation and found motivation in it?