By Kate Agathon
NOTE: One year ago this week, Kate tore her ACL while skiing. In this narrative, she shares her struggles with psychological recovery after experiencing a major sports injury.
Outdoor recreation enthusiasts are a superstitious bunch. There are certain things that go unsaid. For example, cyclists do not openly proclaim how long it has been since they’ve experienced a mechanical, hikers do not take photos until after the summit has been reached, and skiers do not ever say “Last run of the day.”
That’s where I made my mistake. I did the taboo. I did what skiers are never supposed to do- I said those cursed words out loud. Twenty minutes later, I was face planting in the snow, spread out in the Super Man position and didn’t want to get up. I knew my knee would not support me.
I had felt that feeling once before- two years prior, in fact, when an inexperienced teenaged snowboarder lost control and slammed into me at Keystone. Ironically, that too had been the last run of the day. On that day long ago, I had enough adrenaline rushing through me that I was able to ski down the mountain, but it was soon followed by excruciating pain by the time we reached the parking lot. An MRI scan revealed later that I had torn my left medial collateral ligament (MCL).