Archive for category Skiing

‘Lotta Happenings — February Fun in Sports

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Last month was a pretty good month for me. It was very welcomed after a challenging recovery period following my accident last November. February started with the Super Bowl and I found myself among the few not rooting for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The disappointment was still too fresh from Denver uprooting my New England Patriots two weeks prior. In addition, I still harbored a grudge against Denver for beating my other team, the Steelers, in a 2012 Wild-Card playoff game with one overtime play by Tim Tebow. However, wounded pride was not only the reason to be a Seattle fan. In my Fantasy Football league, I had the Seahawks Quarterback, Russell Wilson, and I needed a good game from him to possibly win in my league. For you regular readers of this column, you may remember back to last year’s October column when I discussed starting the season already stinking out the house by losing every game, most by five points or less. Many might have given up, but I didn’t as my last cellar season was in 2010 when I ended up winning the post-season with Aaron Rodgers as my Quarterback. Talk about the planets being aligned!!! I was going into the Super Bowl with a lead in our league and providing Wilson had a good game and Marshawn Lynch not having a monster game, it looked promising for me to win. The phone rang a few hours before game time. I’m playing Spades on the computer and half watching the pre-game. The caller is the Commish of our league. “Hey, did you see Russell Wilson hit his head getting off the team bus? It’s really bad,” he claims. Well, he had me going for several minutes until I saw Russell safely in the locker room area. Seattle won, Wilson had a good game and I waited on pins and needles for a week until my league win was confirmed.

Did you notice the commercials for the Super Bowl this year? The most talked about ones seemed to have patriotic or animal themes. My personal favorites were the ones from Budweiser. The first one was the puppy in a stable bonding with a Clydesdale, then getting adopted and therefore separated from the horse. The duo was later reunited when the pup escaped from its owner and returned to the horse farm. All this in one minute — sure moved along a lot faster than my soap opera! The second one was the town welcoming home the soldier. One couldn’t help but get teary-eyed as the community thanked their hero returning from the war. I also cracked up at the Subaru commercial with the retriever family. Papa dog was caught by mama dog ogling a poodle crossing the street and done in front of a puppy in the backseat with his puppy-sibling in the infant-seat. Mama dog growls! Loved it….. Then came an even better one by United Airlines during the Olympics. It had the US teams bobsledding, skating and skiing through the airport, jetway and airplane. As the athletes got situated, the curling stone jammed in the Captain’s foot and a female skater did a three-sixty as she stowed her bag in the overhead compartment. I just loved the creativity put into making those commercials.

Speaking of the Olympics, as of deadline time for this column, they were still in full swing. We’re very excited as Rick’s cousin’s son-in-law, Dallas Robinson, is on the US Bobsled team. We’re so proud of Dallas as well as all the Olympians who have spent years of training and hard work to represent their respective countries. So far, it has been a media frenzy with several non-games sagas unfurling. Unless one was a bobsled groupie, few had heard of Johnny Quinn — that is until he got locked in his bathroom and stuck in an elevator.

US Olympic Bobsled Team

US Olympic Bobsled Team

We also witnessed how nasty conjunctivitis can be as poor Bob Costas battled the disease as it spread to both eyes. Been there, done that. On a positive note, I loved his round spectacles. My heartstrings were tugged as I saw US slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy trying to foster several puppies. Good thing I wasn’t over there. Those cuddly little fur balls are irresistible! While the hype built up over a rematch of USA and Russia in hockey, I fondly thought back to the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid. I remembered it well, as I viewed it from my parents’ recliner with crutches at my side. I was recovering from a skiing accident. Here I was in 2014, again in rehabilitation of several body parts, watching the Olympics. The Olympics served as a catalyst for my determination to be fully functional again. So many of the participants had overcome surgeries and rehabilitations to be a part of the experience. My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lue, was happy with my progress rehabilitating my elbow, wrist, hand and shoulder. He was pleased that I was ahead of what he expected for that stage of my recovery. I was thrilled to see one of the skiers back racing after recovering from an accident less than a year ago. I commented that’s there’s hope for me after all! Rick was kind enough to point out that she is also forty-seven years younger than me. Minor details.

A "Lefty Handshake" as Dr. Lue works my left hand.

A “Lefty Handshake” as Dr. Lue works my left hand.

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‘Lotta Happenings – ‘Lotta Hits the Slopes…in more ways than one!

My article below appeared in the March issue of Hill Country Happenings..  Click here for more articles and information about happenings in the Texas Hill Country.

Last month Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn wiped out at the world championships in Schladming, Austria.  She is currently in rehabilitation following surgery on her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.  Is her career over?  She doesn’t seem to think so and has vowed to be back for next year’s Winter Games in Sochi.  Watching her fall triggered two memories of bad falls I had while skiing.

The first tumble was in the early eighties at Deer Valley, Utah.  How fast was I skiing?  Well, I wasn’t actually skiing, but I was on skis and was posing for a picture at the top of a run.  I got kind of cutesy as I struck my pose and the next thing I knew I heard the slamming of skies and poles as I plummeted backwards down the slope.  Moments later, which seemed more like an eternity, I found myself planted face- first into the snow and because my skies stayed on and my knees were buried, I couldn’t get up.  I looked up and back for my at-the-time boyfriend and saw him skiing towards me.  I held up my now mitten-less hand.  After collecting my poles, he slid to a halt and started clicking away with the camera.  I understand now why that association didn’t last!

The following day, I woke up with bruising all over and very sore.  It was almost fun to watch my body as it went through an array of colors for the next two weeks.  I say “almost” as the aching lasted that long also.  One would think after that experience, I would take more care when on skis.  Two years later, I found myself again on the slopes in Utah with an escapade which made the “photo fall’ seem like nothing.

This time I was skiing at Park West.  After one of my runs, a man sharing the lift back up with me made the comment, “You sure ski well for a girl.”  Wrong thing to say!  The next run, feeling the need to impress even more, I put a little more pizzazz into my turns.  Suddenly while in a turn, I felt an icy patch under my skis.  Seconds later, my knee went one way; the rest of my body the other.  Of course where I fell was not on the main drag so it took a while for the Ski Patrol to get there.   As they loaded me on the toboggan, I kept asking how much the ride was going to cost.  One of them said, “There’s no charge, but once you get to the bottom, things might get a little pricy.”  He wasn’t kidding.

The toboggan ride was fun!  They secured me so well that only my nose and mouth were exposed.  The next few minutes were like being on a roller coaster blindfolded.  I assured myself by thinking, “These guys are professionals and know what they’re doing.”  Once safely at the bottom, First Aid found no break but since I couldn’t put weight on that leg, they strongly recommended seeing an orthopedic surgeon and released me on crutches.  Someone took me back to the Radisson and then the fun began.  I watched hopelessly as the hotel bellman repacked all my ski gear as well as intimate apparel and make-up before driving me to the airport.  Then I got to experience what I had I witnessed of some of our passengers on Delta – I was a carry-on passenger!  They strapped me in the wheelchair and rolled me back to my seat.  Since the flight wasn’t full, the agent was able to block a row of seats.  My parents met my flight; my Dad drove my car home and my Mom followed with me.

In less than twenty-four hours, I was under the care of Dr. Larry Likover who had come highly recommended.  After a careful examination and more X-rays, I whispered, “Well?”  He replied, “It’s not broken, but you might have been better off if it had.  You have ligament and cartilage damage.”  Fortunately, it was my left knee so I could drive, but Delta did frown on working flights on crutches so I was grounded for several months.  Being on the supports was not as fun as it looked and I garnered respect and empathy for those in the same situation.  My greatest challenge during rehab was passing through revolving doors, going up sidewalk curbs and not getting sore under my armpits.  I appreciated the saying, “No pain, no gain.”

Will Lindsey Vonn be back on skis next year?  You bet she will!  I should know — I was too!

'Lotta Sports racing at Snowbird, Utah

‘Lotta Sports racing at Snowbird, Utah

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