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The Mental Game

rockdogrockdog Posts: 551 Crazy Baller

This happened the other day to my brother-in-law. Last summer holidays he took and awkward fall and front foot didn't release out of his boot and fractured this ankle. Several months rehab. This is the result of similar fall 12 months (few days ago) later to same ankle (shattered tib and fib). Many more months rehab and likely he will retire from the sport at 30yo.

Something like this has all kinds of flow on affect, the main one other than the obvious injury can be the immediate financial problems of not being able to drive a car to get to work for even 'light duties'. If you have no annual leave owed or used most of your accrued sick leave and still have bills to pay, this can make life very difficult.

My question is for those who have had something along these lines happen is, mentally, how hard is it to deal with such life issues that can come up? Ofcourse these things happen daily everywhere for all kinds of reasons i.e road accidents, but for doing something you love and the now very real prospect of having to stop doing it and then face these other issues it must be a battle.

My BIL is a positive person, but the noises he was making in the water when I had to fish him out and the following days really hit him hard. If it was someone who's not quite as positive generally, this could really cause some mental issues I reckon. I've barely injured myself in 35 odd years of skiing so wouldn't know, but I visited my BIL yesterday at his home with leg up watching TV knowing this is his lot for the foreseeable future, gee I felt sorry for him.

Sorry it's a bit deep all of this, but it was something that occurred to me when I left yesterday. I just thought if I had to stop skiing because of an injury I'd be pretty devastated.


  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    It is tough. All of us will end up giving up various sports over the course of our lives due to injuries, age-related wear, etc. When I was in my 20s I used to play basketball 3-5 days a week. After shoulder and then ACL surgery, along with an injury to my other knee from skiing, I had to quit because my joints couldn't take the pounding. It was VERY hard for me at the time, but I migrated to skiing and strength training. I am certain that as I age other sports and activities will go onto the "no fly" list for me. I don't expect any of it to be easy. But life is just that way -- letting go is part of the deal.
    Jim Ross
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 951 Mega Baller
    My ski partner had a very similar break to his left leg last Oct with a severe sprain to his right leg as well. He was using a walker for a while until his right leg healed up enough to use crutches. Very debilitating injury. Dr said he should be full weight bearing again in April.

    My buddy has made noise like he'll really limit his skiing when he comes back as he has things that need to be done and he can't afford to be laid up like that again. Not sure that holds water as he was on his opener when the injury occurred, but I get the concern.

    I think I'd need to be physically unable to ski before I quit and even then I'd try everything before giving it up.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • LuzzLuzz Posts: 293 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited January 2017
    @rockdog, mentally, your BIL is going to have some tough times. Any recovery is a challenging process, but we know that despite expectations of how the process will be (since he has suffered from a similar injury) can help, mentally it can be very tough to accept the current state of things and thoughts about the future ahead.
    My advise is to make sure he has the right medical and social support (family, friends, etc), and if he is still struggling and open to it, that he sees a sport psychologists who can assist with the recovery process.
    Host of The Water Ski Podcast
    Organizer of the San Gervasio Pro Am (recap videos from 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014)
    Co-organizer of the Jolly Clinics
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  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,498 Mega Baller
    Google "Lindsey Vonn."
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 6,044
    It's tough. As most know I shattered my collarbone last year in a bike race and have a bunch of titanium hardware now. It was easy to climb back on the bike. But it took 4-5 months to where I wasn't scared to be on the bike.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,215 Crazy Baller
    After my Achilles rupture last summer this will be my new motto this year!
    [Deleted User]wtrskior
  • jetpilotg4jetpilotg4 Posts: 285 Baller
    @rockdog WTH !! I happened to see that picture on my way to ski this morning, and thats all i could think about when i set down in the water after each pass. Speedy recovery buddy!! What bindings was he using?
  • ralral Posts: 1,708 Mega Baller
    edited January 2017
    I broke my neck (literally, shattered disk and ligament between C6 and C7). Lost all control and feeling in my left arm for a while. Cage and plate in my neck after a complex and long surgery. Got back into the water 3.5 months after the fall.

    Two years after that, plate broke loose and again a neck surgery. Wanting to get back in the water is a major driver for recovery, and a key positive factor as doctors and PT's told me.

    Have good periods and bad periods with radicular arm pain.

    Bur our lake drying up because of a drought (now recovered) was far worst for my mind than the neck injury.

    As @OB1 said, letting go early is something I hope I learned.
    Rodrigo Andai
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,058 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    He could learn to fractured ankles/lower legs barefooting given no bindings. Can't promise won't get hurt elsewhere.
    Will be hard to ever get me off the water. When I can't ski maybe I'll drive/coach some university team.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 551 Crazy Baller
    BTW all this happened at 1 ball, 32 & 15 off. He's still only learning the course, so you don't need to be going flat out at 35 off for things like this to happen. One of those mid range HO open toe boots with top lace undone. When it's your time, it's your time I think, just so unlucky for it to happen two years in a row.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,563 Mega Baller
    I lost a year due to non ski related injuries. I was pretty bummed out. However once I was skiing again it quickly went away. I really think going to Releasable bindings has saved me a few times.
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 254 Baller
    Releasable bindings has increased my confidence last season. I used to hurt myself (not as extreme as your BIL) all the time when I fell. It was so frustrating. Get him into a new system and ease into it. It will boost his confidence. I remember cringing on my first fall and boom I released it was heaven. I was no longer afraid to push outside my comfort zone.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,531 Mega Baller
    @6balls, +1 for becoming a driver/coach for a ski team. I see myself doing that as my house empties out, possibly before my ski time ends.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • LovellLovell Posts: 97 Baller
    Which releasable bindings did you choose? I'm coming off an Achilles rupture and looking at all options
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,563 Mega Baller
    @Lovell I'm using Reflex Supershell with intuition aqua liner and R-style. I think the MOB, new edge would also be good. I have a 14 foot and the Supershell with the extra toe room fits the best. The Supershell is stiffer though and took a little getting used to. Tried the Reflex black top and it was really easy transition from rubber. Unfortunately I just about lost a toe nail from it.
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 254 Baller
    I have the same system gregy. I also have a big foot and this works well for me. What is the "intuition" liner you mention? I have the ones that came with the Reflex and they are just ok. Let me know
  • GaryWilkinsonGaryWilkinson Posts: 323 Solid Baller
    Geez sounds like a party.

    I broke my neck 3 yrs ago, 5 cracks over 3 vertebrae C5-7, had brief left arm paralysis. No surgery but it has affected my body, last year in august "complex tear of the medial posterior meniscus".

    I'm 57 yo, skiing the best of my life and dying to get to 1 legitimate ball at -38, (aka get all 6 at -35) and now it's really hitting me that this life long goal I have might not be realized. Bummer

    But still, I train 4x a week a time the gym. Can't run anymore but I'm still in Great shape. A very smart lady told me "don't worry about it, if it's not slalom it'll be something else". You still have the drive and desire to push hard and excel so do another sport and do the best you can. I know it sounds like BS but for me it hit home. Staying fit is an important part of the formula but if we're that intense to push into short line and that capability goes away? There are lots of other places to put that intensity. It's more about the person than the sport.

    He, your BIL, and I, will do ok. We'll find something and struggle a bit at first, but inside we'll push with the same intensity and drive to have fun, achieve a good level of performance and move on.

    Talk to him about his personal qualities that got him this far and how they'll take him still yet further no matter what he chooses or does.

    For me, It's the person and their heart, more than their leg, knee or shoulder.

    Best of luck @rockdog
    I need to ski back to the handle obviously.
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