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Thread: Feeing discouraged-and skiing of course! whats a post without skiing in it!

  1. #1

    Feeing discouraged-and skiing of course! whats a post without skiing in it!

    Arndog, StevieP...anyone else who may have experienced this...

    Warning this post willl seem disjointed-I just can't seem to clearly link into words what I am feeling. They are two subjects, but definately linked emotionally.

    In the past I have seen a travel catalogue for adventure tours/activities for the US and overseas. Recent posts by Wise Young and the Downhill Mountain biking/Monoski threads have gotten me thinking more about adventure travel. I have no idea of the company name or how to find them-I tried Google to no real success.

    Prior to my injury I used to travel abroad and spend my summers backpacking alone and meeting amazing people. Honestly, those times were some of the most liberating of my life. I felt more connected to people even though I was on my own than in a group or at home. I met amazing people, did amazing things and lived life on my own terms. I could come and go as I pleased and felt completely emotionally fulfilled by the experience. This past summer was the first summer I did not spend 3 months hiking in Ireland with complete spontinaity of where I was heading or where I was to sleep that night-be it in random sheep field, a beach in Donegal or a bus stop (No joke)! I love Ireland with all my heart and if they had snow I would settle there permanently.

    I am not afraid to travel by myself, I just know that most countries are incredibly un accessable. I traveled on a poverty budget so didn't have to pay for hotel rooms and a hostel was a night of luxury-and even those are mostly unaccessible.

    My new situation is really depressing me. I am loving my skiing but find myself training everyday by myself or occasionally skiing with a random skier who I meet on the lift and he/she asks if they can ski with me for a few runs because I am "inspirational". I try and run drills and keep a schedule but have no feedback or idea of what I am doing right or wrong. I never get that extrinsic reward of a "Good Job!" that I really need (having not emotionally matured into an intrinsic reward type of person yet!)

    I guess I am feeling kind of down because my whole ski team moved out west and I am the only one left here in the East. No "training schedule", no commraderie, health issues that are improving but no real money to make it out west and compete consistently. I thought my skiing goals would temper some of the "off-season wanderlust", when in fact it seems to have amplified it.

    Gosh, I guess it comes down to the fact that I feel lonely on the mountain-even around the regular staff because my whole team is gone. Especially when I am just as good as they are but do not have the same financial resources.

    I feel trapped here in the East with no direction on how to meet my racing goals when everything is held out West and I have no real race coaching-except when one of the local private HS coaches might offer me a bone.

    Finally, I lived as an inependent vagabond and can't figure out how to get back to that now that I am in a chair. I thought I had been no stranger to poverty but now with medical bills I realize I was living well.

    Finally, I have a progressive disease and every day feel the clock ticking and fear that my time to ski at an elite level will not come before my health fails simply because of finances and logistics rather than skill. work ethic or ability. I know I can compete NorAm levwl-I somehow just KNOW it. I just donn't have years to wait-I need to acheive it NOW.

    Once again a long, rambly and pitiful post. I just need some guidence because I just feel so empty-even after what should be a great day of skiing.

    ANY thoughts or suggestions would be of great help.

    Thanks in advance!

    Chris
    (pink, my new attempt at gender identification )
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." - My Grammie

  2. #2
    Chris,
    I am sorry you are feeling this way. But, this is part of the grieving process over the 'old you'. Your injury was very recent - 1.5 years ago. I mourned the loss of the 'old me' for years. I am 7 years post injury now and the pangs become less but don't totally go away. You were such an impressive traveler before the accident - wow. Not many AB people could have done that. The grieving process is like peeling off layers of an onion- you think you have adapted and then there is another layer you have to go through. So your sadness is so normal. This post really should be in the Life Forum. It is not about skiing or traveling. It seems to be about how to go from the 'Old You' to the 'New You'. How do you get there? Who is the "New You"? I could go on and on about it .
    About the skiing. I found that you need another sitskier to ski with. AB skiers view the mountain differently. When you ski with a fellow sitskier, it is a shared experience, powder, moguls, steeps whatever is best experienced with a fellow sitskier. That is what I have found.
    How good is sitskiing? I don't know how much skiing you did before you got hurt. Here is my experience. I skied 80 days a year for 20 years. The last 18 years all telemark and this included 16 weeks heliskiing in British Columbia in some amazing deep and steep terrain. I also did nordic skating, raced 50 km races, and then my greatest passion was backcountry ski mountaineering and would do 7 to 10 days trips , in the Sierras and other Ranges - having skied up and down the Sierras carrying tents, food, and gear all self contained plus in the central British Columbian ranges (Selkirks, Cariboos, Bugaboos, Canadian Rockies) in truly wild terrain. Also in the Wind Rivers in Wyoming. I also would climb peaks and do free heel ski descents, skied 7000 ft runs on Mt Shasta for years, Also skied the east side giants of the Sierras.......
    Then I got injured in a mundane fashion skiing 'in bounds' at Alpine Meadows.
    How can sitskiing compare in any way to that? It can't. But the winter and ski environment is so in my blood that it was comforting to be out there. Also , sitskiing has its own bizarre challenges, ( I am thinking of your funny post about skiing this year in the rain) and taking on powder skiing has been fun, and an 'interesting exercise' but not the same. Learning to manage skiing steep terrain of Squaw Valley in a sitski has been an interesting exercise .... but not the same. It is melancholy stuff but that is what it will be. So is life.
    Traveling, you were to traveling what I think I was to the world of skiing. It must be an incredible heartbreak to leave that behind. I can truly relate because of what I have left behind. It grabs me in the gut, gutwrenching, nausea inducing feeling.
    You know these are the experiences of loss you are just going to have to feel and process.
    But the Chris who could roam Ireland and live so freely and independently is in your mind and that is still there. You will take your amazing energy and direct it in a different way that will be meaningful. Maybe it won't be monoskiing...
    I am going to stop here . I could talk about this a long time. Maybe you should move this to the life forum. There are such better writers about the conversion of the old you to the new you than I am. Although I can relate so well to your huge passion - but so can many here too. Hopefully they can pipe in on this very universal topic.
    jon

  3. #3
    Who are "my whole team" that you speak of? Were they other disabled sitskiers who moved west?
    Isn't winter park, co where you belong?
    Have you contacted the US racing team?
    The Tahoe Scene is pretty nice too. Lots of gimps to ski with. Tahoe Adaptive Ski School is at Alpine Meadows, maybe contact them....

  4. #4
    Thanks for your reply Arndog, I would be happy to move this post if I can figure out how.

    In reality, I am not discouraged so much about what I could do before/after my accident as much as I am finding it difficult to find an outlet for my energies here in the east.

    As for traveling, I am sure it can be done-I just haven't been able to figure out if I can do it as independently as I used to or if there is someone out there who has figured out a way of making that type/similar type of travel work if you are in a chair or does one always need a "buddy".

    As for my team. I had a small core group of adaptive monoskiers and boarders who all joined various teams out west to compete this year. I was planning to go to WP and was psyched about the program and all of the people involve seemed so positive and helpful. What happened was that I had some significant medical complications over the summer and fall that prevented me from moving out west. Now all my friends and teammates are scattered out in snow country an I am the only one left here on the east coast.

    I am working really hard to stay on course and be able to train for NorAms from out here in the east. Unfortunately, I am now doing it without the support of an established team or race coach. That is what is discouraging me I guess. Just trying to keep up with my former teammates and achieve my goal without the support that I had anticipated. I am sure there is a jealousy component as well. The adaptive riders I have competed and trained with are all getting this amazing coaching and commraderie and I am struggling on my own.

    I guess it was an oddly written post-sorry
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." - My Grammie

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Aidan - a lot of this resonances with me. I was an independent feisty, well-traveled (France, Japan, Belize) adventuring girl with a taste for adrenaline pre-injury and getting hurt took away that spontaneity and belief that I could just go & take care of myself anywhere. I remain sassy and make sure i get some adventure, but almost 5 years later I`m still working on re-learning how to travel. I`ll send you a PM with some of my better tips, but it essentially requires better planning and body awareness. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like your stuck need a `buddy` backup plan. You are smart, active and ambitious, luckily. Maybe you or i can brainstorm and figure out a way to fly solo.
    Finally, I can only echo what Arndog said... its not going to be the same mono-skiing or training by yourself. But also remember to celebrate the little victories. And perhaps branch out into a new social circle if you can`t move and convince someone to coach you parttime or pro bono. hmm I`m not sure I`m at all helpful, but trying to make the best of it while you work on getting yourself to a better place (physical location or otherwise) was the most helpful advice I`ve gotten over the past years.
    feel free to post how you`re doing in this thread or a life one
    all the best,
    tori

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