When Is Enough, Enough?

Today was my first day of skiing in two years!! In addition to two surgeries, I’ve spent months and months in physical therapy and thousands of dollars on medical bills as I’ve prepared for today. 

Is it OK to be honest when our outdoor experiences aren’t actually amazing? Hope so, because here goes nuthin'.

While it was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out in the mountains and the views from the Continental Divide were to die for, I can’t help but be terrified of adding a fourth or fifth year onto this absolute mess of ACL surgeries and subsequent recoveries. Despite wearing a brand new knee brace, I could still feel the weakness in my knee during every single turn I made. 

Was it just pain from my patellar tendon that’s still ornery a full year after the most recent surgery? Was it my ACL groaning under the strain? Ultimately, does it even matter what the root cause is?

It’s no exaggeration to say that downhill skiing has been one of the most important and defining aspects of my life, but when is enough enough? Do I keep working on strengthening, struggling slowly forward? Or do I raise the white flag?

If yesterday clarified one thing to me, it’s that I can easily head up into the high alpine and enjoy the beauty of the snowy mountains from the seat of my bike. We have so many different types of adventure available to us here in Colorado, that I don’t feel like I have to sacrifice what modicum of health I do have on the altar of powder skiing.

I don’t have any answers yet about what the future holds. But maybe it’s time to finally buy a snowboard.

Outside Day 163.