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Tag Archives: ski bum

Dislocated Shoulder

9 Dec

Last Tuesday I dislocated my left shoulder. I was snowboarding pretty fast (around 40 mph) down a not very busy part of the mountain when I jumped off a roller only to see a guy sitting on the other side. I didn’t see him until I was already in the air so when I landed all I could do to avoid him was make a very hard cut to my left. But the cut was too much for my knee which gave out causing my toe side edge to dig into the snow slamming me forward onto my head and shoulder which I felt and heard pop out of place on impact. Luckily I was able to pop it back in place with only one try, and I didn’t have to snowboard down the mountain with my shoulder out of its socket swinging around freely. Its been pretty sore very since I dislocated it and it makes a popping noise any time I lift anything or move my arm fast which sucks because my job is a lot of lifting things/people and having quick hands. I’m a little worried I might have torn something in my shoulder just because of the constant pain I have had the last week and the fact that I cant even hold my arm straight out without it shaking real bad and giving out.

It’s been snowing off and on but mainly on for about 4 straight days now and it’s not supposed to stop for another 2 days. A lot of snow means new terrain will open on the mountain very soon, which is great because I am getting bored with riding overcrowded green and blue runs. I’m ready for all the steeper  more challenging black diamond runs to open up along with tree skiing. All this snow also means powder to ride which I enjoy doing for than pretty much anything on earth. I don’t think there is anything more fun than floating through a few feet of fresh snow making fast sharp turns while bombing down the mountain as fast as possible.

About a week ago the Super Pipe here became the first in the world to open this winter. Being the only one in the world open it naturally attracted pretty much every professional skier and snowboarder on earth. In my last two weeks of work I have seen, met, or talked to more Olympic skiers/snowboarders then I can name, including two of my favorite snowboarders Shaun White and Louie Vito. I have wanted to learn to ride pipe since I first started snowboarding 5 years ago. But since my knee is still healing from ACL surgery I am going to wait another month until it’s at full strength, then I will finally ride a super pipe.

It’s hard for me to blog about my time here because for the most part I do the same things every day and every night. I either work all day and snowboard some, or I don’t work at all and I get to snowboard all day and every night I bro down throw down with my fellow employees (party, chill, have as much fun as humanly possible). I have snowboarded everyday for the last 31 days and although fun and super awesome I feel like it’s a little boring to blog about after a month and a half.

Days I Have Snowboarded This Winter: 34

Peace, Love, and Happiness

Live A Little

-Derek

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The negatives of sports

18 Nov

The lift operations department here at the resort has a few shifts that start at 5am, Last week I worked one of these shifts meaning I had to report to the Lift Ops locker room by 5am dressed and ready to work. I woke up at 4:30 probably setting the record for the earliest I have ever woken up for anything. After reporting on time to the locker room me and the 6 other people working the 5am shift walked out to the base of the mountain where we buckled into are snowboards/skis and hopped on the main chair lift heading up the mountain. I then looked up at the sky and saw more stars at once then I have ever seen my entire life, I felt completed surrounded by stars from being so high up the mountain, when I looked behind me away from the mountain the stars seemed to be almost at eye level. After the mile long ride I got off my chair and snowboarded the half mile or so to the bottom of the lift I was working for the day in complete darkness surrounded by stars and trees. After shoveling some snow at the bottom I rode a chair to my first station at the top lift shack one of the highest points on the mountain as the sun was rising. I worked a really long day 5am to 5pm but between the night sky, watching the sunrise, the awesome weather, and getting to snowboard on my lunch break it was probably my favorite day of work for any job I have ever had. Also you can’t beat getting to snowboarding to and from work.

I don’t know if it’s the cold weather, the altitude, or just that I snowboard everyday but most mornings when I wake up it seems like almost every part of my body I have ever injured is incredibly sore. My right knee is the worst it’s only been 4 months since my acl/meniscus surgery but most mornings it takes a few hours before I can even bend it more than 20 degrees or walk without a limp. My ankles aren’t much better, throughout the 12 years I played soccer I probably sprained each of them at least 5 times and usually after a day of snowboarding my ankles feel like they are on fire.

I can barely hold a pen or pencil with my right hand after surgery on my arm I broke 6 years ago playing soccer, and then hand surgery again after shattering the bone in the palm of my hand and around my thumb mountain biking last December also when it gets cold enough my arm and hand just generally ache in pain.

Last winter was my most painful injury. I caught an edge while snowboarding off a jump at a ski area in Missouri and dropped about 8 feet onto mostly solid ice landing on my back with my feet still in the air I also smacked my head on the ice. My first thought after falling on my back was “oh shit oh shit I hope I didn’t break my back” followed by “shit I might have a concussion”. But after rolling around in pain for a few minutes I ended up standing up on my own while still in extreme pain and hiking down the hill to my car where I sat for an hour before the pain resided enough for me to drive home. I had a horrible headache and a huge black bruise on my back the next day and I still have back pain every now and then from that fall if I stand up for extended periods of time.

I have never been diagnosed with a concussion but that’s probably because I have never gone to the doctor for a head injury. I have hit my head several times the worst last year when I was in college. While playing club soccer I ran full speed for a header and ended up getting knocked to the ground out cold after colliding with an Austrian on the team who was twice my size. After waking up I rolled around on the ground for a few seconds until I stopped seeing black, then I got up and kept playing with the worst headache and whiplash I have ever had.

I really want to get into surfing, climbing, and long boarding this summer because I think they would be a little easier on my body.

Peace, Love, and Happiness

Live A Little

-Derek

Powder Days

11 Nov

I am currently eating chicken noodle soup for lunch. I will also have chicken noodle soup for dinner and probably breakfast tomorrow. Until I moved to Colorado I was not a fan of any canned foods but I went grocery shopping last week for the first time and realized canned foods, ramen noodles, and sandwiches are cheaper than steak, barbecue pork, ribs, sausage, bacon and all the other meats I love dearly. That being said I may drop down to an unhealthy weight by the end of winter, but the free snowboarding will make it well worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been snowing almost nonstop for the last two days here, I snowboarded all day yesterday in 7 inches of fresh powder as snow kept falling. Then today after snowboarding all morning my neighbor Cliff and I caught one of the first chairs up to the newly opened Ptarmigan trail up near the summit of the mountain. We dropped into Ptarmigan and were in waist deep powder almost all the way down. Deep snow is almost any snowboarder/skiers dream, it’s awesome when the snow is so deep that you feel like you are floating as you ride and you can get as gnarly as you want launching off make shift jumps or flying through the trees while going as fast as possible and if you wipe out it’s almost painless as long as you fall into the snow and not a tree. I have snowboarded more in a week here then I did all last winter in Kansas City, and I am not missing the icy slopes of the Midwest.

I had training this week Monday-Thursday I enjoyed most of it, I also got to meet all my fellow first year lift operators 99% of which live in employee housing with me and I also got a free lunch. My first day of work was Friday I worked a lift that was open only to racing teams which was a little boring because they are all so good that you don’t really need to help them load or unload, but I enjoyed it and I think I am going to love this job.

I think I am going to take an avalanche safety training course and buy some backcountry safety gear here pretty soon, that way once the heavy snow starts falling on the summits in a month or two I can go backcountry snowboarding away from the resort on the giant untouched mountains around here.

Peace, Love, and Happiness

Live A Little

-Derek

Colorado

4 Nov

Friday I left for Colorado, I packed 99% of my stuff the morning I left but I don’t own very many things so I had no problems. I did not enjoy the 10 hour drive here very much especially since this was the 5 th time in less than a year I have driven I-70 from Missouri to Colorado, but I made the whole drive without going crazy. I stayed in a hotel in Georgetown, Colorado friday night, then I moved in (dropped all my stuff on the floor) to my employee apartment saturday morning. Then after moving in my focus became 100% on getting my employee ski pass as quick as possible and after filling out a bunch of paper work and paying my rent I finally got it around 11 am and I was snowboarding by  11:15. After the lifts closed at 4:30 I went and picked up my uniform and watched football in the super nice lobby of our building with some other employees.

The most awesome thing about living here is how close I live to the slopes, today (sunday) I woke up at 8:15 got dressed grabbed a pop tart and my snowboard then after a 5 minute walk I was on the lift riding up the mountain where I boarded untill 4:30. Also within walking distance of me are several restaurants, shops, and a grocery store.

My roommate doesn’t move in for a few more weeks, so I don’t have to pick all my stuff up off the floor for a while. I have only been here 2 days but so far this place has been pretty awesome and I don’t think I will have a problem living here for 6 months, I have 4 days of lift operator training starting tomorrow.

-Derek

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