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You're Never Too Old To Hurt Yourself While Having Fun ...

New Flash: Mammoth Mountain. Rossignol Ski Camp. Fran dislocates shoulder ... bummer.

I've been overwhelmed the past few months creating my new business ventures, also being distracted from my How-to-Life blog. Then, "voila" - an event falls from the ski gods to give me another left-handed lesson and bring me back to earth -literally.

Free-skiing is my thing, but I also love to race train. I'm strictly middle of pack in actual races and don't do it much, but I love to train in the gates and schedule several week-long race camps each ski year. Despite my distractions, here I was at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort at one of my favorite ski weeks of the year.

Day One: I'm having a great run down a course, then SNAP ... left shoulder dislocated. Just like that!

Camp ruined, right? In pain, laying in the snow, arm limp to my side. Patrol came. They managed to get me off the hill and to the emergency room where they put my body back together. Arm in sling, I returned to the lodge at the mountain.

Dislocating something is extraordinarily painful. There's the initial excruciating pain of the trauma. The pain is almost intolerable if the body part is moved - kinda hard to get moved around without moving loose limbs. But the pain is on a on/off switch. When the emergency doctor popped it back in, the pain stopped instantly.

I stayed inside on Day Two - the internet is a wondrous thing and I could actually get some work done. But I yearned for the hill. Day Three, I was out again, with arm in sling (of course, against doctor's orders), skiing. It took a bit of adjusting. I knew I could ski - I just couldn't fall!

I remained the rest of the week, each day, being a little braver and wearing the sling a little looser, and eventually no sling, but still cautious. I go to race camp for speed and hitting gates and I had to avoid both. But I skied, enjoyed the company of other campers and coaches - and even improved my skiing to boot.



A traumatic interruption can put a big damper on what you're doing. When a doctor says I can't do something - that just about floors me. But, I guess I'm kinda lucky, because over my lifetime, I seem to have developed a habit of not staying on the floor too long. By not packing up and going home and by going back out with my sling, I didn't get the speed and gate bashing that I had planned and so much wanted. Instead, because of the injury, I ended up spending this “race” camp differently, spending time with more people just skiing, chatting, and learning more about those around me. I ended up with a different, memorable, and completely relaxed week that I would not otherwise have had. (As should be apparent by now, “relaxed” is not exactly my strong suit.) Maybe adversity is an opportunity to get something unanticipated? Well ... sometimes.

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