Wednesday, January 18, 2006


For Christmas, my wife got my son and I a 3 pack of snowboard lessons, rental and lift tickets. It is a really cool gift and I get to spend some quality time with my son.

We took advantage of the long weekend and on Monday, went to the Summit at Snoqualamie for our first lesson.

It was a beautiful day for skiing. It snowed all day long, with a light breeze, so there was fresh powder all day long. Now, snow in Washington is wet, so a good jacket and pants was important.

The ski area is close, only about 45 miles from our house and is a pretty good place to learn to ski. Even on the holiday, the lift lines weren't long. The instructor was good and at the end of our lesson, we both felt pretty good about riding down the green hill.

We rode up and then came down. For the first time on snowboards, it wasn't bad. It took us a while to come down (or at least get up after falling down) and then we took a break for lunch. We were re-energized and warm.

Before our second run, I told Alec that we should stop half way down and take pictures of each of us snowboarding (it would make a great blog entry). I was able to get off the chair without falling this time and we headed off down the hill. I felt really good and in control. In fact, I saw something on the ground about 20 feet up the hill from a father and son team who looked like they were picking up all their equipment after a crash. I stopped and picked up the thing, it turned out to runaway strap and took it down to them. I was able to stop and ask if it was theirs, but it wasn't. I started off again (all of this without falling, mind you) and ended up going a little too fast.

I lost control and fell, my arms all akimbo and I felt my left arm twist around and a great pain in my shoulder. I ended up sitting on my butt, holding my left arm, with a dislocated shoulder. The pain was pretty severe and I couldn't get up. I ended up crashing just below the ski lift, so there were several people who asked if I needed help. I asked a passing ski instructor to tell Alec to wait for me because I got hurt and then I waited for the ski patrol. I couldn't even stand up on my own.

A guy named Bernie helped me off the hill and got me to the Ski Patrol shack and there I sat for a few hours waiting for the pain to subside. I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't be able to drive home (the MINI is a 6 speed manual) so I called Heather to ask her to come get us.

While she was willing to come get me, it also happened to coincide with a playgroup she was having at our house. It also happened to coincide with I-90 opening and closing because of the continuing snow. It took her 2.5 hours to drive what took me 45 minutes in the morning.

By the time she arrived, the ski area was closed and another Ski Patroller, Rob (I think, my brain was addled with pain) was helping me stretch my arm and relocate it. While it never klunked into place, my arm moved over to the right place and the pain subsided.

Heather took me to the Urgent Care and I've got follow up appointments with Orthopedic surgeons. I never did pick up a birthday cake for Parker that day, since we were going to come back and celebrate his birthday. We did open presents after the Urgent Care.

Today, I'm sore. My muscles are sore from snowboarding and my shoulder is sore from being out and back into its socket.

I'd recommend avoiding dislocating your limbs.

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