Why I Won’t Be Snowboarding This Season

Back in July I had a collision on my mountain bike: the car won. The most significant injury was a broken femur. The leg was pinned, I lay in hospital for 17 days, nearly 3 months later and I’ve only just started to bear weight on my right leg. It’s going to take a while to get back to full strength.

From here on out, I’m hoping that it’s gonna be good progress all the way. I just want to get the leg fit, as fast and safely as possible, and then get back to me being fit. Three months and counting, on crutches, is a whole lot of sitting around and slow moving.

 

Where was I at before this happened?

Before the accident happened I was getting ready to ride the coast to coast, training hard on my bike (look where that got me!). It’s not particularly hardcore; you can take as long as you like about it. We were planning on around 50 miles per day, over three days. The training regime was working well though, I was quite fit.

As for the coming season, the plan was Breckenridge. Very exciting. Great parks, good snow, good mountains, and I really like Colorado. Shredding in the USA would have been a first for all of us.

As for getting my tricks on, a spot of pre-season training, I was enjoying some regular riding at Castleford’s indoor snowdome. Frontside boardslides were back on the menu, after a period of inaccessibility. I’d also learned how to do nose grabs for the first time – too long considering the length of time I’ve wanted to do them.

I was aiming to drop some little videos, evidence, to show the progression. Before losing the fight with the car, I’d recorded just one little clip. It’s nothing gnarly, but it was the type of thing I was after to tick off the tricks as I felt they were ready:

I attribute both the progress with the front-boards and the nose grab to the Snowboard Addiction videos. I’ve been waxing lyrical on here for a while about their freestyle program, why? Because it’s very good. A couple of key pointers to think about, some practice with a balance rail and a trampoline, and I had two tricks progressing nicely where I’d previously been struggling. I was keen as mustard to keep learning new stuff. Backside 180 with counter-rotation just felt awesome. How come I didn’t think about that stuff before?

Where am I going next?

Shit happens. It’s not the end of the world. I hope the above story didn’t make it sound like I’m wallowing in self-pity, at the injustice of it all. I’m not.

Sure it’s disappointing, but like I said, it’s not the end of the world. I’d rather look forward, which is what I’m doing…

There is a chance that I’d be able to snowboard this season, a small one, but it’s there. Something toward the end of the season, March or early April… But there are a few snags with that. Most importantly, I’m getting married in April (awesome). Ciara and I were supposed to be married on October 16th, around a week from now, but we postponed on account of me losing the fight with the car. Risking the leg a few weeks before our next attempt at a date doesn’t seem like a good idea…

And besides, I want to feel confident when I next travel to the mountains. I don’t want to hold back snowboarding. I certainly wouldn’t want to travel to somewhere like Breckenridge only to say “hmm, I don’t think my leg is up to riding the park”. No way.

Here comes a benefit of shredding in the UK – the snowdome is a perfect way for me to re-introduce myself to snowboarding, at a low cost. If I travel there and it’s not happening, no big deal. So this is my plan:

  • Work hard on the physiotherapy, get back to exercising, get strength back in my legs.
  • Start to snowboard again, here in the UK, next spring. See how it’s going.
  • If it’s all feeling good, I might look to get some summer snowboarding in, maybe Les Deux Alpes or somewhere like that.
  • Go somewhere really sick in 2011. Breck, Whistler, Japan, I don’t know. I’ll enjoy looking and contemplating though!

All of that could change. The recovery may go much quicker than expected, or maybe a little slower? I don’t know and it’s still early days.

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