Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Can't Do A Split, But The Mowing is Begun!

Today was one of the most physically and emotionally painful hikes in my entire life. Those of you who have been following my blog know that I have been working on loosening my hip sockets with the end goal of being able to do a split - for injury prevention reasons. Unfortunately, it wasn't soon enough :(

Hooked Up & Ready to Blow on Skye Lark!

This past weekend was crazy family reunions. During the rainstorm Saturday night I was dancing with the kids and somehow ended up in a form of dance-off. Sam (aged 10) dropped almost to the ground in an open front split. Then I stretched my left left forward, slipped in the open Pavillion and gasped as my pelvic bone touched the cement. That's right...I did a full split!

Nothing better than yoga at the top of the mountain:
This time, Skye Peak!

Until that moment, my splits have been consistently 4-6 inches from the ground. Even after 18 months of work, I was still NOT ready. As I slipped, i heard a very loud noise as my left femur popped out of the hip socket. I could feel my hamstring pull forward away my pelvic bone as I landed on the slippery cement. My femur popped back into place as I landed, and I could only sit there, stunned at my accomplishment and petrified to discover the damage I had done to my body only months before ski season...

A small animal falls victim to the annual mowing

I walked and danced around the rest of the night in a complete daze, even eating a buttery, greasy steak and american cheese sandwich. While my leg wasn't falling off, it was still extremely loose in the socket. Had I torn ligaments in my hip socket? Are there even any ligaments in my hip socket? As a skier, I familiar with all the parts of my knee, but the hip? I was freaking myself out with my ignorance.

Two Mowers:
Started with High Road, then Bittersweet, Skye Lark, Superstar & Middle O

The pain killers wore off at about 4:30 in the morning, waking me up with major cramping in my hamstring. So I got out my book and read as I RICEd myself repeatedly through the early morning hours. 80 pages on, 80 pages off. Of course, it didn't help that the bamboo couch had a support pole right under my sit bones...and that I couldn't concentrate at all. Damn You, Distracting Pain!

Damn it's a beautiful day:
almost to the summit of Skye Peak

Around 6:30 in the morning, I limped myself around the neighborhood. First venturing out on level terrain, I gradually warmed up to the uphill outhouse (yep, I said outhouse!) and then cringed as I hobbled back down. But I had to talk to my leg, I had to understand exactly what parts of my body were pulled, torn, shredded, ripped, stretched...oh, the possibilities were endless...but I was walking! :)

One more memory of the 2010-2011 Ski Season

In the morning, my mother predictably freaked out and went in search of a friend of mine, who is now an orthapedist. It was such a nice doctor visit - he was joined by his brother's fiancee and the brother himself. While I walking, I had noticed throbbing pain near my knee - Dr. Tim diligently did the appropriate tests - and I was told (not for the first time) that I had loose ligaments & that they were fine :) One of the best compliments a guy could give a female ski bum :)

Vespi loved how slowly I was walking - gave her plenty of time to sniff around

So I spent Sunday icing like crazy, because I knew I was taking my 12 year old cousin to the Statue of Liberty the next day. By the way, she said my split looked awesome!! For the first time ever, I was at the cabin for 5 days and never went paddling! Now that is devestating.

The Stash House looks so lonely in the summertime...

So today, back home in my beloved Green Mountains, I grabbed my yoga mat and headed up the mountain. I figured that by the time I got to the top of Skye Peak, my hamstring would be sufficiently warm enough for a thorough yoga session. I was nievely hoping that would help me get through the descent.

Thanks to the heavy rains, Vespi found a new mud hole to lie in off Trail 4

It was the longest hike up Trail E to Skye Lark to the wrap-around that I had ever experienced. Vespi kept stopping and looking behind her, wondering why I was moving in such slow motion. But I didn't care. I was moving and I was making it to the top of the damn mountain, one step at a time. By the time I got through Skye Bits, I could feel my hamstring stretching out comfortably, perhaps even starting to break through the inflammation in my hip socket. Every step was a conscious effort, a thoughtful movement, an intentional placement.

This is how I imagine the Highlands of Scotland to look:
Needle's Eye

And then, there I was, able to feel the mountain air embracing me, wrapping around me. I could smell the fresh air as it came up and over the mountain...and I knew, somehow I knew, that everything was going to be all right. I had still had my mountain. And I could touch my toes again. Although there was pain, there was still peace. My mountain would share my suffering and ease my burden. Ah, my old friend, once again you have saved my soul.

Some flowers are still holding out on Snowshed Crossover

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,
FemaleSkiBum :)


  1. You are awesome. But the Highlands of Scotland would be rainy, I think :-)

  2. Thanks, Mira! I'm certainly not feeling awesome today, sitting on a bag of ice :( oh, well...we did have some pretty heavy rains this past week :) If that's the trade-off for our beautiful green mountains, I'll take it!