Seven Deadly Sins of Injury Recovery

DCIM154GOPROAs I get closer to being fully healed from a broken collarbone sustained in early March, I am feeling better and allowed to resume more and more activity. Lucky for me, recovery has so far been pretty smooth. I have, however, been guilty of the seven deadly sins of injury over the course of my recovery period…

Lust – The majority of March and, so far, all of April has been spent on the couch desiring what I cannot have: skiing. Text messages constantly inform me of missed trips and opportunities, and my Facebook and Instagram feeds keep me apprised of snowfall, conditions, and trip reports to further enhance the longing I feel for sliding on snow. The people and places I followed in the winter to keep my stoke high now only intensify my yearning to ski.

Gluttony – Without being able to be active, and after spending an uncomfortable month on the couch, I obviously turned to other things that give me pleasure—in this case, food. I’ve always enjoyed big country breakfasts, large lunches, and rich dinners; being stuck in the house the last five weeks, I’ve had plenty of time for all of them (and snacking in between). The advantage of my former super-active lifestyle was that, to some degree, I was able to eat whatever I wanted. That no longer being the case, I am starting to worry that once I’m cleared to resume activity I won’t be able to fit into my clothes.

Greed – I have always loved stuff and being hurt has somehow given me carte blanche to treat myself to whatever I desire. Can I get new skis? Of course! Should I get a new camera? Sure, why not! Should I buy a few new books at Barnes & Noble? Certainly, look how much time you have to read! The way I see it, if I’m going to have forced down time, I might as well make sure I’m outfitted to the max when I come back. After all, I am no longer spending money on gas driving up north or at the Onset Pub at Crotched Mountain. Sure, I haven’t needed a single thing I’ve bought…but those purchases have miraculously made me feel better.

Laziness – In the peak of ski season, I would consider myself floating between an active and a hyperactive lifestyle. Most weekday mornings, I would wake up before the sun to skin and ski my local mountain while weekends were filled with backcountry ski trips or riding the lifts. Lately, the closest I’ve gotten to activity is searching through ski clips on, waiting in line at Redbox, or searching for the television remote.

Wrath – While some days I am able to easily cope with my injury, other days it fills me with rage. Why was I so stupid? If I wasn’t so careless, I would still be out skiing. How come the year I hurt myself coincides with the year winter just won’t quit? When not turning my anger inside, it is directed at my friends who still out getting after it. Fucking guys are at Sugarbush and I am stuck in the office! Of course the backcountry spot was awesome, I can’t go. Screw those guys, the second I’m healed, I’m making up for lost time with or without them!

Envy – Of all the deadly sins, this is the one I might be most guilty of. From my girlfriend heading to the local hill, to my friends heading on a trip I was looking forward to, I am filled with jealously the moment I hear about it. I have spent the last five weeks actively rooting for a temperature in the low thirties and rain because if I am not out having fun, no one should be out having fun.

Pride – While this injury should have taught me a lesson about pride, I’m afraid it has not. I still can’t believe I managed to hurt myself in such a benign way, and every time someone says “accidents happen” I think “not to me!” Filled with hubris, I still believe I am above it. Vain to the end, I still mock people who carry their skis the wrong way, sport a gaper gap, or un-ironically ski in jeans. I don’t know why I think I am better than them—after all, they’re skiing and I’m healing—but I do.

Hopefully, as I progress toward regaining my psychical health, I will be able to work on restoring my spiritual health as well. With each day that passes, I feel a little better and I like to think I’m moving toward being a little better person at the same time.