Like Taking a Bullet to the Knee
I have the Osgood-Schlatter disease, and I did not learn that it would haunt my insides until I spiraled out of control on a beast of a mountain. All I could remember was immense pain. It was a pain that I had never felt before and for that felt like forever.
However, in the end the satisfaction was worth it. Damn it felt good. I mean who does not like spring skiing? It was at least 40 degrees when I woke up early sticking my half dead hand and my head out of the archaic, cabin-like window. Did I mention that I also I got to miss school! How much better could life get? It was going to be my first time skiing Beast and not the East. I was up at Beaver Creek, one of the most famous places to ski in Colorado, and after the long drive up the perilous and snake slithering like road, I could just tell it was going to be worth it. The snow was perfect powder and at least three feet deep, other than the straggling clouds the skies were clear, and it was a perfect temperature, not too hot nor too cold.
After I ate breakfast which consisted of half ass sausages my mom made(because she nukes them and doesn’t slow cook them), and some of my famous French toast, drenched in enough butter and maple syrup it could give any man a heart attack; we finally decided to get dressed and get our butts outside. My outfit consisted of my winter ghillie suit jacket with a tenacious looking tiger on the back, some baggy black pants, which my dad would call MC Hammer’s parachute pants, some matching boots and skis to go along with the jacket. My mother’s outfit was composed of a yellow coat that looked like one of the classic yellow life vests that are worn on boats, which made her extremely noticeable just about anywhere. It’s surprisingly an essential part of any group skiing adventure because its easy to get lost out there. She also wore some tight, only one millimeter thick ski pants, with white and yellow boots.
Once I arrived at the chair lift waiting for my sluggish mother, I felt a sense of excitement. My life goal of skiing out West was going to be achieved today, and nothing was going to stop me or get in my way from accomplishing it. Once my mother arrived, we hopped into the miniscule line for the quad and ended up getting paired up with two hippy like characters who looked like they were from part of the ski patrol unit. One had a big bushy beard, and could easily be mistaken for Santa, while the other looked a lot like Hugh Jackman except with white hair and well…
less jacked. Once we got onto the chair heading towards one of the first peaks to the mountain, we began sharing funny stories about our bad ski experiences, such as, me scraping half my face off because I slid face first down the whole mountain, where I was the cheese and the ice on the mountain was the cheese grater; or the time that my friend fell face first after falling off the chairlift because his father decided not save his own flesh and blood, but his friend. Their stories, however, included such gems as catching teenagers doing the nasty, or saying that they witnessed seeing Sasquatch. However, once we reached the first peak we parted ways and began to make our way to the summit. After another long, much windier and colder ride up the summit, we slowly began to feel that we were on top of the world. It felt like the clouds were at eye level with us.
I could feel myself getting light headed, as if I had blown up a thousands balloons in two minutes. I could taste what tasted like the world’s freshest air. I could feel the tip of my nose slowly starting to freeze up as if someone was dripping liquid nitrogen onto it. My toes were numb and barely flexible. However, even though I was practically a human icicle, did not stop me from completing my goal, skiing the beast. As my mother and I slowly started to carve our way down the mountain, our skis brushing the powdery snow from side to side, creating white waves of snow crystals, trying our very best to stay away from those idiotic snowboarders.
We ended up turning left onto maybe the only secluded trail on the whole mountain. It was the only ungroomed trail and that’s when everything transformed from feeling like a god into feeling like man that was going to suffer a slow and painful death. I violently collapsed as if I was a battery-powered robot and someone just clicked my off switch. It felt like a there was a mini explosion in my left knee and shortly after another explosion of greater magnitude in my right. There was only one way to describe the pain that I was feeling and it was the, “F*** Me!” pain and it only worsened. After the two explosions went off right below the base of my kneecap, I could soon feel as if my knees were getting drilled by a construction worker with a jackhammer who would hit the same spot over and over as if he was trying to make a small one inch diameter hole all the way to China.
The spike in my body temperature forced me to lay in the snow, which slowly melted around me because I was so hot. I screamed and swore profusely, loud enough for even if god was throwing a house party, he could even hear my agony. My mother swiftly hiked back over to me to see if I had broken any bones and when I told her “no” she chuckled for a bit and tried to help me up. However, that just was not going to happen because once I put pressure on my lower body the exploding pain would come back. After lying down on my back for about a full hour, the pain had slowly died down to the point where it was just about tolerable;I decided to give standing up another try.
My mother had asked me multiple times if she could quickly ski down and call up ski patrol, but there was no way that I am going to miss this one and a million opportunities for me to ski in Colorado. When I quietly told her, “lets get this over with” with left over energy that I had from screaming in pain, she had detached my skis from my hardened plastic boots and I tried getting up the easy way. I honestly don’t remember how I got myself up but I remember I tried to get up quickly so that way it would not be a slow and painful process. As I clicked my skis into place, I could feel the little devil and angel on my shoulder, except it was more like a fitness instructor and a little whimpy kid; and they just kept quarrelling between each other. One kept saying to me, “Don’t pussy out, don’t be a whip, embrace the pain!” while the other apparition said, “Its ok, no need to be stupid, you do not even know what you did to yourself, just get ski patrol.
” Of course me being me and never wanting to give up no matter how bad the stakes get, and no matter what type of adversities plunge themselves in my way I decided to embrace the pain and ski down, but quickly I realized taking the sled down was a much wiser option. Every turn felt like a new bullet going through my knee. Every time we stopped for a long break I could hear my little fitness instructor in my head telling me, “What are you doing get your ass moving your almost there!” My mother kept looking back at me every couple of seconds to see if I had had another Off-switch moment where I had collapsed to the ground. When I saw the base the mountain it was like a shot of adrenaline had rushed through me and I could not feel any pain. The only thing that was going through my head was that I’m going to see a doctor as soon as I could..
. of course only after ripping off my skis, snow jacket, everything, on my aching body off. After a full three days of not being about to walk without the help of my mother and a crap load of motrin I finally go to see my doctor. He said I had a very common knee disease called Osgood-Schlatter, he said it happens to a bunch of athletes that are constantly moving and do not open a book once in awhile. After he told me that I would have this disease for the rest of my life my heart felt like it skipped a bunch of beats, that was until he said shortly after that I would stop feeling this exploding pain for only three more months max. However, even though I am happy that I would not have this agonizing pain for the rest of my life, that still means that my summer and beginning of my soccer season was going to suck massive cojones.
Even though I was right about the sucking cojones part for a few months, in the end it did not really matter, due to the fact that I got to ski the beast. Although it was not what I really expected but at least I could cross that it off my bucket list. So I guess the moral of the story is that people have to go through a lot of adversity to accomplish some goals but, once they are accomplished, the satisfaction from achieving them is definitely worthwhile. Next time I get the chance to ski in Colorado I will conquer that mountain and get my revenge on it.