The Best Injury is the One You Never Had: Prevention and Rehab

It was well into the season a couple of years ago when my good friend and I headed out for our first day skiing together. We took a cruiser run to warm up, and I immediately noticed that he was skiing much faster and better than in years past. He didn’t stop for our regular mid-run rest, and I was out of breath by the time I finally made it into the lift line. Being the ‘tough guy’ that I am, I mumbled a stupid comment about my skis needing wax and got on the lift (while avoiding eye contact).

Overconfidence Spells Disaster

On the way up he suggested we go look for some powder in the trees in an area that we usually avoided in the past. Again the ‘tough guy’ came out and I confidently agreed (after all, I am okay in powder). I followed him across a long traverse. We scoped out a great looking spot. The snow looked perfect. It was untouched and waiting for us to dive in. Side-by-side we headed down the run into the white blanket of seemingly pristine snow.

Immediately, we realized this snow wasn’t what it appeared to be.

It was hard crust on top with dense wet cement underneath. I struggled to stay in balance while turning my skis through the crud. After a couple minutes I realized my friend had already managed to make it down. My ego came out again, and I sped up while trying to make it look like my legs weren’t screaming at me. One turn later and my muscles gave out on me. I went down in a tangle of skis and poles. When I came to a halt, I knew I had hurt myself badly…

What my Friend Knew that I Didn’t…

A few months and a major knee surgery later my friend came to visit me while I was recovering. I finally asked him why he skied so well that day and how he made it so easily through that crud. He simply said, “My Skier’s Edge.” He then told me that he’d bought it before the ski season started and had been using it regularly.

I immediately jumped online and searched for Skier’s Edge. I found out that it’s a lateral ski trainer that improves technique and strengthens ski specific muscles to help prevent injuries (too late for me there). Then a HUGE BONUS…I read it’s a non-impact workout used for rehabbing injuries too! I called and bought one on the spot.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

I spent the rest of that season and the entire summer regularly using the Skier’s Edge. Combined with my other physical therapy, my leg was soon back to full strength and my doctor gave me the all clear. Even though my injuries were healed, I was still a bit scared to hit the slopes again (let’s be honest…. I was terrified). On my first day back, I hesitantly started down an easy blue. INSTANT WOW!

I felt stronger and more in control than I ever had. I spent the rest of that week skiing blues, blacks and even double blacks I’d never skied before. I’ve always loved skiing, but now that I’m advanced and on my way to expert, I love it even more! If only I’d known about the Skier’s Edge before my trip down cement run and injury lane.

I now tell everyone the best injury is the one you never had… and to get a Skier’s Edge!

Gray Stewart

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