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Monday night I went up to Mt. Hood with my buddies Grady, Jesse and Kara to go Skiing/ Boarding.

Oh hey, Mt. Hood.

A short history of my snowboarding skills:

  • I did Ski-bus in middle school where I learned how to board for about 5 minutes before my friend Eva took me up on the chair lift for the first time.
  • I really liked boarding so to save on rental fees my parents bought me a board from a friend, but before I could use it I tore my A.C.L.s
  • Flash-foreword to winter break ’08 and I’m going up to the mountain again with Grady and Eva.  That day I go for half a day and quit at lunch because my knees are hurting.

Last Monday was the first time I’ve touched my board since then  and after the snow wiped away all the dust I was really enjoying myself.  I love snowboarding because no matter how many times I fall if I reach the bottom of the mountain in one piece I feel like I’ve achieved something great.

This year, after lunch I thought about quitting but I didn’t.  I went back out and finished the day like a champ. (Okay, more like an exhausted limp noodle but not dead!)

Even though the next morning I could barely move (and to be real, I can barely move right now) and read in the lodge while my cohorts skied the next morning, I think I was pretty successful.

When we drove up on Monday night it was raining. All day Tuesday it snowed, so beautiful.

View from the Ski Bowl lodge.

More views from the lodge.

Jesse and Grady putting their bindings on while Kara, in white, skis away toward the lift.

I’m just resting my knees so I can board another day.

Me first tear, seven years old today.

Today, Sept 19, 2010 marks the 7-year anniversary of my very first A.C.L. surgery.  It is also international talk like a pirate day.

Seven years ago, as I prepared to go under the knife my anesthesiologist was talking like a pirate.  I, the misinformed 13-year-old, interrupted him and told him, no, talk like a pirate day was yesterday.

As I remember the loss of my right anterior cruciate ligament, I see one way to make it up to him.  In the rest of this post I will recount my knee troubles in full-fledged pirate (pretend you’re Ishmael):

Me Hearties, when I was a wee lass, just entering the sea of high school, I tried out for the varsity soccer team and shiver me timbers, I made it. Alas, after me first practice I was as good as shark bait.  In what felt like a canon blast, me knee collapsed and I was doomed for Davy Jone’s locker. Poseidon’s fury left me with no option but to succumb to the land lover’s art of surgery.

Me heart sank.  I felt marooned.  The second week of high school I went under the knife and was forced to wear a massive brace made of tentacle legs.  I hobbled around.  Me leg less useful than a peg.  For many months I was shipwrecked in rehab cove.  Pain, despair and fear were me wenches.  Aye, once me leg was healed, once me ship could sail again, me other leg crashed on the treacherous reef of fate and me left A.C.L. was snapped, as if by the Kraken’s beak.

Me second tear, repaired by a pirate's sword?

It was back to the knife and the port.  This time, me wenches were determination and willpower and me octopus brace me friend instead of me foe.  Finally, I saw red skies at night, (a sailors delight) and was able to set sail.

This ol’ sea dog has still got her legs, and scars like treasure maps carved into the skin.