tearing it up this winter

May 19, 2012

This has been my longest drought since I started blogging and I apologize for not checking in. I like journaling out loud, but it’s been a challenging season and I haven’t felt like writing about it until now.

A slow starting winter was turning around a tiny bit with a sizable dump near the end of January. But, the ski season ended for me just as it was finally beginning. Skiing much too enthusiastically, I fell and tore my ACL along with a bucket handle tear of the meniscus. I chose for surgical repair right away.

Adding insult to injury the accident occurred at Deer Valley Ski Area (insert joke here).

I have a long history with “DV”. I worked in various lift operations positions on and off for a decade. This is where I learned to ski, fell in love with powder snow and discovered backcountry skiing. And surprisingly, found the friends who formed the rag tag crew that became Powderwhore Productions. I even had an office at one point, which I slept in for a season or two. Termination was inevitable though and finally came about after repeatedly building the perfect booter under Viking Lift. It was totally worth it.

Enough reminiscing for now. Back to the cold hard reality of a winter of recovery and being laid up while hopped up on goof balls. That’s sarcasm seeping out of my thumbs and smile.

I’ve broken 2 collar bones (one with a metal plate still in it), torn both ACL’s, cut my knee open on a rock (while wearing kneepads) along with many minor tweaks, sprains, tears, bumps and bruises while skiing through the years.

I see injuries as a blessing. They are not easy, but they force me to slow down, reevaluate and I’ve always come back stronger and more appreciative for my health and the opportunities I’ve had. This time however, I fell into a pretty deep hole that I’m slowly and cautiously climbing out of. My therapist calls it depression, but I like to call it my shadow. I’ve always had it and imagine I always will I just didn’t understand it’s power and purpose. Sometimes in order to change and rebuild it’s necessary to tear down.

So, I’ve been healing in body, mind and spirit for the past few months. Acupuncture to reduce swelling, yoga to increase strength and flexibility, eating for nutrition and well being, gym to increase strength and cardio, and stay sane.

I recently survived the fundamentals course at Gym Jones.

I went seeking further education on nutrition and injury prevention through increased fitness. Many thanks for the inspiration and knowledge to redefine myself.

I’m excited to start up a new training program with the help of the gym once my knee is ready.

Relationships can be more difficult with large chunks of time apart. Well, actually I think relationships are challenging no matter what. Being home lately I’ve been able to cultivate a relationship with the woman of my dreams. Thank you for travelling the road love.

I’ve never thought family was for me, but luckily I’m wrong about a lot of things and I’ve been adopted by these guys. We even managed to survive a harrowing week long “expedition” to San Diego. Full trip report to come.

Every moment is an adventure. Are we free enough and brave enough to engage it? I’m not sure what that means. Thanks for checking in if there is anybody out there still following this.

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14 Responses to “tearing it up this winter”

  1. Mike says on :

    Thanks for the back story Noah. Keep working on the healthy. One more thing, the rght family keeps us sane.

  2. Johanna says on :

    I’m following—GIVEN
    LOVE LOVE this post babe!
    LOVE LOVE how you see life!!
    LOVE LOVE hearing about your experiences!!!
    LOVE LOVE how honest you are!!!!
    LOVE LOVE that you are in such a loving relationship!!!!!
    LOVE LOVE that you are my brother <3

  3. Derek says on :

    Excellent reflection. Not a bad year to be out due to injury. I’m in a similar “shadow” raising a kid. Such a huge life change with little conceivable free time to spend in the mountains. My new thing is just “How many days can I ski with my kid” as my new goal.

  4. Mark says on :

    Tore my ACL, MCL, meniscus, and pride one year ago in March. This was a great season for poor snow and injuries. Not too much going on in the Wasatch. I’d say I was back to my old idiocy after a year.

    My bet is that you will be 100% by the first snowfall.

    Listen to your PT!

  5. Jason says on :

    Great post Noah, I feel you. Been having knee issues as well for the last year. Albeit some sort of overuse/imbalance issue I had to sort out, not anything structural. Couldn’t ride my bike or ski for a long while. Gotta stay with it and try to stay positive. Good luck on the recovery, not a bad year to take a break.

  6. Tim says on :

    I think a lot of us Wasatch shredders were in a dark place this winter. Here’s to next winter.

  7. Diana says on :

    Noah well said! I can relate to all what you are saying ,except the knee injury. Sometimes being stopped in your tracks is a blessing in disguise and gives us time to come into ones self and understand the shadows we run from. The down time gives us perspective,reflection, and appreciation in our selfs,and the people who support and love us….heal on, be well!

  8. Jeff says on :

    Awesome introspective thoughts Noah. Glad you’re on the mend!

  9. Yook says on :

    Sounds like you more water than snow now, flowing around the tough spots not freezing to them. DV has always been hard on your knees. Get better, Get off the goof balls, get south and stop by. Just got done with a 15 day camp out/road trip with my kids, they give it a whole different flavor and perspective. Hope you have your best adventure next.

  10. doug says on :

    Nice post Noah. Good luck with the recovery.

  11. rich says on :

    It’s always bugged me when i hear people say, “I know exactly how you feel.” So, i’ll skip that part. I don’t. I do know one thing, my kids (yes, all 5 of them) are amazing. My wife is even more amazing. How sappy is that?! True though.

  12. Hardy says on :

    11 replies since may 19! C’mon folks, give the brosepf some love!! When I’m not skiing, riding, building trail, loving my girlfriend, being injured or developing a relationship with my girlfriends kids… I like to see what you are up to. If you keep posting, I will click. Thanks man, you inspire…

  13. jupski says on :

    that kid has a sweet mustache

  14. Interview with Noah Howell | Powderwhore | RydeNow says on :

    [...] Your Adventure -A Ski Odyssey“. Following a lean snow year and recuperating from a killer knee injury, Noah was able to answer some of my questions for RydeNow before setting out on his next adventure [...]

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