Ejo #88 – My Diary: Who’s The Boss?

Day #1
I’m not drinking for 25 days.

Huh?  Well, the Department of Health in the UK has recently decreased the recommended daily intake of alcohol, and as air traffic controllers we are subject to these guidelines. I recently had my annual medical examination for work, and it turns out that I should probably reduce the amount I drink. What better way to do that than to go cold turkey? So far today I’ve only felt an eensy weensy yen for wine. Nothing major. More out of habit than anything else, I think.

Day #2
Today I woke up feeling sluggish, stiff and swollen. Exactly like a hangover. What the hell? After getting out of bed though, I felt a lot better and I’m hoping it was just a vestige of the last few days of drinking. I’m actually committed to doing this, which is a new thing for me. I usually say to myself, “OK, I’m not going to drink today”, and then halfway through the day I’m gagging for a gin and tonic. What feels different this time is my attitude. I’ve decided. Like a switch has flicked in my mind, and it ain’t no thang. Of course it’s only the third day, so let’s talk on Day 18 and see how I feel.

Day #3
I’m wondering when the morning clarity and freshness is going to come, because today I woke up bloated and groggy again. What gives?? Is this detoxing? Is my body getting rid of all the shit from processing alcohol in my liver? Let’s go with that. Hopefully I’ll be bounding out of bed in no time.

Day #4
Today I had a pang, just a tiny little pang, for wine. Out of nowhere. It disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared, but it definitely stood out, as it’s the first time a craving has shown its face since going on this crazy journey (oh yeah, I’m living on the edge with my 25 day booze challenge!!!).

I feel good. I feel clear. I actually think that sometimes I drink to make myself more interesting (if only to myself) but it’s nice to see that I’m pretty much the same and don’t need alcohol to feel good. I still write silly emails, laugh like an idiot at funny videos on YouTube and jump up to dance when a good song comes on. I’m still enjoying life, sober. And that is pretty great.

Day #5
The end of day five and just as I suspected, being sober on a day off work was hard. There were several times throughout the day when I could have killed a glass of crisp rosé. And I know that David felt the same way. Extra kudos to him because he never actually signed up for this and he’s coming along for the ride anyway. Maybe to be supportive, maybe because he knows it’s probably good for him too. Either way, I appreciate the hell out of it.

Day #6
Well, this is really sucking right now. There are so many reasons I drink – to relieve boredom, to reward myself, to inspire creativity, to relax. And suddenly my outlet for all that jazz is gone and I have to find something else to fill all those little holes. So far I’m having trouble finding a suitable substitute.

I can’t be bothered cooking dinner.

Day #7
So, last night we ordered Indian for dinner, but what I realised is that ordering takeaway (especially when I’m supposedly trying to be healthy) is a substitute for drinking.

Mind. Blown!!

I’m just finding it a little boring not drinking right now. But, I need to get over that and recalibrate my boredom meter. That’s what this whole challenge is about.  It’s been a whole week, and I’ve noticed rather amazing changes. I’ve always had oily skin, but lately it’s been some serious Deepwater Horizon shit. Seven days later, this has improved noticeably. I’m also sleeping a bazillion times better. And not waking up in the night as often. Getting up in the morning is still harder than I’d hoped it would be but the quality of sleep I’m getting is markedly better. Which is pretty awesome.

These things keep me motivated.

Day #8
It’s getting easier. New habits are forming – old habits are breaking. I’ve read that a habit takes 21 days to catch. To become automatic and natural. I’m already feeling something changing in my brain. I’ve never been physically dependent on alcohol – and if I was I would give it up completely. But I definitely have an emotional attachment to it. And it is this attachment that I feel softening, cracking, melting away. Huzzah.

Day #9
Uh, so why am I putting on weight? I mean, come on. Normally, if I skip the booze for a couple of days I see a drastic reduction on the scales. But no, in the last nine days I’ve actually gained weight. Sure it’s only 200g but… what the fuck? I don’t get it. I was really hoping to see some weight loss. Having said that, my clothes are definitely fitting a little bit better, so I guess something is going on. I just have to persevere.

Day #10
Today I was nostalgic. For some reason pear juice popped into my head, and I remembered this amazing organic pear juice we once bought in Amsterdam. We brought it back to Dubai, and made incredible cocktails with it. Good times. These thoughts differ from the ones I had a week ago, when I was craving booze. Today, it crossed my mind, pleasantly, and then faded away with no real urge to follow up on it. Progress.

Day #11
Today I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. It’s frustrating because I’d always imagined that a long stretch without alcohol would be some kind of panacea for my health.  So why aren’t I waking up feeling good?

I am definitely noticing improvements though.  My days are just better. I feel sharper, and more engaged. Which is a really nice feeling. I’m starting to have little mini-fantasies of continuing with this booze challenge once the 25 days are up. Today I even (just for a second) had a fleeting thought: maybe I’ll never drink again!!!!! It was summarily dismissed, but it actually felt like a plausible option. This would not have been the case 12 days ago.

Day #12
Another day down. It’s getting easier and easier. I feel like the habit’s back has been broken. Tonight, at 10.30pm I kind of wanted a nightcap to unwind after a long day at work. But this was less a physical urge than a mental one. The physical urges have essentially disappeared, but I guess the mental ones might take a bit longer to tame. We have another 13 days.

Day #13
Being teetotal is a completely different mindset. It kind of simplifies life, and makes a lot of things easier.

Day #14
We are nearly halfway through. How do I feel? Fucking great. When we first started not drinking I thought I would miss it every single day, all day long. But that’s not the case. I honestly thought my life would be taupe without booze, but it’s just as colourful, if not more so.

Day #15
I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up alcohol for a while. I don’t think I have a drinking problem, but I do like the idea of being completely in control. And then, out of the blue, a friend declared on Facebook that she was giving up booze for a whole year (shout out to Nancy). Twenty five days seemed easy in comparison. It was perfect timing.

Day #16
As part of our job, David and I are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. So this isn’t just a health-kick for us, it’s something we need to do in order to ensure we keep our jobs. This is serious stuff.

Day #17
I thought that giving up alcohol would make my days drag, stretching out empty and bland. But in fact, they are filling up because I am being more productive. I am ticking things off my ancient to-do list like a demon. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that I want to do. Shit is getting done!

Day #18
I am so frustrated that I have been alcohol free for 18 days (COUNT THEM) and I have not lost a single ounce of weight. I mean come on!!! I am not eating any differently, in fact I’m eating better. I am active. I’m getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of water. I’m really bloody pissed off about this.

Day #19
Not drinking is the norm now. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to fight the urge anymore, because the urge is gone.

Day #20
Here’s my dilemma. I actually really enjoy drinking. I like inventing cocktails. I appreciate a fine wine. When it’s hot, I like nothing better than a cold beer to cool me down. And I actually trained myself to like whiskey (how’s that for dedication). I don’t like all booze – you couldn’t pay me to drink Jägermeister or Sambuca (blech). But for the most part, hell yeah, I like it.

What I don’t like is being really drunk. I don’t drink to excess, because I’ve been there and it’s shit. I know where my line is and I tend not to cross it. I love being in that glorious tipsy zone, and I manage my alcohol intake to ensure I stay there.

Day #21
Three weeks. The challenge is nearly over. So far I can’t say that there has been some kind of profound lesson learned or epiphany experienced. The challenge has done exactly what I’d hoped it would do, which was to break the spell that alcohol had on me and to prove that I could do it. To show alcohol who was boss.

It’s me.  I’m the boss.

Day #22
I feel so good about blitzing this challenge that I’d like to focus my newfound discipline towards other areas of my life, like diet and exercise. A lifestyle change might be in order.

Day #23
Today I had a bit of a sad spell in the afternoon, and in the past I might have been inclined to have a little glass of something – a drowning of the sorrows, if you will. I only realised afterwards, that the thought never even crossed my mind.

Two more days.

Day #24
It’s lovely, and somewhat surprising, how easy it has been to adjust to life without booze. We are fast approaching the end of this challenge and I haven’t really started to process how I feel about that.

On the one hand, I feel like I could continue not drinking. That, perhaps, I should continue not drinking. On the other hand, I’m really looking forward to a drink. On the third hand I’m a bit scared of drinking again. And on yet another hand I almost feel as though having a glass of wine will mean the undoing of all the hard work I put in to get to this point. And it will have all been for nothing. So many hands. Only one more day to figure it all out.

Day #25
Well, that’s it. The end of my no-booze challenge and I’m about to go to bed, having not allowed a single drop of alcohol to cross my lips. I have actually really enjoyed not drinking – the physical improvements to my life and also the mental improvements. It really does feel like my body and mind have had a nice little vacation in the last three and a half weeks.

It’s almost a shame to subject them to alcohol again, isn’t it?

Ejo #87 – Let’s Talk About Death, Baby

As a society, we are crippled by the concept of death.  Grief, following the death of a loved one, can be such a lonely challenge to endure – but it needn’t be.  Having the support of your friends can help to take the edge off the pain.  But they don’t teach this kind of stuff in school so sometimes, despite their best intentions, the well-meaning remarks of friends can actually make things worse.  The last thing you need to hear when you’re in the depths of despair is “You’ll be OK”.  Yes, of course you will be OK.  But at that very moment you are not.  What you need is compassion, not a meaningless cliché.

When my father died, it almost destroyed me.  I’m not joking.  I honestly don’t know how it’s possible to feel as bad, as empty and as crushed as I did and to somehow still survive.  I was trapped in a black hole.  I felt completely alone, but I didn’t want anyone to reach into my darkness either.  I pushed people away.  It’s such a confusing, bewildering and miserable thing to experience.  I remember after a couple of months, going on a weekend away with some girlfriends.  I managed to keep the black hole contained, most of the time.  But there was one occasion when I could no longer fend it off, and the darkness just flooded out.  We were walking along, and without warning I started bawling uncontrollably.  My father was dead, and I just couldn’t stop crying.  I apologised to my friends and walked away, looking for a place to retreat and get a hold of myself.  I turned a corner and sat down on a bench, but instead of subsiding I was engulfed in sadness, collapsing in a heap of body-shaking tears.  My friends peeked around the corner, their faces contorted with anguish.  I could see they wanted to help me, to comfort me.  And even though that’s exactly what I needed, I was sending out a powerful force-field signalling them to stay away.

I finally got my shit together and we carried on walking, as though nothing had happened.  And I know it was just as bad for them as it was for me.  I’m not telling this story to shame my friends.  It was a terrible moment for all of us.  I tell it to demonstrate how tricky a minefield grief is, even amongst the closest of friends.  It is a harrowing abyss of ugly, difficult emotions for the person experiencing it.  And a sickening feeling of impotence and helplessness for the people around you.  Even though I know what grief feels like, I am still completely at sea when a loved one loses a loved one.  I still don’t know what to say or do.  I still feel helpless.  And I know that many others in that situation feel the same way.

I can’t write anything that could ever take away the pain of someone’s grief.  But I do want to try and alleviate the debilitating feelings of inadequacy most of us feel in the face of someone else’s bereavement.  I want to open a dialogue, to start talking about it, in the hope of making it less scary.  There is no “etiquette” handbook for what to say (or not say) to someone in mourning.  No two situations are the same, and everyone will react to the death of a loved one in their own way.  But I feel pretty safe in saying that there are a few things you should try not to say.  Each heading in this ejo is something that was actually said to a grieving person.  I know they were heartfelt thoughts from people struggling to know what to say, but these platitudes are just not helpful to someone who is in pain.

 “Be strong.”

The day my father died, the worst day of my life, someone told me, ‘Your Dad would want you to be strong, for your Mum.’  Wow, thanks, but I really didn’t need to hear that.  What was said stayed with me through the years.  Now, if I’m comforting a friend experiencing the heartache of grief, the one thing I do feel comfortable saying to them is, ‘You don’t have to be strong, it’s OK to fall apart if you need to’.  Because the reality is that you are going to fall apart in some way.  I spoke with several friends who have all lost someone close to them – a parent, a friend, a spouse – and they were kind enough to share their experiences in the hope of helping you (and me) next time someone is in need of support.

*          *          *

“He wouldn’t want you to be sad.”

“My first experience with death was when I was 14 and one of my best friends died.  My mother was deeply unhelpful.  ‘These things happen’, ‘he wouldn’t want you to be sad’, etc.  All I wanted to do was shout and scream and listen to self-indulgent indie music with a roll-up between my fingers.  A couple of decades later my father, also my best friend, snuffed it.  I wanted to just talk about my amazing father and cry and mention his name more than once without people all looking a bit shifty and looking at the floor and not knowing what to do.  I did not encounter these problems when I was 14. Apart from people also saying when dad died ‘he wouldn’t want you to feel like this’.  FUCK HIM, HES DEAD!!  I’m sad.”

 “I understand how you feel.”

“I think the worst thing a friend said to me after both my parents were killed was, ‘I understand’.  I know they thought it was comforting, but it wasn’t.  They didn’t understand.  How could they?  I didn’t expect them to.”

 “At least she’s no longer in pain.”

“When someone is grieving, say something meaningful or don’t say anything at all.  The number of trite, hallmark kind of statements I got after my mother died made me want to punch people in the face.  Yes, it’s true that ‘these things happen’, ‘it was for the best’ and ‘now she isn’t in any pain’ but it lacks any empathy at all to say these things. 

“It will get easier.”

“What didn’t work for me was being told that someone knew exactly how I felt, and then getting advice on when I should feel better.  Being told how you should feel, or how you will feel, is not helpful.”

“Life goes on.”

“Life goes on for you, but I just lost someone and life has stopped for me.  Also, don’t push someone to talk about it unless they want to talk.”

“It’s time to get over it.”

“Even though time passes, grief doesn’t.  You just learn to manage it better.  I think once the funeral is over people just forget and move forward – but clearly not those who were deeply affected.  There is almost an expectation that you should just move on and get over it, not understanding how deep and prolonged the impact can be.  I think we need to all be more mindful, especially in the first year after someone has died, how hard it can be for those left behind.”

 “Time heals all wounds.”

“I don’t believe that time heals.  For me it’s a constant thing I carry with me every day and no matter how much time passes, it never gets easier.  Especially important events in your life when you wish your parents were there to share it with you and hold your hand and tell you that they love you.  They never saw me or my brother get married, or had the opportunity to meet their first grandchild.”

“These things happen.”

“Some people can be dismissive.  The ones that reacted as if I had just told them that I’d lost my handbag.  I don’t blame them for reacting like that.  I guess some people don’t know how to respond or act in tragic circumstances.  But it’s not helpful when you are grieving and upset.”

 

As you can see, hollow adages don’t work.  So if you can help it, please don’t use them.  What stood out after talking to my friends was that all everyone wanted was to have their grief acknowledged.  Here is what they told me:

 

“The best way to help is to just be there.  Offer some food, your company, your time.  Ask what they need and be willing to listen.”

 “Amongst the confusion, the numbness, the tears and anger I remember something one person said to me when I lost my parents.  It was exactly what I needed to hear at that time.  He said, ‘I have no idea what you are going through.  This is the hardest thing you will ever have to go through in your life.  I am here for you if you need me’.  That was all I needed to hear.  I wanted someone to acknowledge that it was hard and that they had no idea how I was feeling.  I wanted someone to just hug me and not speak.”

 “Just agree that the situation sucks and is incredibly shit.”

“One of the nicest (if you can call it that) things someone said, and they were a work colleague who I wasn’t good friends with, was “I heard your mother died and that’s really terrible.”

 “People don’t know what to say or what to do.  The answer is, just let them be.  If they want to shout and scream, just hold them and let them.  They don’t want any answers from you.  You can’t give them any.  Just listen, patiently, for as long as they need.  There is no solution.  Let them remember, let them tell you the most boring anecdotes, let them bore themselves with the memories, and most importantly let them be what you might consider a drama queen.  Because when it happens to you, you’ll see that it’s not that dramatic after all.  It’s life.”

 

What have been your experiences with offering or needing support after someone has died?

#87 – Oops! I Did It Again.

It’s August, 1995. I’m in Falls Creek on a skiing trip with some friends. I’m a 24 year old yahoo who has no freaking idea how to ski. I fool around for the first few days and by the fifth day I’m a goddamn Olympic level skier. Or so I thought when I skied straight down a rather steep run. When I say straight, I mean skis pointing down the hill – no turns. Like I’m taking off for an aerial ski jump. But I wasn’t jumping. And I was going so fast, and it was so icy, that I couldn’t figure out how to turn. I certainly wasn’t able to slow down. Which ended up being not so great for me when I wanted to stop and kinda didn’t know how. I was aiming straight for a lovely, big red sign with the word STOP! emblazoned on it and, since I was going to crash into it rather rapidly I decided to do what anyone else would in that situation. I decided to fall.

 

Who can tell if that was the right decision to make. Perhaps if I’d just ploughed on into the crowd lining up for the ski lift, some lovely person might have broken my fall. But no, I took a hit for the team and tumbled down the icy slope in a most ungraceful and awkward fashion. What’s  supposed to happen when you fall down skiing is that the bindings holding your boots onto the skis are supposed to release, so that you don’t injure yourself. Unfortunately for me, that didn’t happen. I don’t want to say that the ski rental place set my bindings too tight, but the bastards at the ski rental place set my bindings too tight. If the skis had come off during my fall, I am certain that I would have just ended up with some nasty bruises. As it turns out, I felt (and heard – oh yeah, HEARD) my right knee snap as my leg twisted under the ski. I estimate that I did at least five somersaults on my way down and I landed pretty well right in front of that stop sign with my right leg at a most unpleasant angle.

 

I clearly remember the impact of the fall, and then blacking out. And then, the pain. Ohhhhh my word, the pain. I heard the screaming a few seconds before I realised that it was emanating from my own mouth, which is always rather startling. I passed out again and woke up to a young boy’s voice asking someone, “Is she dead?” I tried to move and realised that my ski was still on, twisting my knee even more. I’m sorry to say that I closed my eyes and expelled a nice, long, robust “FUCK!!!!!!!!!”.  Sorry kiddo!  Eventually my friends caught up to me and helped me undo my ski so that I could straighten my leg.  That helped, but I was still unable to stand up.  My body was broken. Once they realised I was alive, my friends started making fun of me, as only good friends can in these situations.  They laughed at how I’d sailed past them on my way down, shouting “I.  Can’t.  Stop!!!”  They still remind me of that, to this day.

 

Finally, the ski patrol came down to stretcher me off the mountain. I was kind of mortified at having to be skied off in a stretcher, but there was also something a little bit magnificent about it. It wasn’t fun though. It’s not a smooth ride, and every little bump on the mountain was excruciating.  I fainted several times. They took me to a medical facility on the mountain where the nurses administered first aid and bandaged up my knee with a splint. They weren’t able to give me a diagnosis but they suspected some ligament damage as I wasn’t able to put any weight on my leg at all. We were supposed to be heading back to Melbourne the next morning but my friends decided to make the six hour drive that night, so I could get home and get to a doctor first thing. I love my friends.

 

During that long drive, the painkillers I’d been given at the first aid station wore off and every little pothole and bump was agony. Going around one corner a little enthusiastically, my friend Mike drove over the curb and I screamed out in pain. I couldn’t help it. He was, of course mortified. He made it up to me later on when he stopped off at a hospital just before midnight, waltzed into the emergency room and sweet talked the nurses into giving him a few codeine tablets. My hero. Suffice to say, I forgave him.

 

The next day, I went to see an orthopaedic surgeon, who confirmed that I had torn my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). The ACL lies within the joint and prevents excessive forward movement of the knee, and also controls the knee during twisting and rotating. The MCL lies outside the knee joint on the inner leg, attaching the shin and thigh bones and adding stability and strength to the knees. So, it was a pretty serious injury. The surgeon recommended surgery but I was a destitute government worker at the time, without private health insurance. Approval for the operation under the public health scheme would take two years. I went home dejected.

ligaments

I tore the ACL, as well as the MCL. Ouchie.

To make matters even worse, three days after the injury I woke up to find my right leg swollen to almost twice its size. This was quite frightening and I went to see a doctor right away. Turns out that the combination of a traumatic knee injury along with the leg probably being bandaged a little too tightly right after the accident, had resulted in me getting a deep vein thrombosis. A DVT is essentially a blood clot that develops deep within the body. The risk is that the clot will dislodge and travel to the lungs where it might block a vein, resulting in damage to the lungs and possibly even death. I was immediately prescribed blood thinning oral medication for three months, as well as daily injections of medicine in my stomach fat for ten days. The injections were administered by the Royal District Nursing Service, a charity that provides at-home medical services, which is pretty awesome. The nurses were lovely, but the injections were distressingly painful. I shrieked with pain each and every time they jabbed me- it never got easier. My friend Mike was usually at home when the injections were happening, and one day he asked if he could watch. He’d heard the howling and wanted to see exactly what was causing it. Yes, he is a sicko.

 

So my moment of recklessness on the ski slopes resulted in me requiring crutches for seven weeks, assisted showering for four weeks, painful injections for ten days, three months of daily Warfarin tablets and regular visits to the haematology lab to check my blood work. Once, chopping up a piece of fruit, I nicked my finger with the knife. The cut didn’t stop bleeding for six hours. I thought I was going to bleed out. When my knee finally got better, I vowed never to ski again. But of course three years later I found myself at Mt. Bulla, nervously navigating the nursery slopes.  But it wasn’t the same.  I was scared, and the fun had gone out of it. I didn’t strap on a pair of ski boots for another 16 years.

*     *    *

David and I have some friends in Dubai who are avid skiers and they so inspired us with their enthusiasm for the sport that we were very easily convinced to give it another try. We figured we’d have a go, nice and easy, and see how we liked it. We went to Baqueira, Spain in 2013 and loved it. We skied again in 2014, in Andorra. And then again the year after in Nagano, Japan.  We returned to Japan in January of this year and enjoyed a week of incredible powder. It snowed over two metres in the one week that we were there, and more than ten metres for the season. You just don’t get snow like that in Australia. Or many other places, really. The conditions were amazing. Because Nagano is relatively unknown to foreign skiers, we spent most of the time skiing completely deserted slopes, which is simply heaven. We stayed in a beautiful rustic guesthouse, Hotel Shirakabaso in Shiga Kogen, where they served incredible Japanese breakfasts and dinners and where we bathed in soothing onsens at the end of each day. We slept on futons in a tatami room and wore kimonos all the time. It was truly delightful.

 

Because we hadn’t skied in two years, it took me a few runs to start feeling confident again. But it only took a couple of days before I was carving up the slopes with confidence. I was a much better skier than when I’d injured myself in ’95, and I was a lot fitter too. But unfortunately, I wasn’t as fit as I needed to be. And I think this contributed to what happened on the second last day of our trip. Right near the end of a long day of great skiing, we started making our way across the 607 hectare ski resort towards our hotel. I must have been tired. Or maybe it was the beer I’d had at lunch (though I doubt it, because I always ski better after a lunchtime beer, natch). Whatever the reason, starting down the fairly steep, ungroomed run I appeared to have lost my mojo. I made two turns where I leant backwards instead of forwards, almost losing my balance. The third time it happened, I was unable to correct myself and took a very nasty fall down the mountain. I hit my head so hard that I had whiplash for a week afterwards – it’s lucky I was wearing a helmet.

 

Just as it had happened nearly 22 years ago, the bindings on my skis didn’t release, and the speed I was going meant that my knee was subjected to forces it simply couldn’t withstand. This time I didn’t hear the ligaments pop, but I sure did feel them. And just like in ’95, the pain overwhelmed me and I lay there wailing, unabashedly. I do remember being rather moved that David whipped his skis off and ran down the mountain to where I was awkwardly strewn. He helped me remove the offending ski, and comforted me as I cried. We sat for a minute, to regroup and assess how bad the injury was. When we figured out that I wouldn’t be able to ski the rest of the run, he carried all four of our skis the 30 metres back up to the trail (no easy task) while I schlepped up in my boots, labouring through the deep powder, tears streaming down my face. When we got to the top, a ski instructor schussed up to us and insisted on calling the ski patrollers. When they arrived, they decided to (once more) stretcher me off the mountain in what amounted to a body bag on skis. I didn’t feel so cool this time. I felt great disappointment. Hurting myself so badly at 45 felt significantly worse than doing it at 24.

 

When we got back to Dubai, I had an MRI and was diagnosed with a Grade 3 (complete) tear of the MCL.  The surgeon recommended surgery right away, but I was super reluctant to be operated on, so I got a second opinion. The new surgeon downgraded the diagnosis to a Grade 2 (partial) tear of the MCL and ACL which can (hopefully) be treated with rehab. Call me conservative, but I’d really rather go the exercise and physiotherapy route than have someone cut me open and sew me back together. After all, I healed perfectly after the first injury. I think I might have to work a little harder to get back to 100% this time, but I’m totally committed to doing the work.

 

And yes, we’re planning on skiing in Japan again next year. Just try and stop me.