Why I’ll Never Go Skiing Again

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Why I’ll Never Go Skiing Again

acl tear skiing

**Warning – there are pictures that may be considered not eye-pleasing to some, but at least you didn’t go through the pain**

There I was.  Laying on my back with my leg bent at an angle it should never be bent at.  About thirty seconds earlier, I heard that dreaded snap in my knee that everyone knows exactly what it means.  It’s amazing that you can hear that pop when you feel frozen in time just waiting to see how you hit the ground.  And, what an odd feeling knowing you’re not going to hit the ground right, but not being able to do anything about it.

I thought if I just laid there for a few minutes watching all the other skiers (I say that as if I can classify myself as an actual skier) flew by me effortlessly.  Occasionally, someone would ask if I was okay or if I needed ski patrol.  Me?  No, no I don’t need ski patrol.  My stubborness won.

Oh look, there goes a five year old skiing down the mountain better than I ever will.

Finally, I decided that it would be a good idea for me to walk down the rest of the mountain – reminder – I was probably not even halfway down.  First things first, I needed to remove the skis.  How, by the way, do my legs bend at an abnormal angle but my skis stay in place?  I should get a medal for that.

Since I had decided to walk down, I needed to get over to the side so one of the five year old skiers wouldn’t take me out.  The side = deeper, softer snow.  Deeper, softer snow = worst. idea. ever. for a bad knee.

After going about twenty yards, I mis-stepped and my knee gave out which led to me hearing yet another loud pop.

I let ski patrol come get me that time.  One pop = stupid stubborn idiot.  Two pops = instant genius.

So, when ski patrol comes and gets you…it makes you feel even more incompetent because two guys literally ski you down the hill on a stretcher.  So, not only are they capable of skiing and getting themselves down in one piece, but a whole other person too.

Inside the ski patrol office, I got some ice because in reality, they can’t do much but the basics.  I declined having an ambulance called because I’m…well, me.  I also did not want to ruin everyone else’s trip so I told them to go keep on skiing while they could.

acl tear skiing

Right after the acident

I made my way to the bar for the evening.  Best decision I had made the whole day.  I pretended to ignore the pity looks I got often and just continued icing my knee and drinking my beer.

When we left, we headed back to get something to eat and that’s when I noticed that my knee was at least double the normal size.  And, we still had another day there.  I kept saying we could stay and I didn’t want to go to the hospital.  I got my way on one of those.  The hospital was skipped but we left the next morning to head back to Tennessee.

On the way back, I wanted to stop in Gatlinburg and WALKED AROUND FOR 3 HOURS.  What was I thinking?!?!  My knee literally gave out every step and I was in excruciating pain but I guess I just wanted to get something out of the trip.  I had no idea at that point just how bad I had hurt it and was only making it worse.

Two days after getting back home and my knee was still swollen and in pain and I couldn’t walk, I finally decided to go to the hospital where they did nothing but give me a referral to the doctor.

When I got to the doctor (about 5 or 6 days after the accident), he looked at my knee for 2 minutes and said without a doubt that I tore my ACL.  The MRI was only a formality.  Turns out, I not only tore it, but I completely shredded it along with spraining and minor tears in my MCL and PCL and a bruised bone as well.

Next was surgery pretty quickly, then TWO DAYS OFF WORK (was supposed to be 3 weeks) but again, I’m stubborn.  After that, came months of agonizing physical therapy which made all the aforementioned seem like a tea party.

acl tear skiing

right after surgery

acl tear skiing

Right after surgery

acl tear skiing

what I got to wear for 6 months after surgery

acl tear skiing

about what it looks like now

And that is exactly why I’ll never go skiing again.  Or, maybe I will because I’m…well, me.

weekendwanderlust


Ashley is the mastermind behind A Southern Gypsy, a travel blog focused adventure, outdoors, wildlife and Vegan food! In between bigger trips, she is delivering the best of her hometown, Nashville. Hates mustard & pickles. Needs coffee to function. Other passions | activism, minimalism, zero waste, books + writing.

33 Comments

  1. Esther

    October 24, 2014 at 2:27 AM

    Ouch!! That doesn’t look good. I am going skiing for the first time ever this winter, very curious to see how it goes.

  2. Evanne @ Poplar Travels

    October 24, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    OW! I can’t believe you walked around on it for so long, you must have a high pain tolerance!

  3. Maria from Nerd Nomads

    October 24, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    OMG!!! I feel so sorry for you! That looks terrible and painful! Hope your knee is ok now and you can walk normal? Hope you go skiing again, because it is great fun!! I love it, but then I`m from Norway and have been skiing since I was 2 years old. 🙂

  4. Kelly

    October 24, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    oh no! That sucks. Would you ever try snowboarding? I have never tried skiing, but am addicted to the board!

  5. Katrina

    October 24, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    OWWWW!!! My husband grew up skiing (in the Alps), and I feel like such a clumsy idiot whenever I try. We went in February, and I finally “graduated” from the bunny slops. But I was terrified of crashing! I can definitely understand why it’s something you will never do again!

  6. Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal

    October 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Ooooohhhhh, that looks painful, I’m so sorry!! Knee injuries make me cringe and I can’t imagine hearing that popping sound. Yikes. I love skiing but don’t do it much anymore. Not because I’m afraid of an injury but because I prefer warmer weather sports.

  7. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    October 24, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    You must have a super high tolerance for pain. I hurt just looking at it. I am the opposite. I once chickened out at the top of a run and made Ski Patrol come and get me to take me down. No, I wasn’t hurt at all, and to make matters worse, I forgot that I was carrying everyone’s sandwiches off with me when I left the group since they were stashed in my coat. My friends still bring it up.

  8. Staci

    October 24, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Um, ouch!! I must say that I have never gone skiing and this makes me not want to try. How’s your knee now?

    Look at the positive side: You have a gnarly scar and are a total badass.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      October 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      My knee is good now…gives out every once in a while and hurts when it rains sometimes (no joke!). There was a long time, I didn’t know how it was possibly going to work right again.

      I purposely didnt put anything on ym scar so that it wouldn’t disappear 😛

  9. Fairlie

    October 24, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    I live in a city where everyone seems to go snow-mad for about three months each year…but I’ve never really seen the attraction myself. Sliding downhill really fast, in the cold…and ending up wet and banged up? Where’s the fun in that? But millions disagree. Your injury looks sooo bad, it certainly doesn’t encourage me to give it another go!

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  11. Anda@Travel Notes & Beyond

    October 24, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Oh, Ashley, Ashley! Naughty girl! If you were skiing with me that day I would have dragged you to the hospital myself. Better safe than sorry. Accidents like this have to be taken very seriously. But I don’t think you should give up skiing. It was a very traumatic experience but you shouldn’t let it keep you from doing what you like. Probably it will take a while to regain your confidence, but you are still young and you can make it work. Don’t give up.

  12. Samantha

    October 25, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Oh my god that is terrible!! The first time I went skiing I HATED it. I took a lesson and I kept falling and my legs hurt so bad from twisting them on the skiis and I just nearly cried. So I totally get you but that totally sucks about your knee! I think if I went one more time that’d probably be me. I was soo close to banging into a tree once too. I realized that snowboarding is a lot easier and I like it a lot more. Maybe try snowboarding next time?

  13. Erin | No Ordinary Nomad

    October 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    Ouch! I am not a big fan of skiing either, and that is exactly why – I’m terrified that I going to really injure myself! I would have headed to the bar too, beer fixes everything! 🙂

  14. Katie @WorldWideVegetarian.com

    October 25, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Ah Ashley this is intense, I am so sorry to hear it, and I hope you are feeling a lot better. I couldn’t help but chuckle however, as your story reminds me of me. One time, I broke my food and continued to walk on it in heels through the metro, on to the train, and all the way to my mom’s office across the city before asking for medical help. And, I fell off a horse the second day of a 2 week Euro trip in Iceland, great.. So at least I can say in a small way I feel your pain, and maybe one day this will be a funny-ish story for you as well.
    Katie

  15. Constance - Foreign Sancturay

    October 25, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    I love skiing! I started skiing at a very young age and took several lessons before my parents allowed me to hit the big slopes! But with an injury like that, I can understand why you wouldn’t want to try it again. You big trip is getting close now! Are you ready?

  16. Carmen @ CarmensTravelTips

    October 26, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    That’s my biggest concern about going skiing is the getting hurt part. Last year we went with the family and my daughter wanted to learn to snowboard so we signed her up for classes. She fell hard on her head and was brought down on a sled down the mountain. Luckily it wasn’t too bad only a mild concussion.

  17. Stephanie Mayo

    October 26, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    THE number one reason why I have no interest in hurling myself down a ski slope. I can only imagine the pain and discomfort you went through, but like they say ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’, and I must say you are one tough lady!

  18. Laura

    October 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Yikes! The upside is that it makes for a great story! I tried skiing once when I was about 15. Never again 🙂

  19. Richelle @Adventures Around Asia

    October 27, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    This sounds awful! My ex boyfriend accidentally hit a tree while skiing and completely dislocated his hip. They had to pop it back in at the hospital! He didn’t have to have surgery, but he said it was the most painful thing that he’s ever experienced. Hips aren’t supposed to pop out! He was on crutches for a really long time. Glad you’re okay now though!

  20. Em

    October 27, 2014 at 4:47 AM

    That is a wicked injury – bless! A hard lesson to learn that you need to take care of your body when it’s hurting, which is hard to do for adventurous types.

  21. Lauren

    October 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Okay, now I fully realize why during our Twitter chat you were NOT keen on skiing! YIKES. That looks awful! I guess you learned that it might be a good idea for ask for help the next time you’re hurt! It’s tough to judge though, to actually realize how hurt you might be, or if you can get along okay without it. I hope your leg has fully healed, though I’m sure it took you a bit of time to recover from the surgery!

  22. Marta Kulesza

    October 29, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Damn!I feel pain just by looking at those pics! One thing I learned during travels is to go to the doctor as fast as possible. I learned it the hard way thought, by being stubborn. Just like you!

  23. Vasudha Aggarwal

    October 29, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    OMG !! It is so painful to just look at it.
    I can’t imagine what you must have gone through. This one adds to the long list of skiing injuries, I have heard of.

  24. samiya selim

    October 30, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    Ouch!! I have always been scared to go skiing, especially when I hear about injuries like this…and also am not a big fan of the cold! Now am definitely not going for a while! Looks so very painful 🙁

  25. Sarah Ebner

    October 31, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Oh no! Just today someone was trying to convince me that I should take the kids and go skiing. I am taking your post as a warning….Wish you well!!

  26. Harvey (H-Bomb's Worldwide Karaoke)

    October 31, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    I’ve never gone skiing myself, partly because I’m afraid of something like that happening. Sorry you had to go through so much pain, but I’m glad you’re recovered enough to go to Asia now.

  27. Mindi @ 2foodtrippers

    November 1, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    After six months in a brace, I don’t blame you. Then again, I’m not a skier and I lived in Denver for four years. Why don’t you try snow shoeing? You get to enjoy yourself without the danger, plus it’s really good exercise.

  28. Marissa | Little Things Travel Blog

    November 2, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    Yikes! It sure looks painful. Had to go through those pictures at the end very quickly, I just booked a ski trip weekend earlier today… haha knock on wood that I won’t get injured!

  29. jc

    November 17, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    Whoa. I’m sorry for your injury. I wonder if you tried skiing because of feeling pressured to do it or wanting to fit in. I worked with a young woman who was a novice and she died after surgery after a boarding accident. I KNOW I am not meant to ski. Accident prone, uncoordinated, no nerve, shoulders that pop out if I enter a room wrong. Don’t give in to people trying to convince you to do it. I finally got everyone to leave me alone. I go tubing while my husband and friends are hitting the slopes and have rockin chili ready for everyone when they get back!

  30. Anna | The Blonde Banana

    December 23, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    I’ve skied many times but never progressed past the beginner slopes because I’m so afraid of something like this happening to me. I’ve never broken a bone and I’m not looking to experience that pain! The bunny hill is fine with me.

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  32. Ellie

    April 5, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    Ah, that “pop” sound/feeling you described is horrifically familiar… I came within a smidgen of breaking my ankle/foot a few weeks ago. We were on our first camping trip as a couple and our first camping trip at all as individuals in years…. and I’m taking a step off the side wooden curb thing where our tent is perched, pitch black out, and I land on a root the wrong way and man… I fucking eat it. I heard this fucking excruciating, terrible pop in my ankle and howled as I just went horizontal in like two seconds flat. There I was, laying on the ground, sobbing drunkenly and SO LOUD and all the other campers are turning on flashlights and my boyfriend (a nurse) is like telling me to calm the eff down haha. We were geniuses and the ultimate irony that I’m dating a nurse and we BOTH forgot a med kit… so I have no pain/swelling relief, no wrap, nothing. We could have left, but I decided to tough it out. Ugh. I never went to the doctor, soooo no idea what happened. I know I was limping on an EXTREMELY swollen foot for a few weeks. It’s still kinda jacked up 6 weeks later. Yay injuriesssss.

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