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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I experienced brain exhaustion today

I've been taking ski lessons up at Park City Mountain Resort for the last five weeks. My confidence as a skier has improved tremendously (I still hesitate to refer to myself as a skier because I'm still learning how to "not fall, plant my poles, bend at the ankles, lean forward, be dynamic" etc).

Today was my final lesson this season, and I made a huge leap. However, it seems like whenever I make a huge leap in anything (try anything new), my brain always makes a bit of setback. This is my biggest hurdle living with TBI and one that I'm still trying to deal with (even after 14 years).

So last week I skied three blue hills, and today I wanted to try a BLACK DIAMOND (double Black Diamond is the hardest), just to say I did it.

And I did! My second to the last run was a Black Diamond. It wasn't pretty. I fell. I side-stepped. I took breaks. But I will say that I made a couple turns without falling, and without side-stepping. The important thing was that my goal was to try a Black Diamond and I did it! The whole falling and side-stepping is typical for a new skier.

But what was not typical is how my brain felt after at the bottom of the Black Diamond hill. After already skiing for a couple hours (body tired), and after trying to multi-task so much down the hill (knees bent, lean forward in your boots, don't fall), and ski in a way that I've never had to before (stay in between the moguls), my brain was exhausted, spent, empty, gone, foggy (those are all the words I can think of to describe how brain exhaustion feels). Even skiing the easy, almost flat hills down the mountain felt tiring after the moguls. I couldn't focus or think of anything. Literally, my brain felt empty. It's scary and unnerving.

But such is the life of a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor. The only way around this is for me to learn my triggers and avoid such triggering situations. That being said, I think in my ski experience today, the trigger was not the Black Diamond, but rather that I did it at the end of my lesson when I was already tired. Maybe next time I will try it towards the beginning.


Anonymous said...

You are amazing!!

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