Archive for April, 2013

Reflections from life with external fixators and two broken ankles

April 21, 2013 Uncategorized 8 Comments

x ray

It seems like an eternity has gone by in the blink of an eye. This has been the most challenging journey of my life and I have barely left my bed. Countless sleepless nights have been spent staring at my wall and massaging my feet, wondering why this happened to me and what am I going to do once I’m healed. I clearly need some sort of life change, and apparently shattering both my ankles was necessary for this change to occur. Maybe this change is as subtle as becoming more aware and conservative, or maybe it means moving to the ocean to become a chilled out surf bum farmer, I am still unclear what my future holds and am trying to heal the best I can in each moment.

hospital bed

It’s been two and a half months since I cased a big table top jump and shattered both my ankles. I feel like a science experiment with external fixators screwed into my shins and through my heel bones. I am ecstatic to be getting this hardware removed in a few days, but am also slightly bummed that they will be replaced with old school hard casts which I will get to wear for another month. A month seems like a long time but I know that I will be getting these camo and blue casts removed before I know it.

ex fixes

 

It seems like every time I see the doctor he reveals a bit more of the severity of my injury. Dr. Clanton finally told me that in his 27 years of trauma and foot/ankle specialty this is the worst ankle break he has worked on. I’m not sure if I should be proud of that or not. Go big or go home right! Ha, this ski town mentality is exactly what I’m trying to change. Well actually, the problem was that I didn’t go big enough. I was a few feet short of making the transition. I knew I shouldn’t be hitting the park, but for whatever reason I didn’t listen to my intuition and I found my self in the zone, landing a big 360 of the first jump, then having a fun run through the pipe followed by a few rail slides. I was in a state of flow and didn’t want to stop, so I pointed it toward the massive booter at the end of the park and flew to my fate, oops. Two and a half months later and I am still sitting in bed, Aspen Mountain has closed, spring is trying show its face but the winters biggest storm is painting the Elk Mountains with a sparkly fresh coat of white. I’m ready for summer but we need as much moisture as we can get. Skiers can forget that growing food, drinking water and maintaining the water table is more important than skiing pow or chillin in flip flops.

open ankle 1

Time is certainly not constant. I’m not sure if it goes by faster when I’m stuck in bed for months or when I’m on a ski trip in Italy. I don’t know if it goes by faster when I’m present or when I’m dreaming about all the cool stuff I’m going to do in the future. Two stints of 6 day hospital visits with IV’s pumping me full of opiates and god knows what else now seems like a dream from another life. The upcoming sleepless night seems like an eternity in purgatory, but that too will pass into a memory from a different life. I am trying to be present, living moment to moment like my tarot card reading told me shortly after my injury. But how do I stay present when the present sucks and all I can think about is chillin on the beach with my feet in the warm sand, and an off shore breeze standing the waves up into turquoise barrels. Are we really alive when we are not living in the present, when we are dwelling on the past or dreaming about the future? Its hard to even believe that the past has happened or that the future will come, but it always does. Pain forces me to be present, focusing on healing and enduring the discomfort. It seems that life can only get better from here, and that’s motivating to think about. While I am confident that I will recover even stronger and wiser than before, there is always that demon that reminds me of other possible worst case scenarios. Doc told me that this is often a career ending injury and there is a possibility that I would have to get my ankles fused. Infection is a main concern, and could lead to amputation. I know I am only limited by my imagination, and I am imagining my self as a healed and strong Jedi Ninja Yogi. I will heal stronger than before, and I will ski hard again, and I will dance and surf and run and fly.

surgery room 2

I feel like I have been challenged and tested to the fullest. This journey has been nothing short of a vision quest, a true test of my spirit. I have spent two weeks in hospitals, reliant on opiates and my nurses. I spent two weeks inserting a catheter every time I had to pee, as well as working with numerous male and female nurses with the awkward and painful process. A laxative bullet was pushed up into me so I could poop after being plugged up with pain meds. Nerve pain feeling like burning man or a star wars battle was going on in my foot has consumed the majority of my attention and energy and has caused over a month of sleepless nights. For this nerve pain I am taking Lyrica, which shuts off of the chemical communication between my nerves and brain. I am completely reliant on my angelic mother to bring me food and water, clean my bedside commode, and everything else I might want or need. I sure hope this has been the dark night of my soul.

didge blast

Although the past two and a half months have been painful and have challenged me past anything else, I don’t see this as an accident but rather a blessing. Accidents don’t exist and everything happens for me rather than too me. What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger. I am doing my best to keep a positive, loving, and grateful mind set and am doing everything I can to heal quickly and properly. I had one of the countries best foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Clanton, carefully put my ankles back together using three plates and twenty-two screws in each ankle. I am using an electromagnet device to enhance the signal that tells my body that this particular bone area needs extra healing. Ross Douglas has given me acupuncture and other Chinese herbs, which has seemed to help my nerves and pain. Pam Moore’s magical healing hands have been working on me and helping my body wake up and remember what its like to be healed and whole and working properly. She fed me helpings of her special bone marrow soup. Rob Wergin energetically activated my kidneys and the flow of energy through out my body. He put me under his crystal color chakra device, which looks really cool. Reuben and Joey have been didge blasting my feet with ultrasonic surf gravity healing vibes. I had a pull up bar installed above me bed and have been maintaining my upper body strength with pike pull-ups. I have been doing handstand press through’s on my commode. Sleepless nights are filled with push ups, bicycle crunches, leg lifts, cobra and bow poses. I am taking a plethora of supplements and vitamins including; Mens One, Liver Support, B 12, N- Acetyl-Cysteine Capsules, 5 HTP Synergy, helychrysm, Lyrica, Dixie Drew Drops Edibles, and Premier Research Labs Tranquinol, Melatonin, Probiotics, as well as other smoothie additives. My mom makes me a dank green smoothie every morning. I am making a manifestation book by pasting magazine pictures and snippets into a book filled with art, compassion, gratitude, and infinite potential. I am learning the guitar and can kinda play redemption song. Having my friends visit and keep me laughing has been critical to my survival; thank you all so much!

pull up

groover stand

I am open and accepting to any outcome but am also visualizing a perfect recovery. Here is a mantra and food blessing that I like to repeat. I am gratitude, I am love, I am compassion, I am strength, I am nourishment, I am healed, I am infinite, I am walking, I am running, I am dancing, I am skiing, I am surfing, I am flying, I am perfect. I am that I am.

jeoy healing

I have spent countless energy and time wondering why this happened to me but I have learned that why is not what’s important. The important thing is how I choose to heal and show up in the present moment; how I choose to learn and grow from my experiences. I am so grateful for all the love and support that this incredible one of kind community has shared with me. Supplements and tools can only go so far, but what is truly healing is Love and friends. I am surfing gravity in my own way and will slowly but surely get back to the big waves of life.

surgery room

bed baloon
boots

open cut

 

On The Road…North

April 8, 2013 Dream, Gravity, happy, ski, speedflying Leave a comment

contemplating flight

contemplating flight

 

 

Hitting the road felt good, like a late bill finally being paid or a promise kept. Baker Boyd, Aspen’s youngest hotshot skier to watch and my favorite loose-cannon road trip buddy, picks me up in the in the dodge and we roll out. Crisp blue skies are interrupted by the cumulous clouds that set ones mind to skipping between analytical planning and dreamy fantasy. This trip in front of me has been on my mind day and night all winter, but it has changed so many times that I hardly know where I am headed. I planned this journey northward with my two surf gravity partners Joey Stokes and Nick DeVore. Both of whom are now home with injuries they incurred while skiing on our home resorts, Not flying high with speed wings or riding big lines in Alaska. They have taken the forced grounding with grace and I am proud of them for meeting the challenge with positivity and even excitement for having time to explore new facets of their lives.

With my brother warriors out of action I was faced with the question of how to move on myself, still having the ability to engage the adventure we all wanted to take. I had to ask what was important to me, where did I want to put my energy? I found I still want to ride big mountains. I still want to fly through new landscapes and use my senses to take in all the elements that weave together in the mountains. I want to meet the people who live in the mountain ranges of north america who can show me the myriad of ways to live sustainably in their habitats. I want to test my abilities and equipment against the natural world, and I want to have fun doing it with people who make me laugh.

So I reached out to my community. I was given all the equipment I needed and didn’t have. ION gave me cameras, POC Gave me protection, Icelantic gave me skis, Strafe gave me suits, and mom and dad helped me get the computer I need to share the story. I found friends who felt the same urge to head north, a whole flock of them. Nick’s sister Katrina DeVore and ripping snowboarder  Dayla Robinson went straight up to tailgate Alaska in Valdez with the Shejumps.com crew of ladies. They already have had a week of big lines and powder  and we hope to join them soon. Baker and I tried to drive straight to Montana but got turned around by a yellowstone park ranger because the road has not been opened due to government budget cuts. He was nice enough to give us a speeding ticket too. So we had a day in Jackson with our third member Owen Leeper. Owen just started a ski pole company Boldpoles.com and plans to promote them through this trip by giving neon colored poles to influential skiers and selling the rest. He can also ski faster than almost anyone and flip of anything, all four directions. I’m happy to have Owen and Baker to take this journey with. I am still trying to plan ahead and make contact with people along the way so we have places to stay and people to show us their ranges, but I am learning to do it with flexibility and without stress. I want very much to make this trip work, to produce the content that Nick, Joey and I wanted to be the beginning of the Surf Gravity project. However if I am to learn from the accidents that stopped them from coming I know I have to put all my focus on the present moment, the current stage of the journey. Awareness of my surroundings, respect for the mountains, patience and understanding when faced with change, cooperation and inspiration between my companions. These are the things I will focus on to make this trip a successful, safe, amazing way to grow Surf Gravity.

Ready to go Skiing

Ready to go Skiing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whats the point he asked?

April 6, 2013 Dream, Gravity, happy, Nick Devore, Powder, ski, speedflying, speedriding, Surf, Telemark, Yoga Leave a comment

humming-bird

I Chuckle as I’m laying in bed with two shattered ankles reflecting on old poems and a mindset that got me into this broken situation. As I contemplate why this happened to me, why I deserved this, I realize that I may never find the answer, or that the answer is simple; I was being dumb and made a reckless impulsive choice. Why is not the question of importance. What really matters is how am I going to overcome this injury and grow from it. Maybe it was some past life karma I had to live through, or maybe it was just simply a stupid decision. Regardless of why, I am going to heal both physically, mentally, and spiritually, and grow into a stronger, wiser, and more compassionate human being. The following poem is a window into my mindset and how I like to live my life. After this injury I might not want to fly as high, as I have learned the hard way that indeed the higher I fly the further I can fall.

Whats the point he asked?

Empowered I celebrate life

I fly high and grow food

There are no limits

Unlimited potential, this is truth

Less money, more happiness

It can be challenging and I am stubborn

But

With perseverance comes freedom

Let go and grow with the flow

Act impulsive and see where you go

Trouble can only teach, is what I like to preach

For this is my path, and I am free

Free to see, free to be

The higher I fly the I more see

And yes of course, the further I can fall

But as seriously unserious as this game is

Who cares?

The point is to be me, to be free, to shred!

The point is to didge and to dance!

The point is to uplift and fly high!

By Nick Devore

May 8 2012

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