Donny O’Neil recently wrote this post about head injuries while skiing. Only professional athletes are explained, but it can happen to anyone (I am proof).
It was initially common in football players, which led to a study on it. “Concussion” is a movie about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of repetitive head injuries-they can be as simple as a concussion. Say you hit your head while skiing, but feel good enough to ski the rest of the day. The more of these that happen, the more likely you are to develop CTE.
In “Concussion,” Will Smith learns that some football players with multiple head injuries often commit suicide. He plays a forensic neuropsychologist who looks inside the heads of deceased football players and notices CTE, which probably led to depression and suicide.
O’Neil’s story in Freeskier shows that this is indeed related to skiing. He gives an example of a ski racer who developed CTE and committed suicide. Jamie Crane-Mauzey sustained a TBI at the 2015 AFP World Championships in Whistler. While she truly injured herself while competing, she said “there’s no financial gain unless you do well.” Which might lead to pro skiers trying to achieve something beyond what they’ve practiced- and succeeded at- before.
I wish that what I’ve experienced (and am experiencing) was not so common, but O’Neil’s story shows that it might be. I just want you to think about that- with winter approaching- and don’t overstep your boundaries, because the results might last forever.
I was lucky enough to be hired about six weeks ago, but it’s been challenging for me to stay on top of things. Before my ski accident, I could (and would) do what I thought was needed for work, and I remember one time where a boss was really impressed with my work ethic and attitude. Now, I get to do the social media for a company that owns three travel-focused websites, and we work with bloggers from around the world. My main focus is TravelUpdate, and I do the Facebook, Twitter, and I started a Pinterest and Instagram account (that’s still in the works) for them.
However, things don’t come as naturally or easily for me now. I thought I knew everything about Pinterest, but I should have realized that, like Facebook, things change every week. I’m still learning how to make it best for our company, and I’m kind of frustrated that it takes more mental focus to get things done in the correct way at work. Social media thoughts don’t come as easily for me like they did before my brain injury, and rather be annoyed by that, I need to find ways to accept my limitations. I’m blessed that I have a boss who’s stuck by my side, even though I keep making these dumb little mistakes.
I guess that’s the takeaway from a brain injury. No, things are not as easy or simple as they used to be, and that has frustrated me. But rather than being depressed that things are not as good at work as they used to be, I’m fortunate that I’m still respected enough to get work done.
What are your thoughts? Have you overcame an obstacle at work- or in life? How did you rise above that?
I realized it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, so I realized I better jump on it!
Rather than move back up to Boulder, I think I’m going to stay in Colorado Springs for now. My driving practice through Penrose Hospital is going well, but my family goes camping/fishing/biking/skiing all the time, and I know I’m not capable of driving on I-70 or I025 yet. So, rather than forcing them to pick me up in Boulder and then drive to our destination, I’ll just live here for now. I absolutely love Boulder and would move up there again tomorrow, but I think my situation requires me to stay here.
Before my ski accident, I had a wonderful career and got to do many things for work that I still pinch myself for how lucky I was. I’ve volunteered at many places which my friends were kind enough to offer me those opportunities, but I still am heartbroken that I’m not working. That’s the toughest thing I’m going through right now.
Thanks for reading my news, and I hope my next posts have better news!
My four year accident anniversary is tomorrow, and last night I got to celebrate by having dinner at a delicious sushi restaurant in Denver. They were all in Idaho Falls (the hospital I was at) right after my ski accident. It was so great to see all of them! Two people are married since before, so it was great to celebrate with them again.
It’s blizzard-ing here today, and it’s extremely windy. Yesterday it was warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt, but now it’s very overcast and snowy. That’s Colorado for you.
I still haven’t found work. An interview I had a couple week ago went very well, but they’ll take a really long time to decide- they even told me that in the interview! I’ve applied for a few more jobs, but part of me wants to wait until they decide.
That’s it for me. Nothing new to report, but I figured I might as well keep you all updated!
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here, so I should update you on recent news.
As friends on Facebook know, I was extremely excited to start employment at a local realty agency as their marketing and social media specialist. Three days before I was supposed to start, I received an email (not a phone call) to give me the news that after some research, they decided it was cheaper not to hire me.
I was very excited to start a job after three and a half months of unemployment, use my brain, meet some new people, and get out of the house.Earlier that morning, before I got that email, the lease on my place in Boulder ends at the end of April, but they asked to extend it through August instead. I didn’t have any reason to be in Boulder because I had a job in Colorado Springs, which would give me some independence back. But within a couple of hours I didn’t have that job anymore.
I’m extremely disappointed that I have to look for jobs again. My experience has been in the outdoor industry, and there aren’t so many down here- I know a lot of people in Boulder and hope I could find a job pretty easily.
I guess it’s good to stay down in Colorado Springs, though, because my parents are here, and I’m back at the stage of life where I need them. I’m very lonely, because I have very few friends down here. Tonight, I have the Colorado Springs Young Professionals meeting, and I planned on going to a young adult weekly meeting at a church (kind of like a bible study, I guess) so hopefully I’ll expand my comfort zone.
After considering if I should more back to Boulder, I recently accepted a job in Colorado Springs as the marketing and social media specialist for a local realty company. I am so excited to put my social media skills to the test and be close to home.
Connie Wallace, who runs the Rehab Buddies program at Penrose St. Francis, said recently that after your injury, your knowledge isn’t lost, you just have to use it again. For some reason, that’s stuck with me. I’ve realized I haven’t challenged myself mentally recently. I’m excited to challenge my brain and get those pistons firing again.
Recently, I did a Copper Mountain blog interview with Mike Russo, a former ski patroller and now the risk manager, about what he does to keep skiers safe. Read more here.
I went skinning today! I’ve had trouble with it since my accident, and before it used to come so easily. My dad and I went out today on the Mineral Belt Trail, and I’m happy to say that my body has learned again how to skin! I got tired pretty quickly, and I don’t know if that’s because of my physical strength doing the exercise or just being on the snow trying a skill that’s become hard for me.
My friend from when I ski patrolled at Copper is completing one of her residencies in Breckenridge. She’s going to PA school, studying at the school my other friend from ski patrol did, and she’s completing her residency at his hospital. I’m so glad that she’s stayed in touch with me, even after the hard things we’ve both been through, and I’m having dinner with her tonight! It’s great that she’s made the trip to come over and have dinner with me here in Leadville!
Even though my phone interview for the job at Vail Resorts went so well, I’m worried about working in the ski industry again because I can’t do the same things on snow that I used to be able to. I’m not sure, however, if my experience will ever let me out of that source of work. I would love to get this job, and then after some time working there I can expand my reach.
Hope you’re having a good Sunday! The Bronco’s are playing the Steelers this afternoon, and we brought a TV up just to watch that game (we don’t normally have a TV). Fingers crossed they win!