Monday, February 18, 2008

If you'd asked me a month ago, I would have thought that today I'd be in South Korea, getting ready to fly to Japan. Instead I'm sitting in a cafe in Ontario, Oregon. Things can change fast.

As some readers know (despite me not blogging about it), I competed in my second Winter X Games this year, in the Monoskier X event. I did about as well as I could have hoped, qualifying for the semifinals and then failing to advance to the final, but taking second place in the consolation round, for a 6th-place finish overall and a nice little paycheck. But every run I took on the course really did a number on my back. Every time I'd land a jump — of which there were many — I'd feel the impact all the way up my spine.

A week and a half after X Games, after taking plenty of days off snow to rest, I was training at Winter Park and my back still wasn't hurting any less, so I decided to see a doctor. They took some X-rays and found that my T-8 vertebra was kind of crushed or compressed — it appears to be only about half as tall as the other vertebrae. There have been some problems trying to get a diagnosis as to what exactly that means in terms of time off-snow, but for now it means I didn't get to make the trip to Asia for the last two legs of this year's World Cup circuit. So instead I'm here in Ontario visiting my girlfriend, M., working on some lexicography projects and waiting for the final word from my doctor. My season might be over, or maybe I'll be able to race at our U.S. nationals at Soldier Mountain, Idaho, next month.