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Just a Guy Overcoming His Fear

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Last ski season, I had a pretty bad accident. I like to go in the half-pipe, and on my 13th time, on Memorial Day, I dropped in and the next thing I remember is waking up in the ski sled/gurney with a ski patrolman putting fingers in front of my face and asking "how many?"

bruce sallan skiing

Bruce Sallan: My memory slowly returned, but I never remembered the accident itself. I had dislocated my shoulder, downward, breaking two bones, and I'd gotten a concussion, with bleeding on the brain, according to the CT scan and a later MRI.

I was lucky, as I recovered quickly and well.

But, it did scare me. I don't like being scared, and I don't like it when my boys show undue fear. So, for me, it became a lesson in overcoming my fear and getting "back on the horse" and going back in the pipe (in spite of my wife's desire I stay on the bunny slopes hereafter).

We must teach our kids when it is right to push our limits and when it is not. I'm not sure going back in the half-pipe is the best example, but I needed to do this "for me." So, this winter break, the day they opened the pipe, I approached it. To my surprise, I was hesitant. I wanted to do it 15 times, two more than the 13th in which I'd had the original accident.

I was nervous on the first couple, got it, and relaxed and enjoyed doing them until number 13. Then, it took a big internal push. I did it and two more. Will this lesson impact my boys? I doubt it. I only succeeded in pissing off my wife (probably). But, what do I know? I'm just a guy.


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411 comments so far | Post a comment now
Denise January 7, 2010, 8:38 AM

Boy, I gotta hand it to you Bruce. I don’t go near that stuff. What does your wife think? Your general thinking, however, is important for all of us. Too often we let our fears dictate our lives and that stinks.

Loren January 7, 2010, 9:14 AM

OK, now that you’ve gotten back on the horse and proven to yourself that you still “GOT IT” can you just relax and (please don’t take this the wrong way)act your own age?? You can still enjoy skiing without taking the risk that the “Park” represents. In case you hadn’t noticed, the average age of people in the park is probably 20. I would hate it if you were to hurt yourself again and not be able to go helicopter skiing!!:-)))) Let’s get our priorities straight.

Bruce Sallan January 7, 2010, 9:19 AM

I love you too, honey! (that’s my wife chiming in)…like what did I expect!?

Jeff January 7, 2010, 11:43 AM

Bruce, c’mon, you ARE too old to be in the half-pipe! Why don’t you just get a Porsche like every other guy going through mid-life crises. Lol

Sonnie January 7, 2010, 1:13 PM

Way to go Bruce!! I’m working on some of my fear issues also but none of them will end up with me getting possible broken bones.

Anita (England) January 8, 2010, 8:07 AM

To face some fears, especially those after a horrific accident, to save the life/lives of others must be extremely tremendous. I truly look up to those people put in that situation as being amongst the very brave. I’ve never had to face/overcome a fear, as such. Maybe because my fears are more a phobia – I hate enclosed spaces. I did go down a mine, yes, but I shot out of it faster than a rocket when I discovered the only other exit was to go down deeper, crawling on my stomach the whole time – rock above and beneath me – what if I got stuck? However, I did want to go to the top of the Empire State Building when I visited New York. Sweating globules, almost, I was convinced I’d be inside for hours! I shot to the top faster than supersonic speed. I still won’t go in a lift, though! But if it was to save the life of another…

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