A revision

I just looked up the word “revision” thanks to our folks at the handy-dandy site dictionary.com.  Yes, I know what it means, but I wanted to see what the dictionary said about it. Some related words are awesome – “improvement”, “correction”, “polish”, and I think of an exclamation point following all of them for that positive emphasis.  But then there are those terms that veer to more of the negative, you know, an acknowledgement that there was some sort of fuck-up to begin with.  “Reconsideration”, “alteration”, “rectification” just don’t have the same happy ring as those first ones.  I do, however, like the origin of the word – Re-vision.  Seeing again.  It has a bit of a nostalgic ring to it, or the idea of hindsight being 20/20. Another negative, however, is the idea of “revisionist” which, in terms of history, carries negative baggage, depending on the context. As for my own revision, it seems early to already try to correct my view of 2019, but here we are!

Taking the idea that revision can entail looking back (seeing again!), my own experience would take me to a nice, sunny morning in early February. How could I have known that a wrong move, just ever so slight, would have landed me where I am now? And if only I could correct that movement.  Looking back, I wouldn’t drastically change anything – it would be ever so slight. For instance, I wouldn’t look uphill when I was heading downhill.  Or I would take 5 seconds or less and come to a full stop and THEN look uphill to see where Michael was.  I didn’t, however, do that.  Instead, I didn’t come to a full stop and at the same time I was looking uphill.  In other words, I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going.  And, just like that, literally in an instance, a second, I went from upright on skis and just fine to cursing with my face in snow.

The short story, as I realized at that very moment, was that I had fucked up my knee.  Or, really, I had re-fucked-up my knee.  There are so many reasons that this is frustrating – but especially when I think about how I wasn’t doing anything that I *shouldn’t* have been doing.  I wasn’t skiing out of control, it was a run that I’d skied time and again.  BUT, at the same time, I also wasn’t paying attention, and I’m paying the price for that.

I knew at that moment, in all probability, that I had royally screwed up my knee, but I held out all sorts of hopes and giving myself one pep talk after another about the possibilities of it being a sprain, or *just* a meniscus tear.   The sports doc quickly dashed all of those hopes when he gave me the MRI report – bone bruise, meniscus tear and ACL “fray”.  He didn’t give me the absolute worst-case-scenario about the ACL in that he didn’t confirm whether it was fully torn or whether I’d need surgery; rather, he referred me to a knee specialist in Denver who didn’t even skip a beat when he looked at the MRI and confirmed that the ACL was torn.  “No doubt about it” when I asked for clarification.

So, I’ll go back under the knife in March, and then we’ll see.  Since I’ve already had the knee repaired, the surgery this time around – ACL revision surgery rather than reconstruction – will be a bit more complicated, or so I’ve read, and the recovery time will take longer.  I’m frustrated with myself, and I’ve really tried to adjust my expectations and plans for the year, shifting much of what I hoped and expected to do in terms of outdoor activities to next year.  I’ll also admit that there is a sense of loss, especially as I think about whether I’ll alpine ski again or not and I’m also worried about whether I’ll be able to fully return to running.

But, those are still unknowns, and I acknowledge that I need to take the long view when it comes to the surgery (fingers crossed it’s just one) and rehab.  I know that I’ve been here before, but it feels different this time around – maybe because I’ve been so active in recent years and that ‘being active’ has felt like an integral part of my life.  And also it might feel different because I’m 10 years older than last time. Plus, it pains me to think about waiting a year to tackle 14ers and do some of those other fun/hard goals that I’ve had. While there is a lot of sadness and grief- no doubt, some of that stems from the lack of a daily endorphin fix – I’m also aware that this does not fall into any sort of category that could be even close to “terrible”.  It sucks, but it’s not the end of the world.  I’m upset, but, for the most part, I’m trying to deal with those emotions too.

And, as much as being injured and all of that stuff that comes with injury and rehab sucks, I know that I *should* look at this as an opportunity to focus on different parts of my life. This is, of course, easier said than done, but there is also truth in that. Being outside and active is often how I connect to myself (if that makes sense) and also to others, so it will challenge me to not share those moments with other people. That said, this is not at all permanent, and, as a good friend told me when I went through the first ACL surgery – “PT! You’ll be so strong!”.

I can’t wait!

4 thoughts on “A revision

  1. Dang. That is a real bummer. Glad to see that you’re staying mostly positive about it so far. No doubt the doc will fix you up just right and you’ll get back on your way. You’ll just have to be vicariously active through the rest of us this spring. Focus on writing. And if that isn’t enough, there’s always Writers’ Tears (not meant to be a pun, but…) http://walshwhiskey.com/writers-tears-copper-pot/


    1. Thanks for your reply – much appreciated! The positivity ebbs and flows, but I’m trying to take the long view. And, as you said, live through others’ adventures! That whiskey looks great. We’ve found a favorite bourbon here in Boulder – you should come visit to check it out! https://www.elwooddistillingco.com


  2. Oh no! I am so sorry you have to have surgery on your knee and be out for so long. I’d totally be devastated too. I hope you find those other activities and passions, but it’s hard to find something that gives you those endorphins and connections to nature that doesn’t use your knee! Best of luck on the surgery!!!


    1. Thanks for understanding how hard this is. I hate to use the world “devastated”, but, man, it is a bummer. And I really don’t love indoor exercise, but maybe I will learn to do so?


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