The last time I even mentioned skiing – my favorite winter pastime – was back in mid-December, when I reported that I’d been diagnosed with what was later called a simple herniated disc (actual x-ray to the right).
At that time, I was told not to ski.
On the barely-bright side, Mother Nature was apparently looking out for me, because for much of the time since then, the snow conditions have not been particularly great.
In the meantime, I was able to get my pain under control with plenty of rest and a cortisone injection, and my physical therapist eventually gave me the green light to work out in the gym, focusing on strengthening my core in order to better support my lumbar.
For the past three weeks, I diligently made it to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, started feeling stronger and stronger, and in the past two weeks, conditions started to improve at the ski areas.
Finally, as I mentioned in a recent post about beleaguered vacation plans, in a desperate attempt to hobble together a measly 3-night getaway, I succumbed to the call of the slopes, and headed up to Hemlock Valley Resort with the family this past weekend.
Hemlock, while nowhere near as well-known and popular as other ski areas in the region, is very nice, small, family-oriented, situated in a beautiful location high above Harrison Lake, the snow was nicely groomed, and the crowds were non-existent. Thanks to a few lighted runs, we skied for a few hours Saturday night and then all day Sunday.
Here’s the Mrs. at the top of the Sasquatch lift. If you look closely, you can see a little bit of Harrison Lake behind her head.
So, how did my back take it all, you might ask?
The Good News
I’m not in a lot of pain. There’s been some aching in the area, but no more than in my quads and hamstrings, which haven’t been used like that in months.
The Not So Good, But Not Necessarily Terrible News
I have had a return of some of the symptoms that I had been having prior to the cortisone shot, namely the tingling running down my left leg and into my left foot. It’s nowhere near as bad as it had been, however, and I was actually able to workout at the gym yesterday, and felt quite strong.
So, what do I do now, you might ask?
Do I take the return of the sciatica symptoms as a sign that it’s too soon to be skiing, keep with my core-strengthening regimen, and maybe squeeze in one last trip at the very end of the season?
Or, do I succumb once again to the call of the slopes?
In an effort to answer those questions, I’ll simply respond with another question:
How the HELL could anyone NOT go skiing when they read something like this?