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The Last Run Of The Day

A few scattered thoughts about taking it easy

Photo from Alessandro Maculotti on Unsplash

The Incident

Two weeks ago I injured my knee while snowboarding. It happened in a way that reflects a bit of the skiers’ ancient wisdom perfectly. Pretty much every experienced skier or snowboarder will warn you about it. “Be careful,” they say, “the last run of the day is the most dangerous one.”

And that is exactly how it went: we decided to go for one last run before the chairlift closed, because we weren’t tired enough after a full day on the slopes and because there was a huge line to get to where our car was parked. Dynamic wait is so much better than just lining up.

But maybe my mind was already set on the apres-ski we were going to have once we were back in Aosta (I had a craft beers place I had been a few years ago in mind), or maybe I was more tired than I cared to admit. Either way, I didn’t have the patience to wait for the people chilling out in front of the chairlift unloading area to move away and make room so that people could descend from the chairlift.

I was pissed by their standing there, looking at people unloading and not realising they were actually in the way. This led me to do something quite impulsive ad stupid, trying to squeeze in a passage I couldn’t actually squeeze through. It was steeper than it looked, and while my front foot was tied to the board and followed it down, the rear one remained stuck on the snow. My knee twisted and I fell, screaming in pain.

The lesson

I’ve been trying to look on the bright side of things for the past two weeks, even though it’s not something I’m so good at doing. But the more I think about how it happened, the more I think it’s related to my tendency to rush into things rather than thinking them through. There were a handful of ways I could have avoided getting injured, but I didn’t see any of them because in the heat of the moment I just wanted to get the hell out of that runway and begin the last run of the day.

To be fair, this kind of tunnel vision is something that happens to me quite too often for my taste. Maybe I just needed to have some physical pain teach me what exhaustion and burnout haven’t been able to teach me so far. It’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to fit a 8-hours day job with hobbies, hustles and free time (and sleep), and the decisions I’ve made in the past couple of years might not have been the best ones.

The irony of all that is that I had just begun testing a new strategy for prioritising my tasks which involves coloured highlighters, pen and paper, and underestimating the time I have available for things rather than relying on my sense of duty carrying me on even when I’m exhausted.

I’m still perfecting it day by day, and I hope I’ll be ready to formalise it soon and describe it in a blog post. 

Anyway, the takeaway I got from the past month, and I hope it’s useful to you too, is that sometimes it’s better to stop, take a deep breath and evaluate the situation and the different options you have. Yes, even when you’re on a chairlift unloading area.

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