Soul Journal

SoulJour On...

Feb 12, 2020

#healing  #recovery  #soul journey 

By Solveig Waterfall
Firefighter, Mountain Guide, AMGA Ski Guide,
and Avalanche Educator

Between stimulus and response there is space.
In that space lies the power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
– Viktor Frankl

The deluge of water impacting the PNW finally abated yesterday and our soggy little town was treated to the glimmer of sunshine and blue skies out west by mid-morning reflecting my change in attitude. The mudslides and flooding generated by this tropical onslaught were tallied up and work began to get both Highway 410 and Crystal Mountain open and our stranded house guests back to their home to Greenwater. 

Following the precipitation totals from this storm have been a welcome distraction from the monotony of performing range of motion exercises, riding my bike indoors, and obsessively indexing all the powder that I’m not going to be skiing either currently or any time soon.

Today marks the 20th day of rehabbing my post-surgical knee.

In early January I tore my ACL in the midst of a mediocre crash on a mediocre run in mediocre terrain. I’ve been skiing my entire life, and it seems to always happen this way. I nail the line and sneak away from the really sketchy stuff and somehow disaster strikes on the blue square terrain in between. This realization has been one of intense reflection over the last couple of weeks.


What are the common threads between my previous injuries?

What lesson in the universe trying to teach me?

Am I not hearing it?

Or just refusing to listen?

Well…you have my attention. I’m all ears. Let’s do some work. 

The physical healing process, on the other hand, is going extremely well and both my physical therapist and surgeon are excited by my progress. While I am proud of my effort and the strength of my body to repair itself, yet I still can’t help occasionally getting frustrated by the situation as a whole. I had plans to return to Alaska for some guiding work this season. My husband and I were lining up a multi-state ski trip, and I’d organized my schedule to facilitate the most skiing and least amount of working for the months of February and March. Yet here I am, doing quad sets in my living room, working to regain the end ranges of flexion and extension, and spinning on my trainer in the basement. 

So I let myself be angry for three days. All the tears, fears, and waves of emotion. I purposefully let the energy flow unrestrained and uncontrolled. Then, at sundown on day three I moved on. I acknowledged the anger, sadness, broken dreams and cancelled adventures and the pain I felt. But I also gave myself permission to let go of the negative energy that no longer served me in my recovery process. I consciously chose to live in a positive reality. I directed love and compassionate energy towards my injured knee and decided to accept my new reality with grace and determination. 

My mantra this month has been:

“I love and accept myself as I currently am.”

The storm is over. There may still be foul weather and unpredictable days ahead, but the process and mindset with which I face them has become stronger and more adept at weathering the challenge.

 And soon enough, I'll be back in my crampons and fireboots, ready to tackle whatever challenge comes my way.

One week post op.