The only thing more dangerous than over-confidence is over-confidence followed by the complete and utter failure of confidence.
I’ve mentioned before that I sprained my knee while skiing but I just realized (as I desperately search for a topic) that I’ve never described how that happened.
The ski resort in Nou-Machi has, whether they admit it or not, three runs: the meandering beginners’ course (that includes a couple non-beginner turns); the intermediate course and the “So, you think you’re a good skiier, eh?” course. (SYTYAGS, eh? That’s a technical term.)
The resort had been hit with a lot of snow which had left the SYTYAGS, eh? course covered in powder. After skiing a while on the easier courses, I decided to try the SYTYAGS, eh? course.
At first I did well. Powder skiing isn’t that hard, and I’d had lessons, but there’s a psychological tension when you can’t see the tips of your skis, especially when you’ve crossed them a couple times and left a number of impressive divots in the snow. Matters were also complicated by the fact it was still snowing heavily, taking away nearly all depth of field and making it hard to see the course’s surprises until it was too late to avoid them.
Eventually, I hit the hardest part of the course and started thinking about finding the “escape route” off to the right. Unfortunately, because of the snow, I couldn’t see where it was. At that point, over-confidence gave way to no confidence and I tried to finesse a part of the course I should have attacked. That led to crossed tips, a slide and my left knee doing an impressive pop as my skis stuck but the rest of me kept sliding. (My boots didn’t pop the bindings.)
Right away I knew something was wrong. (That “pain thing” is usually a big hint.) I managed to get my skis off and make a cross and a kind gentleman with a cellphone called for help. I then got to meet the ski patrol and ride down the hill in the coffin/covered sled. I was then picked up and taken to the hospital by She Who Must Be Obeyed.
Unfortunately, I chose to injure myself on December 30th and the hospital was running on a skeleton staff. (There were so few people working we couldn’t even pay when everything was finished.) My doctor, who looked only slightly older than 12 years old, told me all they could do for me was x-ray my leg to make sure nothing was broken. (Nothing was.)
Eventually my knee healed, but not before I put on lots of weight. (I’m still fairly heavy, but I used to be much heavier.)
Of course, a month after my knee healed I reinjured it showing off in karate. (But that’s another post.)