words: Marie Hucal
song: Christine Hucal
Where one story end, a new story begins.
Halfway through last winter’s polar vortex I began to struggle more than ever. We all struggle sometimes, however the persistent act of falling on my ass led me to believe I had a deeper issue. I pushed through the pain for years, and it got me far on the spectrum of reaching my personal goals, further then I ever dreamed I could make it on a snowboard. I accepted these constant aches and pains as a part of my daily life, and as a simple price I had to pay for the goals I set for myself. For the last eight years, I have been snowboarding, competing, falling, jumping, landing tricks, shoveling, working on park crew, and having a great time..all while I had a fractured vertebrae of my lowest lumbar. It is unclear whether it is congenital or from a spill I took at age fifteen, either way, it has been fractured and I had no idea.
One day my legs were screaming in agony, the next day I couldn’t ride a bike, and the next day, pain had taken control of my life as I found it difficult to walk. I listened to my body and learned the anatomy of the problem. The human body is amazing. It has found a way to wrap tissues around fractured bone to protect my spinal cord and nerves for all of these years while I have been out playing with my friends in the snow. The nerves that my body has been protecting have now been introduced to a severely narrow passageway known as foraminal stenosis. Every day my back reminds me that it is time to heal, and I am lucky enough to fix this issue with surgery. The long process of recovery will give me some time to reflect on past memories and the lucky days I enjoyed on my snowboard. Life will be different, yet I will still be able to carve on my snowboard, and enjoy a new aspect, such as powder or mountain riding. I look foraord to the upcoming years with new challenges. As an athlete it is easy to ignore your body in order to achieve certain goals, however, I am glad that I listened before it was too late. Here’s to new beginnings….
Thank you to all who have supported me through these amazing times: Rome SDS, Holden Outerwear, Ashbury Eyewear, Coal, Jess Kimura, Desiree Melancon, Peter Harvieux, JetPack, Mom and Dad, and everyone who I’ve met along the way.