I fell down a mountain last year. It was just after I’d been signed off for recovery from my first operation. Luckily I had my brace on with my thumb and forefinger strapped together. I was at the top of a steep, icy black run when I slipped and slid down the whole thing at high speed. I managed to hold the blade of the snowboard across in front of me bouncing as I went and sending enormous sprays of ice into the air. It must have looked quite spectacular from across the valley but my husband and daughter thought I’d finished myself off as they couldn’t see me from above.
All I could think of, despite the fact that I could have died if I’d lost control of the board, was my hand. I went down the entire mountain with my hand in the air and still have a friction burn on the elbow of my ski jacket. It’s strange that my hand has become so important to me and the instinct to save it kicked in so strongly despite all of the other risks involved.
The sad irony for me is that the injury to my hand, which I did falling in the hallway at home, is commonly known as Skier’s thumb. That’s because it often happens to skiers when they fall heavily with the pole between their thumb and forefinger.