When I think of skiing in Vail, I think of sunny skies, pine trees piled high with snow and perfectly groomed runs beneath my feet. I don't think about the possibility of another skier slamming into me, feeling like my head was cracked in two, and landing in the emergency room at the Vail Valley Medical Center with a concussion.
What a coincidence, just two hours before, my husband and I, long-time skiers in Vail, shared the gondola with a couple of 20-something-year-olds without helmets, discussing whether or not to buy them.
I mentioned the fact that your skiing ability really had nothing to do with the possibility of another skier slamming into you and that we had finally taken the plunge ourselves just a couple of years ago. I mentioned how comfortable they are, how light, and now, just like wearing seat belts, I would feel vulnerable without one. This was coming from someone who skied for years without even a hat.
Little did I think that two hours later, that skier being slammed into would be me.
Two weeks later I feel so lucky that I can write this letter. Yes, I was bruised, suffered a concussion, am still dizzy, but it is because of that helmet, and the wonderful ski patrol, EMTs and the Vail Valley Medical Center, that I am around to talk about it and ski another day.
Moral of the story: Wear a helmet if you own one; if you don't, buy one!