Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kitesurfing - don't do it in shallow water!

Well, today I got to go kitesurfing for the second time this week!! Today was beautiful! And yet, let me share an excerpt from an email to a friend…

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…I had a great time…for about 15 minutes. Then, I was going pretty fast, and was in about a foot of water, and knew I was going down. So I kind-of jumped off of the board (as opposed to crashing with it). I knew the water was shallow, but somehow that didn’t register with my left foot in time. I hit the ground kind-of hard, and twisted my foot somehow. I tried to get up, saying, “ow, Ow, OW…what in the world…something hurts in my foot…” I had to maintain control of the kite all this time to avoid being drug through the shallow water. I stood up, but couldn’t bear any weight on my left foot or I would fall. I looked back to see if my parents had already left to drive down about 2 miles to the next spot to wait for me. Fortunately, the car was still there, but I couldn’t see them at all- I was pretty far out. I tried to yell, and wave my hands once, but again I had to keep control of the kite and also get the board that was slowly drifting away. I started slowly limping backwards towards the land, hoping they would notice that I wasn’t getting back on the board and might start to come towards me.

I tried to look at my foot, and realized nothing was bleeding, it had just been jammed somehow. I really wanted to get back on the board and go because I was having so much fun, but there was no way that was happening. I reassured myself, “it’s okay, it’s okay – you have the kite, the board, you are alive, you can think clearly…you’re fine…” Then I tried to think, “Okay, so what do you do in a situation like this? Should I try to land the kite myself and risk being drug through the water (it takes time to get to the kite from where you hold the bar, during which time the wind can catch the kite and send you flying!) I decided to keep the kite in the air. My foot was throbbing at that point, and I was starting to get antsy- it was still a long way back to the shore, and I didn’t know if I could make it- walking.

Then I saw my dad coming slowly out in the water (the depth varies between a foot and two feet at that point). When he got a bit closer, he called out, “are you okay?” I said, “I can’t walk, I hurt my foot.” He then, of course started running through the water, and got to me pretty quickly. After reassuring him that I was not bleeding internally, I landed the kite to him, he took the kite, the board and the rope, and started going back to shore. I attempted walking, but couldn’t – so I got down in the water, and crawled/swam back.

Long story short, we got it checked out, and I have a sprained ankle with two small fractures that the doctor doesn’t think will be a problem – but he wants me to get a foot doctor to check it out when we go home. He didn’t want to give an estimated time of complete healing since he’s not a bone specialist, but he thinks within a month I should be walking – maybe sooner. I don’t have a cast or anything on it at this point – just supposed to keep it elevated and ice on it and see what the foot doc says.
(Picture - In the hospital - yeah, I still have my wet suit on!!)

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So, there you have it. I just realized the last time I hurt myself pretty bad was when I went dirt-biking in Thailand and slid on some mud, sliding with the bike on top of my for several feet…Yeah, that hurt. But even though I was a little bloody and still have scars from that moment in time, I was able to get back on the dirt-bike and keep going. Looks like this injury will keep me grounded at least for a few weeks…We’ll see…

Check this out - mainly for my dad's commentary. It was taken about 10 minutes before my fall! http://youtube.com/watch?v=KJFxyOz3G04

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