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By John Davies

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
— George Santayana (1863–1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. Life of Reason, “Reason in Common Sense.”

Dragging some of the snow together, I built up the sides and height of the kicker and the little jump was no-so little anymore. Walking up to the top of the steep snow-covered hill, I stared down at the jump I just finished with and got ready. Stripping down to just a t-shirt in the warm morning sun of an even odder warmer north-eastern winter, I tossed my jacket to the side, snapped the tail of my new Burton snowdeck into the snow. With the great ad copy that seemed to be written for me, “there goes the neighborhood” I ignored a mangled ankle and not so gingerly placed my right foot on the tail. Thinking for a second…just a second, I bent the back leg as prepared to hammer the lead leg down to start the run.

To some the risk of falling, of re-injuring an already well mangled ankle would be a further condemnation of not taking enough rest…of not learning from the past. To some, failure is lurking around the corner ready to leap out at the first chance. To some, opportunities are shunned in fear of obvious failure. But the obvious isn’t so obvious when failure isn’t an option. To succumb to the “what ifs,” to the fear of mistakes is the death sentence of forgoing opportunities and wasting chances of a lifetime. In fact…to remember the past is not a sentence to fear but an opportunity to digest errors and make sure they are eradicated. Remember the past to change today’s course.

So just like in that second, in the same split second of indecision that caused the injury, I realized the missing ingredient was just that not-so little thing; “commitment” to the point of no return and seeing only success ahead. Slamming the left leg down, good posture, just chill… deck and I ripped down the hill towards the jump for tasty piece of air and found the missing ingredient, that magical elixir to hitting the jump was crushing fear and heading straight at where I wanted to go along.

The direction you are looking is the direction you are going.

Dialing in the run came fast but with the snow evaporating as well as horrifying sledders, it was off to rehab this well abused ankle. Now typically any mention I make of a pool, is an empty one to skate but this time it was off to a local pool, yes incredibly, full of water. Aquatic training can be one of the most effective exercise mediums but goes to another level when in conjunction with the water-proof Xvest™. Throwing on a 20lb Xvest™ and jumping into shoulder deep water to the bewilderment of lifeguards, who likely muttered “there goes the neighborhood,” I headed into four “basic” eight minute sets of simply threading water over 40 minutes for generalized and core strength and overall fitness. Once done, with the Xvest™ soaking wet, a simple 30 minute walk on the Indo Board to assist in regaining the strength and flexibility in the ankle.

Leaving the gym … it’s just too nice to resist … I head back to the hill to work on those jumps a little more.

Note: future installments will review how you can make use of the Xvest™ for aquatic training whether you’re leading a exercise class, using for elite athletes or rehab work.

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