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KIMBERLY JOINES: Letter to Rossland 4

Hey Rossland,

By now I imagine most of you have heard… I love how quickly rumors can circulate around this little town of ours! But in case you haven’t, I have some incredibly disheartening news.  It pains me to tell you that it looks unlikely that I will be competing in the 2010 Paralympics in March.  Just one month prior to the beginning of the games, I had a “missed step” backwards down a couple of stairs, fell out of my wheelchair, and fractured my hip.

I had my SECOND surgery in under a month’s time, and yet another metal fixation to make me set off metal detectors.  With all of the crazy crashes I experience while sit skiing, and all of the obstacles I have faced this year, I can’t believe two little steps were my downfall in the end.  As I am stuck here being a couch potato, words can’t express how grateful I am for 15 hours a day of Olympic coverage!

I will be attending the second portion of the Paralympic Games in Whistler for the technical events in the hopes that I might heal at lightening speed, and be able to compete in the slalom.  This event is on the final day of the games, allowing me maximum healing time.  It is also a lower impact, and lower speed event so it would do the less damage to the joint if I chose to participate. 

I will make this decision, based on medical advice and x-rays, just a day or two prior to the event.  I will weigh risk vs. reward and make a choice that is in my best interest, both for now, and in the future.  A full hip replacement would be the risk of re-injury, and at my age (being that they need to be replaced every 15-20 years) this would not be ideal. 

I still get the opportunity to partake in some of the “Olympic experience” by attending for these few days, but if you know me, and my competitive spirit… you would know this is not enough to satisfy me.  I wanted more than anything to represent Rossland on the world stage, and come home with some hardware to show off to everyone.  The most upsetting thing to me is the guilt that I feel in not being able to fulfill this goal and expectation.

I look forward to having (yet another) surgery at the end of the season to finally repair my shoulder injury of last august.  This will give me a few months off to refocus, and a chance to start my dry-land training program from the ground up.  I will be come back once my body is back to full strength (hopefully before the end of next season) and with renewed Paralympic focus I will begin my journey on the road to Sochi 2014.  You had to know this wouldn’t be the last of me;)

Please think healing thoughts.  I’d love to blow some minds, and be ready for the slalom…  it’s a long shot, so I’ll take all the help I can get!

Regretfully yours,

Kimberly