An Open Letter to the Skier Who Hit Me

Dear Man in a Blue Coat:

It was was a beautiful day wasn’t it. The snow, soft under my feet, sparkled in the sun. It was the first day in a month I hadn’t needed my flat light goggles. I was exploring a part of the mountain I hadn’t been to before and was thrilled to find challenging runs that weren’t too crowded.

I never saw you before you hit me. But you had to see me, I was off center moving toward the trees to make my next turn. I wasn’t just past a drop or coming out from behind something. I tried to stay to one side but it was a skinny run and I moved at a good clip, although, not as fast you would like I guess.

All I caught was a glimpse of blue before you slammed into me. Your blow forced me into a 180 before I fell backwards and slid about twenty feet down the run.

You skied away. I caught a glimpse of you as you slipped between a few trees and out of sight.

Did you see me up the hill missing both poles and a ski? Did you notice it took me a bit to stand up? Did it ease your conscious that two other men stopped to help me or was your conscious not pricked? Did you know fleeing the scene is illegal in Utah? It’s as if you caused a car accident and drove away.

Did you know that you hurt me? Did you care?

Would you care had you hit a child or just blamed the child for your recklessness? Did you ever learn the rule that the downhill skier has the right away? Or do you assume, as some do, that you’re in the right on all hills and at any speed? I had whiplash the next morning, couldn’t turn my head or lift my arm above my shoulder. But the real damage came the next day I skied. I jumped every time someone went near me. I hated it when my nephews skied farther away and wanted to tether them to me. I would’ve put my niece in a bubble if I could.

I’ve chosen to believe that the reason you didn’t stop was guilt not callousness. I hope that since you saw someone else help me, you kept going but  wouldn’t have, had I been alone.

Above all, I hope that you promised yourself to ski a little more careful and pay more attention to those around you.

Kids on the Ski Hill
Kids, not bowling pins to be plowed into.

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