How it happened I still don’t really know, but one minute I was stationary, looking back over my shoulder and the next I was falling down a bank. The snow was fresh and soft and I was off-piste. Every skier knows, hurting yourself off-piste can be a very expensive mistake, so as I landed, and heard the top of my left arm crack, I knew whatever I’d done, I’d have to drag myself back up that slope. Somehow I managed it and fortunately we weren’t far from an actual piste.
Two painful hours (of slow skiing) later I arrived back at our hotel, had lunch, (yes really) and then caught the bus (again, really,) down the mountain to the doctor’s surgery – all the time telling myself I hadn’t broken anything. Half an hour later I knew I had. I then waited impatiently in a bar whilst the pharmacy continued its 2 hour lunch break, and where I was to buy a ridiculously expensive sling, though not, as I thought, to get prescribed painkillers. – Oh no! I was given 4 paracetamol to last me 2 days. As I stared mournfully at the coffee in front of me I thought “Nah! I need a proper drink!”
…..For the rest of that week, I was thoroughly miserable. I’d skied for 30 years without ever hurting myself, and neither the expensive facials I booked for myself, nor the luxury lunches, hotel cocktails and ‘jollying up’ of my family, were ever going to improve my mood.
Back in England the doctor in the orthopedic department of the local hospital almost gleefully told me I’d never again be able to hold my arm above my head, giving me more feelings of doom and gloom. Then my inner competitiveness kicked in. I decided I wouldn’t miss another ski season and I absolutely would regain total movement in my arm.
I religiously did the strengthening exercises I was given. I got myself a personal trainer and went to Pilates every week. I spent many hours with my arm above my head pressed into a wall or lay on my back practising arm extensions. Then my personal trainer introduced me to boxing. How I wished I’d discovered boxing years before. Not only did I quickly regain strength and movement in my left arm, but I loved the excitement it gave me, the sweat it caused and the improvement to muscle tone. I imagined myself to be as good as Nicola Adams.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because punching above your weight is what you should be doing all the time. We’re living in a fast-changing world and hopefully, younger generations will more easily attain positions of power and influence, but even in our personal lives, we’ve still got a long way to go to have inner confidence and equality. I’m no ‘shrinking violet’ and can be pretty feisty, but I’ve still been walked over. Managing to recover from that injury showed me a part of myself of which I wasn’t aware. I could focus, set a goal and achieve it. I certainly don’t do this all the time, but now I know I can –and that’s important.
So come on, raise a fist and get punching!