• zelechowski mathieu

The Danger Of Excitment


I’ve watched this morning the new faction ski fail video on you tube (click on the link to watch it). Being still under the tropics, it gave me a kick to get more prepared for the first rides in Courchevel as I don’t want to hurt myself like I did last season.

Last winter (season 16/17), we had pretty weird snow and weather conditions in Courchevel, especially the winter start. If you remember, we had like this year some early snow dumps, then a heat wave then a high pressure system which just got locked all over France and the alps for weeks. Leaving stagnant air, no dumps, and really bad snow conditions on the slopes of Courchevel, I had tons of treatments requests for osteopathy and physiotherapy.


Why is that ? 2 main factors :

  • Hard as rock snow conditions, limited availability of slopes.

  • lack of physical preparation for the ride and I guess a lot of late nights getting busy at the pub and killing the frustration of bad snow. I’ve heard people in Meribel burning old skis at night to please the snow gods. People getting impatient and go for a ride.

Well in my case, I was to impatient too wait for good conditions, I was not well physically prepared as I had to move house in Biarritz, and the snow was damm bad, icy , rocks everywhere. The results on my first day out on the slopes of Courchevel got bad, really bad. As a snowboarder and a physiotherapist osteopath



, i always take a bit of time to warm up my muscles, get my dynamic balance back and take it easy on the first runs. But I got excited to the max to ride my board and started straight to jet fuel my ride at high speed. I love carving and make nice lines, there’s one particular turn that I found in Courchevel 1650 above casserole restaurant, you can get parallel to the snow and carve a beautiful turn there, missing that turn 7 years ago I broke one rib there, last season my unserviced nitro panthera 163, my unprepared body took me back to reality. I paid an ice patch on the slopes a toll. My snowboard lost control and I felt at high speed. I remembered being punched by the impact hardly and a loud pain in my right glut started to raise sharply.

I couldn’t ride anymore and have had to drive home to rest. I started the next day to feel numbness in my right leg, lack of strength as well. Day 3, I couldn’t flex my ankle properly and driving started to be really hard. As a physio osteopath , I knew my sciatic nerve was in trouble. Day 4 I was limping, I was out of the ride game for a month. I did the medical exams I had to do, no fracture ( thank god), no spine injury. I just had an internal hemorrhage in my right gluts, that was compressing my sciatic nerve, leaving my right leg in a bad condition. Treatment ? I designed a physio program of stretches and gentle Swiss ball spine mobilisations for myself, and wait.

Eventually I got back on my feet after a long month. I lost muscle volume on my right leg as you can see on the picture.

Conclusion ? Well don’t be too excited during your first runs, prepare yourself physically before the season, take time to assess the snow conditions, have a first slow run on that slope of Courchevel you love then increase speed gradually. We all love snow, and getting excited by the gift of being able to ride our mountains, but take it easy the first days, and it’s a physio osteopath who is telling that...


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