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Interregnum - Mariann Sæther

 
Interregnum - Mariann Sæther
Interregnum - Mariann Sæther
Interregnum - Mariann Sæther
Interregnum - Mariann Sæther
 
July 31, 2012 -  Mariann Sæther    
 

I almost thought I was unbreakable. Really...

After so many years of not severly injuring myself falling off waterfalls, slides, drops, skiing etc, I really thought I might be born under the lucky star. But, my time came as well.

After an amazing winter living in Switzerland, I moved back to Voss with Ron (Fischer). The season was looking great, lots of good paddlers around, including my favorite paddling partner Nouria Newman (FRA), lots of good water and a lot of fun lined up.

Me and Nouria had some great days on the whitewater, with the highlight being our runs on Moneydrop, a powerful 10 meter waterfall, and the infamous Teigdalen Double Drop. This one is the business, with a 9 meter drop into a 12 meter drop, with about 5 meters of room in between. Too much fun! I was starting to believe that I would have no other woman to ever run these things with, and finally I could line up a nice horizon line together with another girl, seeing the same and feeling the same about the whitewater as I do. Amazing!

Two days later I entered the extreme triatlon "Horgi ned", and the first competition of the week during the Extremesportweek. We got flown up with helicopters, then skiied one section, changed to downhill bikes and continuted the race on a challeging trail. In the bottom half I overestimated my speed and crashed really hard on a bridge...

Getting to my feet I realised I was injured, as my right shoulder hurt badly.. but I could kind of still lift my arm. So I decided I could keep going, as the pain was survivable. Pain is the purifier, as my good friend Andy Phillips (UK) always says with a grin

I made it down to the change to kayaks, but had to get some help pulling my lifejacket over my head. At this point, I remember realising that I was probably not very clever getting into my kayak to continue the race, but at the same time I just could not STOP. I might be a bit mental when it comes to competitions, as I just could not make myself paddle to shore if there was still a chance to make it to the finish line. And I did.

The last rapid scared me, as it is a class 3/4, with some potential of rolling at the bottom. Of course, normally I am thinking about what to have for dinner or when I have to do laundry while approaching this rapid... but not this time. Being scared, of course I did fall over, seeing that I could not brace on my right side. To be honest, I am not sure how I managed to roll up, and I missed the eddy anyways, forcing myself to run back up the shore to touch the finish banner. Amazingly enough, I ended up coming in third, only a few minutes behind the winner.

Getting the equipment off me I realised I was actually quite badly injured, as if the pain hadn´t told me that already. I had cried the whole way down the river, but only thinking "I am going to make it" for every stroke I pulled. A glance at my shoulder made me feel a bit sick, as the collar bone was standing up in a very sharp angle.

The ambulance took me to the hospital, where x-rays revealed an AC 3 joint seperation, classified as a category 5. This is a more severe form of a type III injury, with the trapezial and deltoid muscles destroyed, and muscle attachment points torn. The classification system goes to 6, funny enough. Of course I had to get a class 5 injury when I first hurt myself!

Many people think it has been very hard for me to sit on the sideline, watching people compete and have fun on the water But it hasn´t been. There is no doubt in my mind I will come back just as good as ever from this injury, and it somehow puts a new perspective on the world.

I still found time and meaning in organizing little happenings, like the Intro day for local kids to kayaking. It is a cooperation between my company Soria Moria Adventures and the paddle clubs of Lillehammer and Kongsberg.

There are so many around me that have had severe injuries, and that have come back into kayaking with full recoveries, I am surrounded by inspirational stories and people that will make my way back into kayaking a lot easier.

Thank you guys and girls, for not giving up, and for leading the way! 

Mariann

 
 
 

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