A free chiropractic adjustment

About a month and a half ago I ran the right side of Sunset Falls on the East Fork Lewis much too aggressively and ended up punching out past the aerated water at the base of the 20 foot drop.   I quickly tucked to protect my spine,  with the unfortunate consequence that I brought my bow up and landed nearly flat in the hard green water,  slamming my head into the deck of the boat,  trading a compressed lumbar spinal injury for some wicked whiplash on my c-spine.   Then I managed to run Horshoe falls at a bad angle,  hitting my head AGAIN,  and feeling pretty dumb for messing up the two easiest autoboofs in the world.    Since then my neck has ached a bit and clicked from time to time,  nothing bad, but enough to make me curse myself for being an idiot.   Just as I was beginning to accept the new fate of my neck,  I strapped on the glass surf-yak on monday this week and headed out for a session near my house.   As usual, I tried for the deepest steepest drops, and as can happen when you are playing that game,  I managed to stuff it pretty badly.    It's not common to eat serious shit on an 10 foot face,  but if I've learned anything about water it's that it can do the darnedest things from time to time.    I tripped at the very top of a sucking wave and ended up getting the surprise piledriver of the year.    My body whipped like a ragdoll,  and when I came up I was shocked to see my skirt still attached.   Things felt weird though,  my shoulders and neck were pulling on me and I couldn't figure out what was going on.   After paddling into the rip I finally looked down and to see both of my PFD straps ON THE SAME SIDE AS MY HEAD!   Not only could I not figure out how it happened,  I couldn't get it back over my head no matter how hard I pulled!   I snapped a photo and took off the PFD to fix things.    I surfed a while longer and then went home.

This morning I expected to wake up feeling like Micheal Keatons Batman,  but instead,  for the first time in a long time.  My neck felt great.  No tightness, no aching, no clicking.   Fabulous!   Working on the ambulance in my early twenties I saw a lot of nasty spinal stuff, and as whitewater kayakers I often think we don't take the risks seriously enough.  We all know somebody who did something trivial (or not so trivial) to their spine and now lives with chronic pain or worse.   Those precious disks and vertebrae are nothing to mess around with.    Sometimes life gives you a free pass though, and this kayaker is feeling pretty stoked to be lucky!

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