"Skiing is pretty much my life. I teach in South America in the summer time," explains Kimberly Mann who travels the world with her skis in tow. On the search for the perfect run, she has canvassed terrain many wouldn't dare. Last year, however, a challenging run proved to be disastrous for the expert skier. "It was an awesome pow-pow day and I was skiing with some friends - pushing the limits." The epic conditions tempted Kimberly to take a turn she would never forget. "I couldn't stop in time and I went over the cliff and fell rag doll-style 30 some odd feet through rocks." She knew she wasn't paralyzed, but she knew something was terribly wrong.
Ski patrol rushed Kimberly off the mountain and emergency crews took her to a hospital in Santiago, where she stayed for days. Doctors remarked that she was lucky to survive and were shocked she had such few injuries. "A compression fracture in my T8 and broken scapula, puncture wound to my left knee, torn capsule in my right knee, and a laceration on my forehead."
Since the fall, Kimberly has been working to get back into skiing shape. She went straight to someone with plenty of experience training athletes on the slopes. Marc Digesti, who owns PerformanceEDU on South Virginia in Reno, worked as the Head Strength Coach for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team. "It was a great experience for me. I was able to travel about 150 days out of the year, working with some pretty incredible athletes with different disabilities." He brought his experience with high level athletes on the slopes back home to the dry land in Reno, where he works with physical therapists and chiropractors to help people, like Kimberly, transition back to the sports they love.
Marc developed post-rehabilitation workouts, as well as a special strength training program that guide athletes through proper movement patterns, joint integrity and stability exercises. The program runs between four and six weeks. The goal? Marc says it is to get athletes healthy and back on the training field.
It is often a trying and emotional journey. Marc remembers the day when Kimberly walked through his door and wasn't able to do some of the basic movements she has re-mastered over the last few months. She has made a remarkable recovery and has even hit the slopes again. Her next goal is to make the Pro Ski Instructors of America National Alpine Ski Team.
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