This post has been brewing for a month since one of my clients lost a friend ski racing.
Death is not something we connect to ski racing usually, horrible falls and bad injuries certainly but not death.
Since the beginning of the season two ski racers have died.
It’s a horrible statement to make.
David Poisson, a member of the French ski racing team died in Nakiska in early season training in November when he caught an edge, crashed through safety netting and hit a tree. He was 35 years old.
In early December, my client was racing a downhill in the Nor-Am Cup in Lake Louise when I got texts about a teammate being involved in a bad crash.
17 year old Max Burkhart went off course into safety netting and was airlifted to hospital. He later died of his injuries.
Somehow death is not something I ever thought I’d have to deal with in my practice. I remember taking a moment and praying before calling my client. Asking for guidance to say the right words that would give her some measure of comfort. All I could do was listen and be there for her.
She was heart broken and wanted to go home.
Max’s death hit me hard. I’m still not sure why.
I attract the clients I work with for a reason. Her parents wanted her to stick it out for the rest of the race series and be with her teammates. To get back on the horse. It’s probably what my parents would have wanted too.
My client just wanted to go home so I stood by her and advocated for her.
Someone I did my graduate studies with said it was great I got to be the person I needed for my clients when I was their age.
It was a big realization for me.
I’m grateful for the relationships I have with my clients. I grow because of them. I know they learn from me as well.
I’m glad I was able to support my client through a really tough time no kid should have to go through.
Rest in peace Max. My heart goes out to his family, friends and the ski community who knew and loved him. I hope they find peace.