Growing up ski racing, there were always a couple kids here and there who fell on their ski and got cut — though it was never to the cubic size that athletes are cut to now. It wasn’t something we thought about, or really had to deal with. As an athlete, I can say with certainty that the thought never crossed my mind.
As the rate and size of cuts have grown, I have come to accept that it is a reality of our sport. But, I never once thought that it would happen to one of my athletes. Sitting in the upstairs of our school gym, listening to Shelley Davis share her son Jonathan’s story, it quickly became apparent to me that I face the reality and seriousness of this increased risk in ski racing.
As a ski coach, athletic trainer, and stakeholder in our athlete’s successes, I had to make a choice about how I would face my Stop the Bleed class: I could live in a world where “this will never happen to me,” or I could live in a world where my voice and education could save athlete’s lives.
It wasn’t until recently that “be prepared, not scared” was said to me in conversation. That really resonated with my feelings on the Stop the Bleed program. Not only is it quick and effortless, but the skills that I learned have saved a life.
“I need some help, I have a cut down here” are the words I have been praying to never hear since I was first trained. The same prayer I make every time I refresh my CPR training, and when we did active shooter training at school — the prayers to the realities of current day life. It is imperative that we take seriously the need to be prepared. Life-threatening bleeds can happen anywhere.
Having used my Stop the Bleed skills first hand, I can say that it is incredibly simple, and easy to use. I would have been at a loss for what to do and how to deal with a large laceration. I would not have had the tools on my belt when faced with the situation. The preparedness that I felt from my education in the Stop the Bleed program allowed me to handle the situation methodically and with less fear.