I've always loved the thought of being a wounded hero. My usual role as spectator could then be excused to battle-scarred bravery rather than fear, incompetence or a perpetual cycle of both.
However, as people start their weekend pilgrimages to Kirkwood and Squaw, feeding their addiction for fresh powder, I can stand up and be counted as a veteran of alpine accidents.
"Well, I'd love to ski," I tell people, "but after two surgeries, six screws, a metal plate and a week at the University Hospital in Geneva, I'm just not sure my humerus could take another break." I think this radically edited story of my life in Switzerland as a high speed downhiller makes me sound like a crazed adrenalin junkie who pushed the boundaries a little too far. Something I rather like the sound of.
If I told them that said accident took place on the bunny slopes, the first day I ever ski'd and that it's been ten years since the screws were removed, I feel it might pollute my injured sportsman bravado.
If they start asking too many questions, I've developed a backup of subjective responses to steer us away from my blundering ineptitude. "Skiing's an elitist sport," I say, "partaken by trumpeting blowhards. Nothing beats a wet winter weekend in the City when they've all disappeared."