Freeskier Magazine article on Blaster Michelle Parker FRESH OFF TWO KNEE SURGERIES, MICHELLE IS POISED TO GET BACK ON SNOW AND FINISH WHAT SHE STARTED. BY: SCOTT GAFFNEY I have Michelle Parker pinned to the table by her shoulders. Her green eyes are transfixed on the ceiling. Maybe even looking straight through it. Our physical therapist, Ladd, grasps Michelle’s right ankle. Her repaired knee has already been bent to the limits of her pain threshold. Now he’s about to push further. He pauses and suggests, “You know, you could get a job at the coffee shop down the street, making lattes.” Through gritted teeth Michelle bluntly responds, “I have some unfinished business in skiing.” “Alright. Here we go,” Ladd says, his staid face mirroring Michelle’s focus. He lifts her heel and pushes it a few more degrees towards her. Michelle’s eyes clench and her body recoils and writhes beneath my weight as the scar tissue tenses, stretches and tears, and she cries out an F-bomb that turns every head in the facility. Moments later comes the release, and slowly Michelle returns to the real world. The other rehabbers resume their workouts while Michelle takes a moment to sit and massage her traumatized joint. Then she looks at me with glazed eyes and, cracking a hint of a smile, says, “Whoa. That was intense.” I realize I’ve just peered through a window into what makes Michelle Parker who she is. It’s been a long, painful journey since she dropped a modest 15-foot cliff onto a submerged fang of rock in the British Columbia interior back in February, folding and destroying her right knee. The first of two surgeries involved suturing a torn medial patellofemoral ligament, repairing meniscus and using technique called micro fracture to stimulate cartilage repair. Six weeks of immobilization were followed by three months of marathon physical therapy sessions three days a week, all to get enough mobility to enable her second surgery, the wonderful ACL reconstruction, a procedure she’d already experienced two years prior on the same knee. “At the time I thought ACL was bad, and now I know it can be way worse. It’s been an interesting journey,” Michelle told me in between sips of soup in her parents’ Squaw home. “If I worked an office job, I don’t know what would be the biggest push behind me getting back on my feet. But definitely having different things that I’m passionate about that require me to have good knees or have a healthy body! I think that is what inspires me the most. And skiing obviously is the biggest one. Read the full story here Freeskiing Magazine article on Blaster Michelle Parker