Date of Surgeries: 6/4/2014 and 4/22/2015
Spine and Hip
Update (3/2018): Todd has returned to instructing full-time.
I was raised in Arvada, Colorado by skiing parents, Chuck and Thelma Metz who were active in the National Ski Patrol at Arapahoe Basin and Winter Park, Co. After a break from skiing during my teen years (as a competitive wrestler) my older brother Kirk (Pro Patrol, Arapahoe Basin) reintroduced me to skiing and once again I was hooked. I began teaching at Winter Park in 1977, more in search of a fun job and mountain living… little did I know that the passion for being outdoors and sharing my love of skiing would become a life long career of ski instruction. I met and married the love of my life, Jennifer at Winter Park and together we made our careers and raised our family in the wonderful mountain towns of Grand County surrounding Winter Park. Although we still call Grand County our home, we have changed our resort employer to Vail for the past 9 seasons.
I became involved with PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) initially to obtain certifications so I was more knowledgeable and skillful for my clients. Then I realized I could continue to climb to the top of my profession by becoming a Divisional Clinic Leader (1986) and then Examiner (1991) for PSIA-Rocky Mountain/Alpine. Having access to THE top technicians and skiers in the Country (… and the world) has allowed me to continue to challenge my own knowledge and skill base as well as be a conduit for others around me. I have continued to serve the PSIA-RM Membership as an active trainer and examiner as well as staff-skills verifier for over 25 years now, and have loved EVERY single minute of it!
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
In 2014, I ruptured several discs in my lumbar-spine while teaching and was shortly after partially paralyzed with significant loss of function in my legs, especially my left leg. My case was turned down as Workers-Comp so I turned to Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation after a good friend and fellow PSIA member Jan Degerberg shared her amazing story with me about her experiences with the Kees B Foundation. I had several injections initially to help assess the extent of the damage and with only limited relief, was referred to the amazing Dr. Don Corenman at the Steadman Clinic. I underwent laminectomy and spinal fusion of L5-S1 joints the following June at the Vail Medical Center. The care I had there was wonderful. The staff so kind and competent was so comforting for both me and my wife. What followed was three months of careful therapy (mostly walking) and what seemed like a full recovery until the pain in my left leg came back with a vengeance. At four months, further testing (CT scan and MRI) revealed that my left hip joint had also been damaged in the skiing incident, and that further nerve/muscle deterioration of my left leg (from the ruptured discs) had led to significant damage in the joint, now beyond repair. To say I was once again devastated is an understatement. The medical team advised waiting until the following spring/summer for any further surgeries to allow for adequate and full healing of the spinal surgery, which meant a painful 8-9 months of working/skiing on a completely degenerated hip joint. So now this miraculous foundation once again rose up and supported me through yet another major- and career saving surgery. I was referred to Dr. Kim (Colorado Joint Replacement) for a full hip replacement and once again received THE most amazing care through everything from initial consultation, through surgery and then rehabilitation. I know my body has been through a lot – and I fully accept the responsibility of taking exceedingly good care of my body with fitness and nutrition as well as skiing/working mindful of all I’ve been through. I am strong, I am able and my future is SO bright!
"As I look forward to my 40th ski season as a full time, career Professional ski instructor, Examiner, Coach and Trainer, I realize there is a distinct possibility I would NOT be continuing on without the incredible opportunity I was provided through your foundation. Upon obtaining a serious and potentially career-ending injury, I was utterly hopeless and frustrated, paralyzed with pain and despair without any idea of how to proceed. To then have this state of being completely turned around when I received confirmation of being eligible for help from your foundation was more than I could have possibly hoped or prayed for. The level of kindness, care and generous support from the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, to stick with me through surgeries and therapies as well as access to THE finest surgical and hospital teams … well it really is nothing short of a miracle. The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation is one of the greatest blessings that has happened in my life, It is impossible to adequately express my gratitude other than to say thank you, a thousand times over. "
- Todd Metz