From Hero to Zero

I almost thought I was unbreakable. Really… 

After so many years of not severly injuring myself falling off waterfalls, slides, drops, skiing etc, I really thought I might be born under the lucky star. But, my time came as well.


After an amazing winter living in Switzerland, I moved back to Voss with Ron. The season was looking great, lots of good paddlers around, including my favorite paddling partner Nouria Newman, lots of good water and a lot of fun lined up.

Me and Nouria had some great days on the whitewater, with the highlight being our runs on Moneydrop and the infamous Teigdalen Double Drop. I was starting to believe that I would have no other woman to ever run these things with, and finally I could line up a nice horizon line together with another girl, seeing the same and feeling the same about the whitewater as I do. Amazing!

Nouria cashing out her money

Two days later I entered the triatlon “Horgi ned”, and the first competition of the week during the Extremesportweek. We got flown up with helicopters, then skiied one section, changed to downhill bikes and continuted the race on a challeging trail. In the bottom half I overestimated my speed and crashed really hard on a bridge/jump.

Getting to my feet I realised I was injured, as my right shoulder hurt as f.. but I could kind of still lift my arm. So I decided I could keep going. Pain is the purifier, as Andy Phillips always says with a grin.

Mariann on the first of two runs on DD.

I made it down to the change to kayaks, and had to get some help pulling my lifejacket over my head. At this point, I remember realising that I was probably not very clever getting into my kayak, but at the same time I just could not STOP. I might be a bit mental when it comes to competitions, as I just could not make myself stop if there was still a chance to make it to the finish line. And I did.

The last rapid scared the shit out of me, as it is a class 3/4, with some potential of rolling at the bottom. And of course I did, seeing that I could not brace on my right side, and barely even take a stroke. I am not sure how I managed to roll, and I missed the eddy, forcing myself to run back up the shore to touch the finish banner, coming in third. Then I collapsed, and did not really notice that my kayak was floating away. Thank you guys and girls for picking up my gear!

Getting the equipment off me I realised I was actually quite badly injured, as if the pain hadn´t told me that already. I had cried the whole way down the river, but only thinking “I am going to make it” for every stroke I pulled. A glance on my shoulder made me feel a bit sick, as the collar bone was standing up in a very sharp angle.

The ambulance took me to the hospital, where x-rays revealed an AC 3 joint seperation, classified as a category 5. This is a more severe form of a type III injury, with the trapezial and deltoid muscles destroyed, and ligaments torn. The classification system goes to 6, funnily enough. Of course I had to get a class 5 injury when I first hurt myself!

Funny looking bone

The surgery was fine, and I have felt great the past two weeks. Until last night. I simply partially fell out of bed, and could feel a bone move inside. Yeah, that was the clavicale, which has moved 2 cms. I am on my way to the hospital for a check tomorrow to see how badly the repair is destroyed, and decide whether I need another surgery or not.

Many people think it has been very hard for me to sit on the sideline, watching people compete at the Extremesportweek and now Sjoafestival. But it hasn´t. There is no doubt in my mind I will come back just as good as ever from this injury, and it puts a new perspective on the world

I still found time and meaning in organizing little happenings, like the Intro day for local kids to kayaking. It is a cooperation between my company Soria Moria Adventures and the paddle clubs of Lollehammer and Kongsberg. Simen, 8 years old, rocked the show!

There are so many around me that have had severe injuries, and that have come back into kayaking with full recoveries, I am surrounded by inspirational stories and people that will make my way back into kayaking a lot easier.

Thank you guys and girls, for not giving up, and for leading the way!