I first learned to ski on a very small town ski hill. That hill was a decently high and exhilarating ride down towards a riverbed. Of course, I also broke my tailbone cuz it took a while to learn how to fall correctly and that hill was soooo icy. I suffered that tailbone injury off and on for years. Eventually, I moved ever so much closer to the mountains. That first year, I'd have spent more serious mountain skiing too except that at the end of my first major day, I fell and broke my collar bone.
About 4 years went by and then, I got involved with a ski club. I still have one of my racing trophies sitting up on a shelf in my dining room. My collar bone doesn't hurt me anymore, but the later shoulder, hip and knee injuries have been a fricken mess and each still cause me problems now and then.
Windsufing was good for a while and I never minded if I didn't manage the wind and flew off my board. Every time . . . every time . . . I screwed up, I'd remember that hitting the water, felt so much better than the ripping in my knee when I helicoptered off the top of that mogul or the time that little pr**k ran me into a tree. (you had to be there).
And then . . . I found SCUBA.