THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF RACING

I just had a quick read over my last blog entry back in March. I had just come off a couple of great races at Nationals and also 3rd with 3rd UCI World Cup. It is hard to believe that now all 6 World Cup races are complete and I wasn’t able to compete in any one of them. It’s now probably about time that I updated my blog and if anything clear my own head of what has been a difficult time these last 4 months.

All it took was one silly little mistake and my World Cup Season was over before it had begun. Day 1 of practice in South Africa went smoothly; I was happy with all my lines and although the course was quite a technically ‘scary’ one I was looking forward to getting out on track once more. Day 2 course practice started out well with a clean first lap, then for some reason during lap 2 I went into a drop-off way to slowly and flipped over the handlebars. I knew as soon as I landed on my back with legs slamming into the ground, that I had done damage. I won’t go through the whole story here, but the shortened version is that 4 weeks after crashing I found myself in the operating theatre having surgery on my left hip. Basically, I had broken both the pelvis and head of femur right through. As it had taken so long for the full extent of the injury to show the head of femur had begun to heal in the wrong place. So, surgery was required and the bone was debrided into a more ‘usable’ round shape so that the ‘ball would fit the socket’ a little better. Needless to say, my left hip was cactus! Hmm, my bone seems to have healed in the wrong place... I have no right to complain though. Especially given the horrible injuries athletes sustain in this sport; some never to ride again. The recent tragic death of Dutch mtbiker Annefleur Kalvenhaar makes my woes insignificant in comparison. 

With some great people around me, I was able to get into see one of the best surgeons going around Mr. David Young, who is known to help get athletes back to doing what they love to do with the least amount of interruption possible. I was off the bike and off my leg for a total of 6 weeks. During this time I did go a little ‘crazy’ and even resorted to vigorous hill climb efforts with use of crutches just to get the heart rate up above resting. In some ways though, it was good to have complete rest and have time to do some of the things I normally don’t get around to. It is still unknown how well the hip will hold up over the next few years and I may well have to have further surgery down the track, but at this stage I am mighty pleased with the work Mr. Young has done. My training started 12 weeks ago with 15min in up-right position on the trainer and now I am at the stage where I can ride 4hrs of trails without pain. Now it’s time to start working on getting the power back! I have tested myself out with a couple of low key races over the last few weeks with the Officer and Castlemaine Enduro’s. While I am certainly not in peak form, I have been really pleased with both races and in particular how well the hip has pulled up post racing. I guess, even if I don’t get back to the level I was at I am just so happy to be hitting up the trails once more!

The trails out at Castlemaine Enduro were some good ones to get the technical skills going again!I really need to thank the following sponsors for all their support over this tough period. I am so grateful for their backing over the good times as well as the not so good. You guys are awesome

Torq Australia, Monza Imports, Sram, Lifecare, 4Shaw, Adidas Eyewear & Nicole Schneller (for getting me into see the right people )

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