Seven weeks ago I sprained my ankle very badly during a routine day of training. The initial feedback was I would be out 2 to 4 weeks. I let out a sigh of relief because I couldn't miss US Nationals and our Europe training camp in 7 weeks!
Well those seven weeks have now disappeared but the swelling and discomfort in my ankle has not. I wish my teammates the best of luck during their travels! I’ve seen how hard those guys have been working all year. I’m excited for them to get a chance to show off that hard work.
I had an MRI a few days ago and it showed I still have pretty good tears in my ankle tendons. We are considering a few options and a minor surgery is one of them. I’m realizing that this injury is more severe than initially projected.
I’m not going to lie and pretend like this doesn’t faze me. I’m extremely frustrated. I've accepted the fact that as an athlete injuries will occur. A belief of mine is that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I needed to be taught patience, learn humbleness, or be more grateful for what I have. Whichever it is, I know that I've become more educated through controversy than through any kind of glory.
I had such huge goals for the season and before my injury I was making huge progress. I just have to change my goals a bit. I’m now making it a goal of mine to be healthy and fully recovered in time for the Junior World Championships in February. Not only that, but I want to finish in the top 10. I will use this goal as motivation everyday during rehabilitation and training. I will come back better than before.
Currently I'm in Steamboat rehabbing and mulling about the possibility of surgery. I can still ride my bike, use the ski erg, swim, and stay active in the weight room so I'm staying busy. Starting on Tuesday of next week I will volunteer some of my time to the SSWSC. I'll be working with the U12 Nordic Combined kids. I'm really looking forward to this because after my ski career, my dream is to become a coach. The future of Nordic Combined is something I'm extremely passionate about. Speaking of coaching here are some lessons I've learned and tips I've picked up while being injured.
· Getting an X-RAY and MRI are the FIRST things you should do after injuring yourself!
· Being injured isn’t an excuse to stop training. Do extra core, yoga, stretching, and other low impact activities. I have even picked up swimming a little! Think out of the box.
· Find another hobby that can keep your mind occupied. Going from athlete mode to rehab mode can be tough. I’ve found that staying busy keeps my mind from wandering and feeling sorry for myself. This has given me the time to get good grades in my online class (I’m also rocking a 4-1 record in fantasy football)
· Don’t rush back from injury too soon. If you’re an endurance athlete like me who trains up to 450 hours a year, missing training can be so stressful. JUST RELAX. In the scheme of things missing a few extra weeks wont kill you. Your long-term health is far more important.
· Think big picture! My mom always says those three words to me and they help. When you’re starting to turn into an Eeyore (Winnie The Pooh reference) just remember that in the huge scheme of things, an injury is just a tiny blip in comparison to your long life.
· Surround yourself with family and friends. I’ve learned that enjoying the company and support of loved ones always makes me feel better.
Thank you everyone for your support. I couldn’t do it without you. Love you all!