Last time I posted in here I was just 4 weeks out of hip surgery. After 6 weeks of intense physical therapy and fitness training, I am on my way back to the east coast 10 weeks out of hip surgery and over 5 months out of knee surgery. After a great training block here at the Center of Excellence in Park City, UT, my strength and fitness is getting very close to where I was before my surgeries. I am thrilled with my progress, and excited for where I am heading. I have a little over 2 months of training before I get back on snow, and I am confident now that I will be the strongest I have ever been before winter comes. I will be starting school this fall at Dartmouth College, and will continue my rehab there. I will be able to fit in a semester of school, and be done by mid November to start training and racing with the US Ski Team- Europa Cup Tech Team.
Over the past 6 months, I have gone through a whole lot of ups and downs. As I was sitting in the gym the other day watching my teammates get heated in a game of basketball, I realized that with these injuries, I have been secluded from any type of competitive environment. It’s a weird thought, because ever since I can remember, I have been involved competitively in one way or another. Whether it’s checking your time against someone else’s time at the bottom of the course, trying to beat someone up the mountain in the last 10 minutes of a bike ride, or stacking 10 more pounds on the barbell just so you can say you did more weight than the guy next to you, I haven’t been able to participate in any of it. It’s funny, because growing up, everyone (parents, coaches, teachers) tells you to do the best YOU can do, and not to worry about anyone else. As any athlete at any level can attest to, this is nearly impossible. These injuries sure have pushed my mental strength to its capacity. Everyday, I go to physical therapy, do my modified workouts separate from my team, and sit on the stationary bike for hours because I am not allowed to mountain bike yet. There is nothing in my training right now that I am able to compare to anyone else. I am flat out, just trying to get MYSELF stronger, so I can have the best winter I can possibly have. Though it’s easy to just wish I were down in New Zealand or Chile skiing with my teammates, I have to find ways to get motivated to hit the gym everyday by myself. I can tell you that I have been more focused and more in tune with my body in the past 6 months than I ever have been. The people I will be competing against this coming winter have pretty much finished their dry land training blocks, and are already training on snow somewhere in the world. I am ok with that. Physical therapy is what I need to be doing to get back on track to becoming the best skier I can be. No doubt, when I get back on snow I will be a bit behind the pace, but I can assure you, and myself, that I will be making progress with each turn I make come November. As my friends and I always say “you do you!”
Here are a couple pictures of me taking the US Ski Team 'bike test'. Just 2 months out of hip surgery, I tied my best test ever. Now it's time to get my strength and explosiveness back up!