step-downs, and other resistance movement to maintain both endurance and strength.
When I’m back in the PT room, I start on the bike or elliptical, then move to balance work
on a variety of unstable surfaces for leg, hip and core strength; and a mix of isometric
holds. Though my training has taken on a different feel while I recover, it keeps me strong
and ready for the season once my knee is healed.
Depending on the injury, rehab can be long, painful, frustrating and often disheartening,
but working creatively with Tidswell in the COE has kept things interesting and often entertaining. It requires patience, flexibility, a sense of humor and the vision of a future that
inspires one to get out of bed each morning, because the road may sometimes be long,
and it may be tedious, but it is worth it.
Laurenne Ross’s dramatic crash into the netting at Lake Louise and Steven Nyman’s
torn Achilles tendon remind us that even the most talented athletes can take a hit. Thankfully sports science advances are making the process of recovery continuously better for
athletes and sport enthusiasts alike. This week, while reading Laurenne’s poignant post-injury blog ( lalalaurenne.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/thrilling-frightening-enlightening/) I
remembered that I’m not alone in my list of injuries, and was inspired by her ability to
bounce back from adversity once again. “I have already reached that point of no return,”
she writes, “of fracturing my pelvis in five places, of already slicing my face to the point of
needing over 100 stitches, of dislocating my shoulder five times, of tearing my ACL…the
list goes on. But each time I have healed.”
With injury comes a unique feeling of camaraderie. In the COE, athletes of all disciplines
work together — snowboarders, alpine skiers, nordic and more — with the similar goal
of returning to that sometimes crazy but always exhilarating sport we love so much. We
inspire each other, share stories of healing, of beating the odds and working to be the best
in the world. What you learn is that you’re not alone, but that it’s up to you and only you to
get the job done.
This morning I left the office of U.S. team doctor Vernon Cooley, M.D., with a promising prognosis and instructions to increase my workouts and return to snow this week.
Afterward, I went straight to the gym thankful for the green light, and as I completed my
workout I couldn’t help but notice the eyes of each Olympic medalist gazing down at me
from the banners circling the gym. I know that all of them have overcome obstacles in their
journey to success, and on a quiet December morning in the COE they became an inspiring reminder of the work to be done and the potential of the season ahead.