Seeing as the first half of the season is over tomorrow, I felt that I could finally accept what my summer has brought me and spend the time really filling everyone in. It has been a rough 6 months to say the least.
So, why not start somewhat from the beginning. I spent the beginning of my offseason with nagging left knee pain. It was the strangest pain that not only baffled me but also the athletic training staff at the Olympic Training Center. I would describe my pain exactly the same every time I complained about it; I would tell them that my bones hurt and this made no sense to anyone. We changed my workouts took this out tried this instead and nothing ever felt better. Nothing worked. I finally saw our team Doctor; orthopedic surgeon Dr. Byrne we decided to get an MRI, which of course came back with nothing conclusive. Just that my medial meniscus looked worn, but nothing too horrible. So I sucked it up and against my normal fear of pain and better judgement I got a cortisone shot. Spent a few days resting and tried to workout again. Well it didn’t work at all.
Before I lost my mind, I did what any homesick girl missing her mom would do; spent a week at home on the beach with my family. It was just what I needed no work, no workouts, no stress, and no knee pain? Yes to all but the last one.
I got back to Lake Placid after a refreshing week off on Monday August 6th. I told myself alright if you can get through your entire workout then your knee is fine and you will be great this season. That didn’t happen, I got through one sprint and was in excruciating pain I just sat down and cried. The next day I told myself alright if you can push on the treadmill skeleton style then thats all I need this year and I will be fine. I thought it was going well, got through the pushes I set as my goal and didn’t have any pain. Until I got 30 feet from the treadmill and my knee got “stuck”. So I lost it again, and saw Dr. Byrne that afternoon. I think my exact words to him were “I can’t take this anymore you have to go in and see what is wrong.”
That was Tuesday, August 7th and I had surgery Monday August 13th. Needless to say I told almost no one that I was having surgery or what I had done for a good amount of time. I didn’t know what he was going to find in my knee but we talked before I went in and said fix whatever you see. Come to find out when I woke up that I had a brace on my leg and got a stitch in my lateral meniscus because I had a tear at the deepest layer possible.
I didn’t really comprehend how long my recovery would be and how hard it would be to come back to sliding and working out. I tried to race team trials, and it was so hard to get back on my sled. I was uncomfortable, in pain and tentative all at the same time. Being a stubborn athlete I did it anyway and even came to Park City. It was too much too fast and my knee got really swollen and I couldn’t finish. I got put onto the Intercontinental Cup Circuit for this season.
I’m amazed everyday how difficult it is when I go to warm up and push my sled. Even being on my sled isn’t easy or comfortable. I still don’t feel like myself sliding and its really disappointing. I know it will get better but its hard to deal with and as positive as you can try to be it doesn’t always work out.
I’m ready for a break and to work on getting stronger and faster again. There is one final race tomorrow before the first half of the season officially is over. I’m going to focus on relaxing and feeling more comfortable and hopefully end on a good note.