Thoughts on Setbacks and Comebacks

Reflecting on 2018

Sometimes you can prepare all you want for something and still fall short of the opportunity to even reach for it. This is a wonderfully infuriating aspects of life and sport. Unsurprisingly, not everything is under our control. A test well studied for guarantees a higher mark but a season well prepared for does not always hold such clean-cut guarantees. Only 2 days into my first ever World Cup I had a stroke of bad luck. I landed perfectly wrong off a jump. I did not crash or stumble I just listened to a gruesome pop and continued on to the next turn. Unfortunately, the following turn was a compression and the resulting torque collapsed my newly torn knee. The snow kindly blessed my face with a colourful back eye and bloody nose for my trouble. Lying in the snow face down, there was no escaping reality (especially for any unfortunate bystander within earshot of my vocal cords), the season was over and it was time to change gear, collect myself and work my way toward new goals. The goal of qualifying for a heats at a World Cup needed to be moved to the back burner.

Post-Op

I learned a lot that winter, about myself, about my temperamental car and about how “lovely” crutching to class in -40 can be when you forget to wear gloves. While I wrote about the lack of clean-cut guarantees in sport and life, physio is quite different. Diligence and effort will absolutely guarantee a difference in outcomes when rehab is in question. Rehab is not about doing the bare minimum and expecting time to do the rest. It means getting up and doing all the boring or challenging exercises you have been prescribed and then asking for more. In the year since I tore my knee, I have spent hundreds of hours working to be even stronger going into 2019 than I was in 2018.

The time and effort have paid off. My rehab has been a huge success and my knee continues to perform well under any new stress I give it. In October I finally got back on snow and have been chipping away at the return to snow protocol diligently ever since. The going has been slow but steady and patience is finally bearing its fruit.

Pre-Racing

My body is ready to get back out on the track. The last piece of the puzzle now is making sure that my mind is ready to race. Being out of competitive sport for a year is especially difficult because it is hard to simulate a race environment’s stress on your mind. You can go out and ski GS or race jumps and features but recreating the feeling of nerves and hopes and everything else that comes with racing has to happen inside your mind. Visualization is critical, seeing yourself in the gate, seeing your competitors beside you, hearing the starter’s call, feeling the gate drop. Mental preparation is just as important as physical because your brain ultimately dictates how your body performs. Doing mental perp can be discouraging because it is almost imposible to see any tangible results. It has to be trial by fire, only when race day finally rolls around will I know how ready I am.

So cheers to the process and here is to just trusting the work I have put in.

-Thank you 2018-

-see you in the start gate 2019-

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