Well, I probably should have kept going with my BC Bike Race updates, but to be honest I was lacking in the photo department hoping for something to turn up. Who wants to read just text? I will be doing a BC Bike Race recap instead of individual stage recounts. I will also be writing a piece for the next issue of Mountain Flyer, so you can check out pretty pictures and hopefully some creative writing! That’ll be my next post, promise.
In the meantime, a lot has been going on!! I’ve been home for 2 weeks. Most of you probably follow facebook or twitter and have seen some the news already, but here it is in one big chunk.
First, I got published in Switchback Magazine with a 5 page spread from the Yak Attack! I’m really pleased with how it turned out!
Backing up… I came home from BC Bike Race. I had a bad crash on Stage 7, but managed to finish. I had crashed really hard on my outstretched hand. It was really painful for a few days, but I figured it was just a sprain. When the pain plateaued, I started to suspect something. It was also a different type of pain from previous sprains. I stayed off it and only rode once the week following BC Bike Race. I stuck to the road because any jarring really hurt my wrist. That weekend, my friend got a boat and we went to Carter Lake! I wanted to try water skiing, but had to refrain due to my wrist. The next day, I decided to go get xrays. Based on the location of the pain and the people I had talked to, it sounded like there was a possibility I had fractured my scaphoid.
The X-ray confirmed it. I had a small fracture. I went to see my doc at Boulder Center for Sports Med and came prepared with my left Ergon grip. I had never worn a cast in my life… but when the medical assistant came in with boxes of stuff, I knew what was going to happen. My wrist is in jail for the next 6 weeks.
Emotionally, I felt a little numb and I tried to keep it that way for a few hours so I could process what all this meant. First, I focused on the facts. I talked with the doc about riding. It doesn’t hurt to ride, except for where the cast digs into my hand. He said as long as I was careful and stayed off of singletrack, I’d be good to go. The next race on my schedule is Leadville. I want to check it off my list, I’m in…and I’m still planning on racing.
-I could still race Leadville, just not in the same capacity as originally planned
-I wasn’t in pain
-The left wrist is probably the best joint to injure if I have to hurt something. I can run, ride, walk, write, type… the only major cramp to my lifestyle is that I can’t play guitar and I can’t ride singletrack.
I can’t ride singletrack. My true love. I was really looking forward to being home and riding all my favorite trails after all the road training I did this spring. This was the hardest thing to swallow. I try not to think about it, and that things could be soooo much worse. I also knew a bad injury was coming with my crash rate this year. This is my 5th injury in the last 12 months… concussion in October, broke a rib (when my pull up bar gave way from the doorway) over the winter, knee injury after Nepal, ankle injury in Breck a month ago, and now this. All the bike injuries of 2012 have been related to going too fast downhill. The positive? I’m getting faster… I just have to pay my dues.
So I decided that I had a choice. I wrote about this on facebook the day it happened. I can choose to be miserable, to throw a pity party, to focus on the negative, to be angry. OR I can choose to focus on all the things listed above. The things I can do, the things I will do. I will not let this injury make me weaker, it’s going to make me stronger in the end… at least mentally. People get hurt all the time. Hell, people lose limbs and still do Ironman Triathalons and race Leadville. What’s a silly wrist injury? Inconvenient, and no more. Plus, I’m not losing the fitness I’ve been working so hard to gain. There will be singletrack to ride this fall.
Yes, it’s a bit stupid to race in a cast. There is a fine line between gritty determination and stupidity. I seem to dance around on that line. Leadville is the only “mountain bike race” I can do like this because it’s all road. Some of the descents are hairy, and I’ve accepted that I have to go slow and lose time. I’ve accepted that I will not be in the condition I’d want to be at an “A priority” race. I’m not going to let it get me down. I’m going to focus on the experience, and hope that I can pull out a decent time. Thinking about trying to win? Highly doubt it.
I decided to give things a try. I’ve only had this cast on for a week. First, I noticed it only took about a week to recover from BC Bike Race. The time off the bike did me good! I’ve had to make some adjustments, and will continue to do so on my bike. I switched my left grip from a small GS2 to a large GP3 so I have something more to hang on to, and a bigger bar end. I’m going to experiment with the cast to see if I can stop it from cutting into me. That is the main thing holding me back on descents… I am amazingly riding with zero wrist pain. I’m going to try adding some padding. The doc will be putting on a fresh cast for Leadville, and this time I’ll be bringing my whole bike in to make sure the wrist angle and everything is perfect.
So far things are going really well!!