For the first time since my crash almost three weeks ago, I feel like I’m training hard enough to make myself sore and tired. It’s a good feeling. My abs and shoulders are sore from strength two days ago and some of my workouts have felt aerobically challenging.
Yesterday was busy. Emilia, our friend Jess Breda and I went out to breakfast. Then I dropped the ladies off at the gondola to go skiing and headed to Vail. The 45 minute drive to Vail is getting very familiar. At 11:15 I did a physical therapy session in the pool. I talked about it in yesterday’s blog post. After I got out of the pool I had lunch and did some work on the computer before spending an hour and a half on the hand bike. While hand biking I listened to the last episode of the podcast Serial. I’ve listened to all twelve episodes of Serial over the last month. I really enjoyed the series and I recommend it to anybody who likes podcasts. After hand biking I went to physical therapy. I didn’t make it home until 6:30 in the evening.
Emilia’s family came up from Denver last night, as they do almost every weekend. Emilia, Emilia’s youngest sister Egan and Emilia’s teammate Darian Stevens decided to wash the cat Mia.
I’ve mentioned the organization called Friends of Leo J. Martin Skiing (FOLJMS) previously on this blog. FOLJMS is an organization setup to preserve and expand cross country skiing at the Leo J. Martin golf course near Boston, Massachusetts. The Leo J. Martin golf course is the only consistent (snow making equipped) cross country ski center in the greater Boston area and is one of the most heavily used cross country ski areas in the U.S. You can see a post I did in October about talking to Massachusetts state senators on behalf of FOLJMS here.
FOLJMS is currently holding an auction to raise money to support their mission: to promote skiing and improved trail design at the Leo J Martin in Weston, Massachusetts. You can bid on skis from Caldwell Sport, Fischer and Bikeway Source, Roller Skis from Jenex and Skigo, 2 nights at the Trapp Family Lodge, skis and memorabilia signed by Olympians, design time with an architect and landscape architect and more. Preserving skiing in one of the biggest winter-climate metropolitan areas in the U.S. is important for the entire U.S. ski community, not just users of Leo J. Martin. Support FOLJMS and bid on sweet items here. Bidding is only open until Sunday so don’t procrastinate.
In the last two days I’ve been spending time on the hand bike and SkiErg. The hand bike at the Breckenridge Recreation Center is located right next to this sign to remind me why my heart rate might be running high.
It’s really challenging to plan my days since my coaches and I haven’t put together a training plan. We are still taking it one day at a time because things seem to be changing every day. My energy levels have been up and down. A day on crutches even without working out seems to take a lot out of me. Also, my coaches and I are still trying to figure out the best way to use the SkiErg and hand bike, my two available training methods.
Yesterday morning I had a good conference call with both of my personal coaches, John Callahan in Aspen and Zach Caldwell in Vermont. We decided I should take the day to get organized, so I ran a bunch of errands before my doctor’s appointment. I picked up a three month handicap parking pass.
It is significantly harder to take pictures when I’m on crutches than it is normally. I can’t quickly reach into my pocket, grab my camera and snap a picture without breaking stride. Now I have to stop, put my crutches down, get my camera out, take a picture, put my camera away and get my crutches situated again before I can keep going. Consequently, I’m not taking nearly as many picture as I normally do. My apologies. Please bear with me.
Winter returned to Summit County, Colorado over the weekend. It is a welcome change from the forty degree weather we’ve been experiencing.
Everything seems to take me three times as long as it normally does since I can’t put weight on my left leg. It’s hard to stay organized and normal tasks like cooking and cleaning take forever. I struggle to carry stuff around the house (I have to hop.) and grocery shopping is a pain. However, I’m very grateful that I hurt my left (as opposed to my right) foot because it allows me to drive. If I couldn’t drive I’d feel very stranded.
Emilia’s condo here in Breckenridge, Colorado felt like a college bunk room over the weekend. On Saturday night there were eight people living in the two bedroom space. Emilia’s friend Patrick Whitehead claimed a huge cardboard box in the loft as his sleeping spot.
I forgot to mention yesterday that I was featured in The Denver Post on Thursday. The article was written by sports’ editor John Meyer. I spoke to John a couple of times last year before and after the Olympics, and I was honored when he contacted me earlier this week to do a story on my injury and my goal of competing in the World Championships in Falun, Sweden in February. Check out the article here.
Last night Emilia and I went down to Main Street in Breckenridge with a bunch of her friends to watch a rail jam competition.
I’ve mentioned in the last couple of posts that I’ve been fighting a virus that has made it very hard and painful to swallow. Dealing with the virus has been a much bigger priority for me than dealing with my ankle because I was struggling to take in very many fluids or calories. I’ve been working with our team doctor, cardiologist Larry Gaul who happens to live here in Vail, to get healthy. On Wednesday he sprayed my throat with a very strong numbing solution that they use for doing throat surgery. I was then able to drink a bunch of water and eat some peanut butter.
I had a really good post-op appointment yesterday with Dr. Thomas Clanton of The Steadman Clinic, who did the surgery on my ankle last week. We took off the gauze and brace that had been on since surgery.
I’ve had a rough couple of days. I’ve been sleeping, or at least lying in bed, a ton. My ankle, which is feeling pretty good, has been surpassed as my biggest issue by what I believe is a virus that makes it very painful to swallow. I have not been eating or drinking very much.
Sunday afternoon my mom, Emilia and I drove from Summit County to Castle Rock, Colorado, an hour and a half away, to visit my grandparents. I didn’t get a chance to see my grandparents before I left for the season. It had been at least six months since I’d see them, and I was psyched to have this opportunity. I wish I’d been feeling a little better, but I had enough energy to play the card game Euchre and Bananagrams. We had a great time.
Emilia and I drove back up to Breckenridge yesterday afternoon in time for Emilia to do a workout and go to a team dinner. My mom stayed in Castle Rock. She’s going to head back to Durango today. I owe her a huge Thank You for everything she did for me the last five days. I couldn’t have gotten through surgery without her.
Once again I am incredibly lucky to have such great supporters. When I made it home yesterday I received an amazing “Get Well” cake from Jack Hart, the local Madshus rep. It ought to help me overcome the pain of swallowing!
This afternoon I have my post-op appointment with Dr. Clanton at The Steadman Clinic in Vail and my first appointment with physical therapist Ana Jeronimus-Robinson at Howard Head Sports Medicine.
I’ve had a tough couple of days of pain management since my surgery on Thursday. Yesterday I tried to ween off the narcotic pain meds. I made it through the day drug free but my pain level spiked in the evening, and I had to go back on a full dose throughout the night so I could sleep. The drugs make me feel nauseous and bad. I have to chose between two evils.
When I was feeling pretty good yesterday afternoon I really wanted to get out of the house, so Emilia, Emilia’s sister Egan and I joined some of Emilia’s friends in town for crepes. Here are Emilia and Egan: