I’m not okay.
I thought I would be okay.
But I’m not okay.
I’m a positive person, I can find the good and the positive in every situation, but I’m struggling to be positive, and that’s when I know, I’m not okay.
When I had my first hip surgery Feb. 2017 I knew it was going to be a fight to get back to the level of racing I wanted to be at. I fought hard through my recovery, I was focused, determined, and driven. There were days I thought I would never be the same, I fought hard in my isolation of recovery, and when the time came, I was right where I needed and wanted to be. I amazed not only myself, but everyone around me. I prepared myself for the absolute worst, and when things fell into place I was elated.
When I found out I had to have a second hip surgery I was devastated, I couldn’t imagine going through all of that again, through the pain, the learning to walk, the learning to ride my bike again. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew I couldn’t continue to race with my left hip the way is was. Even though I knew I needed a second hip surgery, I pressed forward with my season, I kept my head down, I pushed through my PT, I pushed my training, I pushed my racing, I pushed my body. I started training last year (2017) June 8th, as soon as I was given the green light to push, I pushed, and then I pushed straight on through to Worlds, and 4 days after coming home from Worlds, I went under the knife for my second hip surgery.
Even though recovery is spending a lot of time in bed and resting, you’re still pushing. With my second hip surgery I knew what I needed to do, and I planned my life, every hour of it, ahead of time. When I was going to do my PT, when I was going to take a nap, when I was going to eat, rest, etc. I made my recovery as perfect as I could make it, because if I came back once, you sure as hell better believe I’m going to come back even better the second time.
Even though I tried not to put pressure on myself throughout recovery, you know I did. You know in the back of my mind I felt a pressure to do just as well, if not better, this second time. I feel a certain amount of pressure to perform and be the right/perfect athlete for myself, my fans, and my sponsors. I felt this pressure hanging above my head, people would have these expectations of me, I did it once, so theres no reason I shouldn’t be able to do it again. I have my own expectations, and my confidence was feeling pretty good. I wasn’t sure where my fitness was and where it would stack up, but I felt I was going in the right positive direction.
Then I went and crashed my bike and everything hit the fan, and all it took was 10 seconds.
10 seconds I’ll never get back. 10 seconds. It doesn’t seem long, but it is. I can’t go back, and I can’t dwell on what happened, but I can be frustrated. I live in a world of perfection that when I get thrown off, I struggle to figure out other options. I’m having a hard time putting into words where my head is at. Crashing, sitting out the first race of my season, 100% failing (of my expectations) in my first race back, and I feel demoralized and exhausted. I have worked so hard for this the last 1.5 years, I’ve put my head down and I’ve done what I’ve needed to do, I’ve been focused, dedicated, driven, and when I injured myself 4 days before the season, I became heart broken.
I rested, I sat out Reno, I raced in Waterloo. Racing in Waterloo was when I knew my leg wasn’t okay, no matter how badly I wanted to say it was fine, it just wasn’t, and that demoralized me. I thought I would be okay this week, I fought back tears, I fought myself every day to stay positive and keep fighting and recovering. I told myself everything would be okay and things would be just fine. I don’t know how to put into words what I’m feeling, which is strange for me because usually writing is never a struggle. My light is dimming, my fire isn’t strong right now, I have no confidence, I’m scared, I’m timid and I don’t trust myself on the bike, when usually the bike has been an outlet, it’s been my freedom, my joy. Crashing killed my fight, I fought through my first hip surgery, I fought through my second hip surgery, I tried to fight through this, and something killed my fire.
I didn’t start the World Cup in Iowa today, Jingle Cross is my favorite race of the year, but my head wasn’t there. I crashed 3x in 1 lap of course recon before the race and that was when I knew I couldn’t fight anymore. I couldn’t focus, I felt timid on my bike, I didn’t feel confident, and I felt scared. That’s not me. I haven’t been able to stop crying the past 7 days. That’s not who I am. I’m a fighter, I’m driven, I’m motivated, and I do everything in my might to NOT cry (seriously even watching sad movies I hold back tears because I don’t want to cry), but I’m also human.
I don’t want to race to just ride my bike in circles. I want to race to FIGHT, I want to race to WIN, and I want to finish a race and be proud of the effort I put forth. Sitting out races isn’t easy, but when I know I can’t fight at the 100% effort I should be putting in, I know I shouldn’t be out there. I’m going to take a couple of weeks at home to re-collect myself, re-center my head, and I’ll be back. Just watch, because when I come back, I’ll be a whole new me.