As I was trying to pass in my ‘specific training’ session, I must have kneeled and put all my body weight on my patella (knee cap). I felt it sublux, and after a few seconds, go back in. Not sure what was worse – the pain or the disgusting picture I painted in my head. Both made me feel queazy. I wanted to cry, as my initial thoughts were around the lines of ‘what on Earth am I gonna do in Vegas if I can’t compete or train for Worlds’. Not happy.
After a while the pain subsided and I limped to the car. The knee didn’t actually feel too bad for a while and Lachie (who is an amazing physiotherapist) assured me my ACL was intact. But when I got home, the fun started. The pain was bad. I didn’t sleep that night as I couldn’t find a comfortable position and cringed while re-playing the incident in my head.
An ultrasound conformed a grade 1 tear of the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Not as bad as we originally thought. Except the swelling inside the joint is still unanswered for. Usually, there is no intra-articular (inside the knee joint) swelling in MCL injuries. So I have probably damaged my meniscus or the capsule in the process.
The pain was pretty bad for about 2-3 days, which saw my limping and working as a crippled physiotherapist. Not a good look for my patients, but at least it gives me empathy for how painful these injuries are. I started gentle rehab on day 1 post injury – training balance and gentle range of motion exercises. I knuckled down on upper body strength, churning out chin ups and bench press for the first time in 3 years. Being at the gym with my teammates made things more fun, but also more depressing. Seeing everyone roll made me envious. I am lucky to have such a supportive coach though, who took time out every training and encourage me to keep going.
After a week, I was cleared to start leg strengthening. I went from 10kg squats to 60kg squats in 2 days. Not bad, but hard on the ego. As a sprint cyclist I used to squat 120kgs. That’s half of what I’m doing now! So I’m feeling pretty scrawny at the gym and long for a nice booty.
At this stage the GTA Comp on the 13th May looks unlikely. This is very upsetting for me, as it was to be my last hit out before Worlds. It is also an amazingly fun competition with awesome prizes. I should be ok for Worlds though, which is what matters at this stage. But for now it’s back to the gym, drilling and weights…
“The practice sessions of aspiring champions have a specific and never-changing purpose: progress. Every second of every minute of every hour, the goal is to extend one’s mind and body, to push oneself beyond the outer limits of one’s capacities, to engage so deeply in the task that one leaves the training session, literally, a changed person.”