on a comeback from injury.
When you were at school, crutches would be captivating, if anyone came into school with a set of crutches there would be an immediate line formed all waiting to have a go. Yes, I was amongst the ones allured by the strange looking metal sticks. However, after 5 months having to use the wretched things, even the sight of them gives me an abhorrent feeling. So when I was told that I was able to swap the crutches for my bike I was more than happy. From getting the news that I was finally fixed to pedalling was maybe….a couple of minutes. It was only for a slender 10 minutes but that was all I needed to feel content.
Back in August 2015 during the USA Pro Challenge I crashed and broke the Talus bone in my ankle. It’s a complicated bone and includes far to many important elements in order for the ankle to work so it wasn’t an injury I was willing to rush.
I have now been training for three months and they have flown by, if only they had gone this fast when I was ‘with’ cast. I rode inside for the first three weeks before venturing out onto the road. I saw a lot of progress very quickly over the first six weeks, which was encouraging. Of course there are still improvements but they are not as pronounced as they were at the beginning.
I am now able to train like I was prior to the injury and include efforts and climb’s that a month ago wouldn’t have been possible. The most challenging part has been the many hours of physiotherapy and swimming sessions, educating the right side of my body and right ankle to work again. Turn’s out that when the ankle joint has been stuck in one position for 21 weeks it can be pretty stubborn when it has to start working again.
People might see it as strange but I am happy that I have been able to go through something so significant. The adventure and freedom that cycling gives you is something I will never take for granted again. I knew coming back from injury was going to be difficult but I haven’t wavered with motivation, it has given me a bigger fire in my belly.
I get to join my Canyon-SRAM team-mates for the first time this weekend (16th April). Lining up on the start line having been away from racing for over 8 months is making me a little anxious but I am super excited. Here’s hoping it goes well and I don’t get too much of a shock!
Words: Hannah Barnes @bannahharnes
Photos: Collyn Aharrt @collynahart