I am sorry this didn’t get put up earlier. This was a letter I wrote on Tuesday night to go out to friends and fans, but then I just didn’t have time Wednesday to upload the document from my computer to my email…I had no wifi on my computer with the INSANELY busy schedule I ran yesterday as I found out I was getting surgery in Vail, CO today. I am working on an update about the surgery so please check back. I will however, just inform everyone that surgery on my right knee went well, and I couldn’t be happier in my decision to see Dr. LaPrade.
Here were my thoughts, worries, and decisions as of Tuesday night:
Thursday, July 21 seemed to be a good training session heading into the 2011 UCI BMX World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. I had a great warm up and solid two time trial laps on the Chula Vista SX track. All of my training for the past few months seemed to be paying off, I was seeing results, I was confident coming fresh off five ABA wins, a US National Championships title, and I was completely recovered from my November, 2010 right fibula/ankle injury. I was mentally sound and feeling extremely ready for the Worlds and the next few exciting months ahead with the individual USA Olympic points starting to count in August at the London test event.
However, my third time trial of the training session had a plan of its own.
A quick “OTB” (over the bars) on the second obstacle dashed my opportunity at a 2011 Rainbow Jersey, my chances at some very crucial points in the USA BMX Olympic Power rankings, and likely my chances at an ABA National #1 Women’s Pro title…for the second year in a row.
INJURIES: An MRI Friday, read by at least four qualified people, confirmed that, what appeared a simple knee hyperextension with no swelling was actually much worse: a Grade III tear of my LCL (lateral collateral ligament), a Grade III tear of my outer hamstrings tendon (biceps femoris), a Grade II tear of my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), a hairline femur fracture, and a whole lot of bone bruising.
PROGNOSIS: I am not confirmed on which surgeon I will be working with at this moment. I will confirm that later in the week. As far as injuries go though, my LCL and my Hamstrings Tendon are the major concerns at this point and will be first to be repaired; likely by the end of this week. The surgeon I met with says he would not repair my ACL immediately or within the same surgery due to the fact that that is just too much surgery for the knee to handle at once. My risk for stiffness, swelling, and loss of range of motion would increase significantly. That said, he would take a peek at the ACL while fixing my LCL and tendon to determine if it even needs surgery to heal. If my knee is still unstable after the first surgery, he would go back in around 6 weeks later and repair the ACL separately. At this time, it appears I will be able to use my own tissue to repair my hamstring tendon, but they will need to completely reconstruct my LCL with new tissue. All in all, it could be six-to-eight-months of recovery before I can get back out on an SX track.
“Disappointed” would be an understatement of my situation. I cannot even put into words, all of the things that are going through my head right now. There are so many things at this point that are out of my control. After working so hard at a goal for so long, it’s extremely hard to swallow that I’m not completely in control of my own destiny in these crucial months to come. Athletes sacrifice a lot to convert their dreams to reality. It’s a 365-day-a-year job. Everything you do affects your body and our bodies are our engines, our livelihood and, most importantly, our happiness. So, to have that all taken away for an extended period of time, as a result of a single fall is both emotionally and physically crushing. But I guess it’s a risk us adrenaline junkies take, and must accept when it hits.
I don’t want to ramble on about my emotions and all the gory details in this note…because, frankly, I’m not ready for it yet. This has hit me hard and I am doing everything in my power to keep a smile on my face, because that’s always been my greatest strength. I went through a serious injury very recently and healed up much quicker than expected, I believe, because I kept a good head on my shoulders. I learned a lot about myself throughout that process, became a much stronger individual, and came back riding better than ever. I believe the same will happen with this injury, it is just overwhelming at the moment to accept that this is happening again so soon at such a critical time.
I would like to thank my sponsors (Redline, JBL Audio, Tangent, Oakley, Tioga, Answer) my friends, family, and fans for all of your continued support through both the good and tough times. I cannot stress enough that a strong support system is what gets people through times like this.
Thanks to everyone, especially my sponsors, for believing in me and continuing to support me, both through great sponsorships and just being friends…a shoulder to lean on.
Check back here, on my twitter account (Beasty_11), my Facebook fanpage (Alise Post), and my Redline Video Blog on Redlinebicycles.com for regular updates.