I have always believed that I’ve been very fortunate
with support, great friends, great coaches and competitors as an aerial skier. Most importantly, I have been fortunate to stay relatively healthy most of my career (generally speaking of course). We all deal with bangs and bruises and major aches and pains, but no major injuries that led to surgery like an ACL reconstruction or shoulder reconstruction.
At the end of this past winter I suffered an injury to my lower back, which only jeopardized the last World Cup of the year. Again, I felt pretty fortunate, as it came at the very end of the season. I figured this was the best time for my injury given that I had the entire spring to rest and recover, which is exactly what I did. After a series of injections and quite a bit of rehab I was optimistic that the majority of my back pain was behind me, and I was free to move forward with my summer training – trampoline work and jumping into a million gallon pool.
Much to my dismay, my back pain lingered as I began my normal training routine early in the summer. I was forced to play a balancing act – needing to take care of my back, but also trying to get through my training and accomplish the goals I set out for myself. This task was particularly challenging, as I have never previously been injured and had to deal with the effects of an injury. As the summer progressed I was able to find the right balance and successfully accomplish both tasks, mitigating my injury and getting back to training.
As snow has begun to fall in Park City and our water ramp season is coming to an end I have grown anxious by the prospect of winter. After all, the main reason us athletes labor away in the off season and battle through injuries is to travel the globe and perform when the whole world is watching! Stay tuned for more updates as the off season progresses into the competitive season.