Changes

15Mar13

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. The last time I checked in, I was chasing the Colorado Cross Cup title in the single speed division, nursing a minor (so I thought) knee injury and interviewing with a few companies in the cycling industry. That part wasn’t public back then, but there were some exciting things brewing.

In November and December, a lot happened. I accepted a job with QBP in Minneapolis to be an Art Director for Foundry Cycles, Whisky Parts Co., Lazer and Ridley. While I swore I’d never live outside the west again, as they say, never say never. The opportunity was just too good. It was a dream for me to mix my 10 years as a Creative with my years as a cycling fanatic and racer. Plus, Minneapolis is great and I’ve always liked their cycling, art and design culture. So Chryssi and I got some bigger jackets and headed North.

Around the same time I was entertaining moving North (November), I had a doctors visit for my knee to go over my MRI in Denver. I knew the day would come where I would do irreparable damage to something on my body and unfortunately, Sienna Lake was that day.

After a few weeks of holidays, my doctor being on vacation, etc I finally got the prognosis on my knee. Bad news. Real bad news. I torn ACL and a severely brused bone on knee joint (the white area in the bone in the MRI below). It’s bizarre, but I din’t feel much pain or instability. More general discomfort.

Knee MRI

With little instability, I decided to do some rehab, get through the move to Minneapolis and go from there. For a few months, I got my range of motion back and rode my bike in the mornings on the trainer and did some ACL rehab excercises. On the weekends, we went on rides on frozen lakes and enjoyed getting to know the city on our mountain bikes. While I was ‘seriously’ injured, I still felt relatively good, so I stayed active.

Since I was fairly stable, I was thinking of just going without the surgery. The more I read, the more I learned that ACL’s don’t heal, you just learn to compensate. Many people don’t have issues, but when the knee does give out, often you rip up even more tendons and ligaments and even tear up cartilege that can’t be repaired. In other words, without surgery, I was putting myself at risk of walking like Travis Pastrana when I was 40 if I kept up the same level of activity without surgery.

I’ve always been really against surgery, but since I’m still relatively young, I decided after much deliberation to get my ACL reconstructed. So here I am, 2 days out of surgery. I opted for the Patellar tendon graft. I almost went with a cadavor, but wanted my own tissue and the strongest graft. I’m a bit scared at how far I still have to go. I’m currently working at lifting my leg repeatedly and just getting basic motion back. Other than getting really sick from some pain meds, the knee is great. I’ve already had my first rehab session and so far the swelling isn’t bad at all. I’m really thankful that I have such a supportive girl in my life and my parents, family and coworkers have been very supportive.

I’m looking at 6-9 months until I’m 100% and I’ve pulled the plug on this race season. It’s an odd feeling going from being on two teams and racing a ton to not racing at all, but I need the mental space to chill out, recover, take care of myself, enjoy this new city with my girl and really dig into my new dream job.

I’m not going to lie, I’m really missing Colorado, my friends, the teams I rode for and all the amazing things I had in my backyard. I’m sure my new backyard will be cool once this knee heals and I can explore a bit more!

Here’s to getting back on the saddle stronger than ever!

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