The rest of my winter and early spring consisted of lots of physiotherapy at Pinnacle, swimming (or trying to) at the YMCA, yoga training at The Hot Box Yoga, very basic rehabiliation exercises for my knee, and a few trips to Squamish for checkups with my surgeon. It doesn't sound like much but it's amazing how much longer it takes to get everything done when you move slightly faster than a snail's pace.
Since I couldn't do any spring skiing this year Stan and I decided to hit the road and head south to California. We didn't have any fixed plans other than a scheduled visit to Universal Studios in Hollywood. We spent nearly a week traveling and camping along the coastal highway until we arrived in Malibu. Along the way we saw Paul Bunyan, Alcatraz, a magical forest of wood carvings, dolphins, grey whales, possums, mountain goats, and plenty of RV's. At the start of the second week we headed east until we hit Palm Springs. The next four or five days were spent lounging in a pool and eating fresh grapefruits picked from the surrounding trees. A few friends happened to be in LA at the same time so the four of us met up and tackled Universal Studios in one day. We nailed the timing since all the rides (ever some new ones) were open and line-ups were non existent. Like all good things in life, our vacation time was running out. I had to be home to start school on May 8th so we ripped back to Canada over the next two and a half days.
Holidays ended and it was time to get back to real life. I started two psychology courses and an english class in May that continued until Aug 11th. English is tough for me, as you can probably tell from these blogs, but I feel I learned some good tips that will hopefully help me in the future.
July was the start of my strength training to rebuild the muscles in my leg that had withered away. You don't realize how many easy tasks you take for granted until you're injured. That's what training was like for me. Basic easy movements were extremely difficult and took tremendous mental strength just to get through them. Big stepping stones in my training included the first time I was able to pedal a bike, jump on and off a box, do a squat with more than 25lbs on my back, and touch my heel to my bum. These are all fairly easy tasks now but they deffinately weren't at the time! What is amazing is the rate of progression from one week to the next. Each week I am stronger.
I am now reunited with the team in Mt. Hood Oregon and am happy to say that I have successfully completed my first day back on snow! I was nervous to start skiing at first just becasue I expected my knee to feel different than it felt before my accident. After a few slow turns I was pleasantly surprised. My knee feels exactly the same than it used to. I am taking it slow at the moment with skiing. The important thing for me right now is to not rush into anything too soon. Our coach Brent Kehl has done lots of research to find the most effective return to snow post-accident protocol and I feel I am in great hands. I will be down in Mt. Hood with the team over the next two weeks working towards carving at higher speeds, accumulating miles on the mountain bike and generally loving life.
I feel like my knee wouldn't feel as good as it does without all of the help and guidance I've received through my rehab and strength training. My parents have always been the best and most supportive. Pinnacle Physiotherapy in Kelowna and our team physiotherapists at Back in Action Physiotherapy in Whistler have done an amazing job returning my knee to its optimal condition for training. My strength and conditioning coach Craig Hill has guided me through a training program to best suit my needs since the first day I could get back on my feet. I was also doing lots of yoga to not only build up strength in my knee but stability as well. Chris and Sarah at The Hot Box Yoga run an amazing studio and I am so grateful that they have welcomed me into their yoga family! While I did as much as I could during the days, I was also speeding my recovery at night thanks to Geoff at Sleepy's Furniture and Sleep Shop. He set me up with a T3 Ironman Recovery mattress that promotes recovery by increasing blood oxygen levels while I sleep. I only support products that I truly believe in and I feel this mattress works! So thank you to all of those people who have supported me and continue to support me through this minor speed bump in my career.