(Last Updated On: November 22, 2016)
While most Colorado winter enthusiasts loudly wait for winter, wishing that Mother Nature would turn on her frozen faucet, I have been patiently waiting – quietly on the sidelines… For the first time that I could ever remember, actually hoping that it didn’t snow. Not until November 15th anyway.
It’s been a waiting game. I’ve been in limbo since discovering I had a torn ACL and meniscus in my left knee back in July. The healing process was complicated by the fact that I needed to have two surgeries – the first, which took place in August, was to plug up existing tunnels in my bone with bone graft and to undo hardware both from a previous ACL repair. The second surgery, scheduled for later today (November 15th), will repair the actual ACL now that the tunnels have healed, as well as repair the meniscus.
Indeed, I healed from my first surgery quickly – back riding outside about a week post-op, and back on single track just a couple of weeks later. And although it seemed like I was physically fine, mentally I wasn’t all there. I knew a part of me was missing and I didn’t want to mess it up more. I rode a little more cautiously, a little slower than normal, all season long. I was in limbo between the two surgeries – never fully healed, but healed enough to do almost everything I wanted to do.
But, I don’t want ALMOST. I want ALL. I don’t want a physical injury to hold me back – whether that’s physically or mentally. And that’s why I need to complete part 2 of the staged surgeries. I need that ACL. I need a strong knee to do the things that I want to do.
While the waiting game between surgeries is over, a new waiting game has arrived – the Road to Recovery. Anyone who has had a serious injury knows that healing requires patience and diligence. Going on my 3rd ACL repair and 6th surgery overall, I know these things far too well.
I’ve had a great summer and fall of riding and was blessed with the weather to be able to ride so late in the season in my hometown of Crested Butte. Usually I hang up my wheels long before this, except for a few short trips to the desert.
During the last days, I even snuck in a few turns – one day at A-Basin, the other at Loveland. A two-day ski season is the shortest one I’ve had since I first put on two planks at 4 years of age.
Assuming all goes well, I’ll be back riding outside in 3 months, and on singletrack around 6. By this time next year, I’ll be back on skis and the waiting game will all be over. I’ll have a strong knee that is no longer suffering to keep up with my demands, making the whole procedure totally worth it.
So, let the next waiting game begin….