Thursday, March 11, 2010

Makin' Moves! Week 5

This past week has been a busy and exciting one. I studied way more than I would like to admit, took three midterms, and worked out longer and harder than I have since before my surgery. I am currently back in Steamboat Springs at the NCAA National Champs cheering on my fellow Utes. My team had a great day yesterday and Eva was crowned the 2010 NCAA GS Champion. Sofia and Anna had good showings and the guys attacked from the back. The Utes ended the first day of competition sitting in second place, great start!

I was able to add a lot of balancing drills to my regular workouts this week. I surprised myself each day with how much more stability and strength I seemed to gain with each nights rest. We have now started to implement more weight training and squats into my programs. I am comfortably able to single leg press 100lbs now, which I certainly didn't expect to be able to do for a few more weeks. I am also doing a lot of single leg balancing on everything you can imagine, from bosu balls to dyna discs. I am feeling great after this week, very strong, pain free, and extremely excited with the progress I have made so far. This week things have really started to feel natural again and I cannot wait for the coming days and weeks. I AM FIRED UP!


Friday, March 5, 2010

One Month Down: I was told this would be hard...

Well, here I am one month out from surgery. When I first found out my knee was blown I was told story after story of pain and suffering. I was told this would be the hardest time of my life to this point. I was told the story of a 225lb. running back crying on a daily basis. I was told the story of a tennis player who lost all faith in herself and never made it back to the top. I was told I WOULD BE TESTED. The first thing that ran through my mind when I was told how hard this was going to be was how minor this actually is. I am not in a fight for my life, I just have to deal with a few months of hard work. It has helped keep the entire thing in perspective and helped me to stay motivated.

I have seen pain and suffering before. An ACL tear is nothing compared to what I have seen first hand. I have seen friends' lives change after horrible accidents, a couple of times in fact. I have helped a friend through a recovery in which he could not get out of his own bed 7 months later to take a piss. I have visited another friend once a month in the hospital only to not be recognized each time for 10 months. I have seen accidents change close friends lives and have seen them be tested, really tested. I have been a shoulder to cry on for a 22 year old guy... multiple times. I have taught a 19 year old things he knew when he was 10... These guys were being tested. Every time I start to feel sorry for myself or think about how much something hurts I think about these two people that I know very well. Each of them will never be the same, but they both are now making the most out of their lives. They both have to live with their accidents and injuries every day, and will for the rest of their lives. I tore my fricken' ACL, BIG DEAL! This is a cake walk in comparison. If I am in fact being tested, I am glad I already understand how much worse things could be. I am rehabbing to ski again, these guys rehabbed to be able to hold a spoon and sit up in a bed. I have seen sweat pouring out of my friends forehead while he was trying to learn how to use his fingers 6 months after his accident. I have the greatest respect in the world for these two kids and they both are helping me get through this more than they could possibly imagine. I would just like to say thanks to Mitch and Josie, for showing me how to fight.

Alright, back to the me and my bum knee. This past week has gone very well. I have added new exercises and seen large gains in my overall comfort level. I am lifting, balancing, squatting, and have achieved full extension. Many exercises I thought I was not going to be able to perform for another month are being added daily with no pain. My knee is progressing very well and I am excited each day when I am able to push myself harder and harder. Here is a list of the exercises that have been added this week:

Exercise Bike @ full-resistance, I am even standing doing intervals when I feel comfortable.

Bosu Ball Squats

Leg Press @ 85 lbs. (single leg)

Single Leg Balance(foam pad) while playing catch with med-ball

Sport Cord Walk Outs (around my waist) - each side and backwards

I have also started adding more and more resistance to each of the exercises I have been doing up until this week. My workouts are now getting longer and much more strenuous... I wouldn't have it any other way.

The big thing this week which has helped kick start my recovery is the biking. I had been spinning with no resistance for a few weeks now and it is great to be able to kick it up and really work now. In a couple weeks I will be able to start riding outdoors which I have been looking forward to for a long time.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Knee @ Week Three





A Couple Wins: One on the hill, another in the gym.

Right after I finished my last post I headed over to Howelsen Hill to watch the battle of the evening, the NCAA western regional final slalom. It was a great show, it really made me want to be back in the game. The guys race was pretty tough, there were only a handful of guys that gave the steep and difficult hill the respect it deserved and crossed the finish line with two clean runs. On the women's side things ran a bit smoother, atleast for my team... Anna brought home the win, she finally skied the way we all know she can. Howelsen Hill will also be the site of the 2010 NCAA Ski Championships which will be held the end of next week. It was really good for my teammates to get a crack at the hill now so it is still fresh in their minds when they go back next week and try their best to be national champs.

My knee is feeling better than ever, I know I keep saying this but each day it just keeps surprising me. I had a long workout today, broke a sweat, added some new stuff, and left feeling as strong as I did the week before surgery. My swelling is 100% gone with the exception of one small area on the outside of my kneecap. I am also walking around normally with zero pain, no limp, and no brace. I am even starting to not notice a difference between the two legs in everyday activities.

Today's Workout:

Normatech Compression- 30 minutes
GameReady Ice/Compression- 30 minutes
Spin Bike- 30 minutes
Shuttle Board Squats- 4x10 at full resistance(this is a giant leap from last week)
Single Leg Calf Raises- 3x20
Hamstring Curl(physioball)- 3x15
Hamstring Curl(machine)-3x10
Balanced on foam pad with resistance band behind knee while straightening and flexing quad(no name for this exercise, haha)-4x15
Quad Sets- 3x15
Straight Leg Raises- 4x10 holding 5 sec.
15 minutes of balance work (mostly single leg)
GameReady Ice/Compression- 30 minutes
Hamstring Massage (it's getting a little angry at me for making it work again)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Regionals- Steamboat Springs

Hey guys, sorry it has been awhile since my last post. I have a couple of midterms coming up so I have been burying myself in text books for the last four days. On Thursday morning I made my way over to Colorado to watch my teammates at their last regular season races. The knee has been feeling excellent and I am happy to report that my doctors and trainers have completely cleared me for walking with no crutches and no brace, pretty sick! It actually feels incredibly stable and is getting stronger and stronger each day. My pain is basically gone and I have been told I have made it through the toughest days of my recovery. I am now to the point where every single day I see gains in range of motion and stability, it is certainly exciting. Three weeks ago I never thought I would be up on the mountain walking around with no brace in the snow feeling comfortable and pain free this soon. The weather was great yesterday during the GS races, Julia and I found some lawn chairs next to a pool that was directly below the finish area, best seats I have ever had to watch a race! The sun was nice and warm and we both got some color. This morning we headed over to nordic venue to watch our nordic team compete for their spots on the NCAA championship team. The boys fought hard, making the race one of the most exciting I have seen. I am now back in the hotel watching the Olympic slalom on the internet and my pick for the win, Giuliani Razzoli, is sitting in first. Tonight the team is racing slalom under the lights at my favorite venue, Howelson Hill, last time I raced there I took home the win. Should be a great show, I just wish I were racing!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Doin' Work

Today was a great day, it was the best I have felt in one of my workouts yet. Due to the massive decrease in swelling we were able to add a few more exercises, including hopping on a spin bike! I am very happy my range of motion has improved quickly so I can finally start to get some quality endurance workouts in amidst all the knee stuff. Not to mention, spinning really helps my knee loosen up and feel better. Just a couple more months and I will be able to start riding up into the mountains, which are already calling my name!

Workout 2/22
GameReady-30 minutes
Calf stretch(towel)-5 minutes
Calf stretch(angle board)-5 minutes
Ankle dorsal flex(with resistance)-3 sets of 15
Ankle side flex(with resistance)-3 sets of 15
Prone Hang-7 minutes
Quad sets(with stem)-10 seconds on 10 seconds off for 15 minutes
Straight leg raises-3 sets of 15
Slide board leg press(no weight)-Up and down 15 minutes continuous
Spin bike(no resistance)-15 minutes
Foam roll hamstring curl-3 sets of 15
Ice/Stem-15 minutes

It was a great day in the gym, felt strong and relatively pain free the entire session. My knee is pretty sore now, but I am sure I will feel better in the morning.

Swelling Basically Non-Existent This Morning!