I've been managing injury since Sept 2010. Basically, it's a pelvic/hip problem which has been causing a series of related injuries in my left quad, hip and knee. It has been an immensely frustrating period but lately progress has been good and we are all optimistic that full recovery is not far away. I have been looked after very well by the VIS team of specialists, without whom I would have cracked. The injury meant that I had to miss nationals and am only just returning to racing now. It is a slow and frustrating process.
I chose not to pursue a team contract overseas for this year. Racing in Europe is great but so is my career, my life and relationships in Australia and the best combination for my general happiness is to do a bit of racing o/s without spending the whole year away. My plan had been to train up a storm over Summer, and get results at nationals, Tour of NZ and Oceanias that were good enough to go overseas with the national team for some cool races in 2011 - like what I did last year. Unfortunately, getting injured put paid to my master plan.
Rehab has been pretty intense - at one stage I counted up 9 rehab-related appointments each week - and I was getting sick of not making progress. So I've taken some time out from my career as a lawyer to focus on getting back to full fitness and back overseas. The paycheck isn't quite the same but I can be a lawyer for a lot longer than I can be a cyclist, and taking some time out to re-evaluate my career direction will be good for my mental health. I've got a few projects I'd like to give some time to (including rebuilding Ride Happy into something bigger and better) and this is the perfect time to explore them. I'm doing some more writing and am just about to start working with Scody. I've also just been granted a scholarship to study post graduate Law and business strategy, thanks to a partnership between VIS and Open Universities.
So that's about it. Injury is part and parcel of being an elite athlete, and some of us have to deal with it more than we'd like to. I'm immensely lucky to have the support of the VIS and some awesome sponsors (they're listed on the right, but a special shout out to John Hill @ High5, Mel Lambourn @ St Mel and Marcus Speed @ Perfect Pilates - you guys rock). My coach, Donna Rae-Szalinski, is The Original Supercoach, and if anyone can get me back into form it's her. The lovely Andy continues to be lovely. All in all, I am very lucky.
My race calendar for the next little while looks to be the national road series in Australia, and if I can show some lightning form, maybe some races overseas. At the end of the day, if I ride fast, I'll get overseas. If I don't, I won't. Pretty simple really.
Whew! That's enough factoids for today. Don't worry kids, the Ride Happy you know and love will be back to normal tomorrow!