Coming back from an injury is a pain. But not coming back is even worse.
Since 2013 my boyfriend and I keep going to Lake Garda, mostly as a main holiday and ‘us-time’ but as an active couple we always pack the car with all our sports equipment: wetsuit, swim suit, running shoes – and our (road) bikes. I love the mountains and the scenic location and I love feeling the burn in my lungs and my legs when we go for long bike rides in the mountains.
However, the burn I felt in my knee on our last trip to Lake Garda in March 2016 was different. Not too bad, but definitely a new kind of pain. Everybody who goes beyond his own physical limits every now and then know that pain is part of the game. The good pain. The ‘I did work hard’-pain. The pain that goes away after some days of rest. The pain that makes us stronger. Little did I know that this pain was about to end in the longest injury I ever had.
It’s not that bad
I continued training for my triathlon season as I always did, I rested a little more thinking the pain will go away as it usually does. It didn’t go away, so I went to see a doctor who did several tests and a MRI that didn’t show anything bad. As it still didn’t go away, so I went to a physiotherapist. Because of unknown reasons my knee didn’t have the best stability but as that sounded like something I could work on, we did all the strength training and balance exercises. It didn’t get better.
During that time I often got the recommendation “Go ride your bike! Cycling is good for knees!” – what sounded like a really good idea in my triathlon ears, especially to keep my form on a somewhat good level after running got more and more impossible due to the pain. But as a surprise for my physiotherapist, my doctor, my trainer and also myself cycling outdoors felt super bad as well. Cycling indoors was “kinda okay” – but who likes riding his bike indoors in summer? I mean: who even likes riding his bike indoors in winter?!
My 2016 season resulted in endless hours spent riding my bike on my balcony (to get at least a little of outdoor feeling and breeze), even more hours spent in the pool (I think I swam more that year than I swam in my entire life), three rather painful sprint triathlons (with surprisingly good results thanks to my really good swim form), one arthroscopy, the surprisingly bad diagnosis of an ACL-rupture and two weeks later the ACL-reconstruction.
Since October 28th I’m fighting my way back to the really satisfying level of general fitness, body positivity, confidence and strength my triathlon training & competing has brought to me last year – and beyond that to find my limits and push further than them.
I’m happy to share my recovery story on the La Ridley blog to motivate other girls & women who struggle with an injury, to show them how you can take the positive aspects of a lesson like this and also to show you what an important role cycling had in all of this!