The future is still in your power…

16 Sep

Christa, in her ski racing days, on the top step of the podium

Unfortunately, Christa knows all too well how to return from an injury.  You can go here to read about her injuries.  Even though she struggled through those injuries, Christa did come out of that time of her life as one of the strongest willed athletes I know.  With that being the case, she is a great person to talk to about coming back from injury.  I watched her go through her recoveries and was always amazed, and admittedly threatened (sisterly competition will forever be present) by how she would get back on snow after 6-8 months of recovery and ski like she hadn’t missed a beat.  Here are some questions I asked her to help me, or anyone recovering from an injury, during this trial of being an athlete.

Erika: How did you stay positive through all of your injuries?

Christa: I think that it was hard to stay positive through all of my injuries, but knowing that the end result would get me back to where I wanted to be was how I kept my head up.

Erika: Did you have anything in particular that helped you stay motivated during the time that you were injured?

Christa:  On my door I had a quote that said, “The past cannot be changed, but the future is still in your power.”

Erika:  Once you got back on snow, you always picked up right where you left off.  How did you get your mind in a place to ski confidently?

Christa:  No one except you can know how much effort you put into being as strong as you are getting back on snow.  No one will know how well you are recovering from the last PT session.  PTs can watch you during PT, but they can’t see you go home and take care of your injury yourself.  So knowing that I put everything into it to make my body as good as it could be coming back on snow made me really confident in my knee and in my recovery.  Knowing that I put as much effort as possible into my recovery and my training gave me confidence that I was ready when I got back on snow, and knew that I could pick up right where I left off.

Erika:  At the time you are injured, you aren’t thinking about the long-term, but now that you are an elite bike racer, do you think you grew through your injuries?

Christa: I learned a lot about pain threshold.  I learned that the type of pain I feel on my bike can’t compare to the pain that I’ve been through after surgery.  I learned a lot about my body and how to treat my body and how to listen to my body.  While recovering from injury you need to be really cautious of what your body is telling you.  This comes into play as a bike racer because I am better at listening to my body during a workout, or during recovery, or during off-season or off days.  It has helped in knowing what to change in my workouts or what to do different during recovery sessions to be good to my body.

Erika: Anything else that you would want to tell someone recovering from an injury?

Christa:  You don’t see it while you are there, but it is making you stronger than you would be without it.

Thanks, sister, for the inspiration!  Most of the time, being injured it out of your control.  The best thing I got from my sister is that the future is still in your power.  How hard you are working is in your control.  By doing everything in your power to recover as efficiently and as strong as possible, you will return to your sport with the mental confidence to pick up right where you left off.

Christa on the cover of the Aspen Times, winning a criterium this summer



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