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Me at Forest Gate during the 2011 ssdt
Bit bored today, fell over earlier after getting a little to quick on my crutches so have decided to stay off my feet and have a good rest today. Spent a lot of time moving about yesterday between the clinic and the university buildings so was shattered last night and slept like a baby.
Today I'm home alone, Jen is out at work and my parents who have been coming round to help me out are out. My mum's gone shopping and my dad has gone to take the 2011 250 Gas Gas to be sold. Its no use to me so may as well go now before the 2012 models get released and devalue my 6 trial old bike. By the time I'm fit and well I'll probably be going straight on to a 2012 bike anyway so its not all bad news.
Nothing much to report on the rehab front as I'm still in the rest and repair phase. Saw a good joke on twitter about Matthew Upson calling his son "Chin" so he'd never need to do to much to motivate him when he was down. Chin Upson!!. I take that back, its an awful joke but I guess it did remind me that recovery is all about keeping your chin up and learning from the experience. Been getting a lot of tweets from Heath with links to his and his fathers old bikes, photos of the legendary Steve Saunders and links to cool videos to keep me entertained. Jamie Hail has found me some links to hopefully watch the outdoor WTC that happened in Germany last weekend, hopefully a chance to see Toni Bou in action on his awesome Repsol Montesa.
I started the day catching up on a few videos of myself in Scotland post injury whilst everything was still just hanging in there. Then after breakfast and a little work I settled into a few surfing videos, a few from Banzaii Pipleline in Hawaii, Just Add Water featuring Clay Marzo (a personal favorite due to his struggle to stay involved in his sport despite Asperger's, which gave me problems when I ride pro) and some of the legendary Kelly Slater.
Might just sound like a lazy day, but, when faced with such a long lay off its the only way to keep an athlete's (either pro or part time) chin up. So remember, what ever your facing, keep your chin up and look to the future.
Had a good meeting with my GP yesterday and she got me booked into see the specialist today at 2pm.
A few days ago I went from being full weight bearing (FWB) with no problems to my current state of being non weight bearing (NWB). I have a long road to recovery and hopefully my blogging will assist others in their recovery in the future.
My main aim is to hopefully help you prevent it. Prevention is better than cure and I'm in a pretty miserable place right now so I'd urge you to avoid this at all costs.
As most of you know I'm fairy well skilled at rehab and am obsessed with nutrition. I also have asperger's and follow strict patterns and routines with my diet and lifestyle. The rupture is my own doing and given my time again I'd change the weeks prior to the injury. So, how did it occur.
So, there you go, a catalog of errors. I nursed a sore achilles through almost 3 weeks and just didn't quite do a good enough job on the last day. Before starting riding on Saturday I commented that my achilles felt ready to snap, I just didn't expect to be that accurate in my diagnosis.
Their were tears shed between the section I did it at (last one at Ben Nevis), and the finish. As anyone who has had a rupture knows, its not that painful. After the initial feeling of being shot it goes kind of warm. Mine did hurt a little as I continued to try and ride across Ben Nevis for a few miles one footed in a desperate attempt to reach the finish. I even wiped my tears and tried to ride the last section as I knew it would be my final time riding for a considerable amount of time. The tears though were more likely due to the realisation of what I'd done, how long my road to recovery is. I also felt massive disappointment in failing to stop it happening. I have asperger's and my passion is anatomy, physiology and biology (nutrition). Within seconds of it happening I knew what it was and had worked out a plan, the jigsaw of how it happened fell into place while I way being helped out of the section. When I see a client I can formulate a picture (I see things visually) of what caused their issue so I really had though it through while the watching spectators were still wondering what had happened to me. The guy helping me said I looked white with shock (remember I'm tanned from Hawaii) and it was more the shock of thinking "how could I let this happen".
I've had lots of nice messages from spectators, fellow riders and some health professionals. It kills me to know I won't be riding for a while but I'll be back observing and helping out from the other side of the fence as soon as I am partial weight bearing (PWB). Hopefully once I'm in a boot with my foot at 90 degs I'll be allowed to ride a bike round flat ground just to keep me happy. Other than that I aim to take some photos at trials which I enjoy but just never get the chance. Hopefully I'll be able to snap Donald Young with his foot down...
Once I'm past the surgery stage, I know I'm in the best hands in terms of rehabilitation...my own!!
Yesterday I felt a sharp pain behind my right ankle, like if somebody had shot me. I instantly knew what it was, my heel was numb and I couldn’t stand either on my footrest or the floor. Tony and Geoff helped me get off the moor to the next section and made sure I didn't slip and cause further damage.
After handing in my card and collapsing at the Pidcock area (Lee thought I had bike, not body problems), my dad took me to hospital where they took confirmed my self diagnosis after performing a Thompson Test (I'd already tried one and feared the worst. They gave me some pain killers (thought I'd better take them) and put me in a cast.
So, its the day after the injury, sadly its a Sunday so all I can do is wait until tomorrow and rest it. In the morning the plan is to seek specialist advice and get the operation asap. Research shows the quicker the op is performed the greater the recovery.
Well thats it all over for another year. The big news is that 35 year old veteran Dougie Lampkin didn't start the final day after his crash on Thursday left him with severe ligament damage
Slightly less "big" news is that my achilles which has troubled me in recent weeks snapped this afternoon at the Ben Nevis group and caused me another succession of fives as I attempted to reach the finish unable to stand on one leg
Whilst riding the section I suddenly felt like I'd been shot in the back of my leg, followed by radiating heat. I instantly knew what had happened and stopped. Boyd got my bike out for me and the observer leant me his shoulder to hobble out of the section.
From this point it was a case of working out whether to ride off the moor or wait for assistance. As I was only 3 sections I decided to chance it and aim for the finish. Geoff and Tony babysat me across the moor and got me to the Nevis Forest where I took 2 fives. From there it was on the the road and off towards the final section, town hall brae, which rather daftly I tried (and failed). Next stop was A&E for some very speedy service and they confirmed my thoughts that it had snapped.
So, I have a plaster cast and a fair amount of time till I can ride again which will be frustrating as hell because I'm desperate to ride the Montesa again. A huge thank you to Lee, Mick, Chris and everyone else at Pidcock Montesa Honda, sorry I limped into the finish, but I'm glad I got the bike round as its been more than fun all week.
Final positions are available on ssdt.org but James Dabill won, Michael Brown second and Graham Jarvis third which is amazing for someone who gave up trials but came back to take on the factory sponsored riders. Commiserations to Wiggy, think the whole trials world feels for him after his chain came off and robbed him of the win.
Picture Credit ~ Donald Young Leanachan Section 1 on Monday. New bike, no scratches
A 79 mile blast round the peninsula yesterday, (road race day). Sections were harder than on every other day and a lot of marks were being lost by riders. I felt like I was riding about the best I have all week. Just before group I (i think) I sustained a wrist injury and re-damaged my left knee which led to a succession of 5's. So I limped home with a succession of fives which saw my score rocket from 33 up to 93 for the day.
Have never been so glad to return to the apartment and both relax and work on my injuries. Am walking a little better today but am not sure how long it will hold. Going down soon to see if I can hold the bars. Also have a little repair work to do post crash.
Picture credit ~ Donald Young. Taken at Trotters Burn
Little late posting about day four. Yesterday was my late day, I started at 11:16 and we managed to overcome a few little setbacks to race round all day and make it in just inside the time limit. So, I wasn't back here till 8pm and food and a bath took priority over blog updates.
The day started with the huge road ride out to Chairlift in very wet conditions. I saw from photos that the early numbers had a nice dry start to their day. By the time we arrived the sections were covered in mud.
We then continued to Ba House and then back on the road for a short blast to the start of Rannock Moor. From this part we become very isolated from all the support vehicles. For me with its always a nervous part of the week that I'm always happy to make it through. I know my Dad isn't keen on not knowing how I am and I'm sure its the same for every-bodies families.
Everybody breathes a sigh of releif when their rider arrives from the final group at Fersit. Dougie fived the penultimate section at Fersit yesterday and sustained ankle ligament damage (prob atfl). The results show that I cleaned it so it would be nice to see what caught out the multi world champion.
Tough day today, officially the fourth rider out on the course, however, as people hung about waiting me, Tony and Geoff found ourselves riding every group first rather than risk time penalties. A trip over the ferry came early in the day, and in the opposite direction to usual. Lots of great moor crossings which really brought the bike into a league of its own,
The new group (forgot the name at the moment) had some large steps which were like ice for us early numbers, plus a lot of spectators keen to view the new sections. Had a great ride on the first one and was also pleased to be the first to make it up trotters burn in such slippy conditions.
The video below is me from Forest Gate during Tuesday's route.
Picture by Jamie Hail
99 miles (i think) today with a lot of good moor crossings. Been up to Fort Augustus, Tomchrasky, Ceannacroc and then back through the Glengarry Forest with the final section at the infamous witches burn. Another warm day, especially out on the moors.
Bike went well again and absolutly flew up some of the waterfalls and has provided lots of smiles across the moor crossings.
Picture by James Hail
Great day out in the sun today in tropical conditions. Started around 9ish and set of for the first group. First section went well after some words of wisdom from Boyd Webster who has rode Montesa for a fair while. He told me to leave the clutch alone and he was right. Had a soft five at the second section when I mistimed a step and failed to get up it. Mind you better riders than me failed it so I'm not too upset.
Overtook my old schoolboy hero at one point (Eddy Lejeune) although I shouldn't of actually overtook him because he's supposed to be behind me. Turns out the Lejeune family missed a group of sections.
Felt a little tired after the lunch break, a combination of jet-lag and having to eat my lunch in 15 minutes!!! Bike rode well and I can report back that they are as much fun to ride as people have always told me. Was funny watching my riding companion Tony working his bike through the gearbox and using a lot of clutch to keep the bike going forward whilst I simply rode off the throttle. I remember the "never quite in the right gear" feeling very well. All is good at Team Pidcock with Jarvis sitting comfortably on 1 mark which is good seeing as he was number 33 today. Now he's got his early day out of the way he should settle in nicely.
Had a bath and am ready for bed now, day 2 coming up tomorrow.
Sunday 1st May 2011, day before the trial kicks off. Still an important day as everyone signs on, has their bike scrutinized and takes part in the parade through Fort William high street. Lot more people there watching this year which is either due to the 100 year anniversary or the tropical weather.
Lots of famous riders today, from Dougie and Jarvis through to the younger riders Challoner and Wigg. Theirs even a few famous faces (and voices) from the world of downhill MTB as Steve Peat and Rob Warner start the trial.
Fairly early start for me tomorrow with the first man away at 7:30 and me leaving 96 minutes later, hopefully in the same sunshine we've had today.
As usual its a long long journey to Fort William from Derby, but its one thats well worth it. This year the travel has been a little longer as I've headed here from Oahu, Hawaii via San Francisco. Even with the jet-lag that I have its an epic trip with beautiful scenery (well the end bit anyway).
I first came up in 1978 at the age of 2, my dad rather rudely came alone in 1977 and so I had to wait a further year to get the SSDT bug. It quickly became our annual family holiday and the electric atmosphere grabbed me early on as I fondly remember watching my heros such as Eddy Lejeune (he's riding just in front of me this year) and Steve Saunders (looks like he's won the Pre-65). From the famous sections to famous and familiar faces it really is trials heaven and shouldn't be missed by anyone connected with the sport.
This year is my first year on a 4 stroke Pidcock Montesa Honda and I'm very hyped up and ready to ride it. Theirs a brand new Repsol edition sat here waiting for the action to start and I'm looking forward to letting it loose in the sections and across the moors. Just picked up my Pidcock team jacket for the trial so I'm about ready to go.
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Independent health researcher with a BA Hons. and an MSc in Psychology. Currently battling to complete a PhD...wish me luck.
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