After a focused month of training following the Tasmanian EWS I was putting the finishing touches on the preparation by timing a few race paced laps of my local trails in Christchurch, New Zealand. My speed was good, and the bike felt dialed but nonetheless, I decided to do one last lap at a ‘chilled’ pace. Unfortunately, this lack of concentration resulted in an error which caused a fall from a big height onto my arm and head. Fortunately, The Sweet Arbitrator helmet did an amazing job and I suffered no concussion, my arm, on the other hand, was badly broken.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BxswCrunP4n/ Crash Headcam
The crash had fractured and displaced my Radial head, and partially dislocated my Ulnar. There was a three-day wait for surgery where four screws were used to pin the Radius together and the dislocated area was sutured back together. The operation took over four hours and for the next two days in hospital, I was fairly hammered…. Could barely walk to the toilet. I was in a cast which ran up to my shoulder for a week.
Left: MRI showing broken Radius and partially dislocated Ulnar Right: Post surgery X-Ray
Recovery was a big learning process for me as I had not been injured seriously for over six years. Thankfully, my coach Stephen Rickerby has had plenty of experience with this through his other athletes over the years. His guidance had me both the gym and on the wind trainer in the week following my surgery, not enough activity to impede the bone healing but more focused at keeping as much of the fitness and strength as possible.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BxPGacfAXiY/ Single arm gym training
The toughest part of the recovery process was not being able to ride my bike, especially when the EWS in Madeira was taking place. To help soften the blow myself and fellow injured EWS racer Katy Winton spent three days hiking in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. The big days helped to maintain the fitness too.
Over the next few weeks, my arm improved a great deal aided by not just being strong prior to the crash but importantly the nutrition and supplementation that I implemented following the operation. Under the guidance of my nutritionist Jamie Scott I ramped up my protein intake to 3 grams per kg of body weight and supplemented my diet with fish oils, vitamin D3, and bone broths.
Back on the bike!
Six weeks from the crash and I can do my interval training on the road and even ride my Pole Stamina down the flow trails of the Christchurch Adventure Park to help strengthen my arm. I’m still battling with the mobility, seeing my physio twice a week and working on both my elbow flexion/extension and wrist rotation. However, I’m on track for my world series return at Whistler in early August.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bywo9x-n5pY/ Back on the Stamina
Keep an eye out for me (joenation1) on Instagram to follow the progress as I prepare for the Whistler EWS! Thanks for reading.