If you want to know the real truth, I was in pain a big chunk of the season. In fact, I was in pain after the last jump I took at Nationals in June, until my very last competition on October 3rd (and yes, it continued to get worse). But I didn’t complain and I didn’t really mention it except to those around me who could possibly be of some assistance. Letting people know you are hurting doesn’t make the pain go away and I was most certainly going to make sure I wasn’t coming up with excuses for sub par performances. I had no idea what was even wrong, but I did know I was going to compete and do so to the best of my ability. And that’s exactly what I did.
But this year is a new season and a new opportunity for success and so I was determined to address it and understand why I had been in so much pain and if there was anything that could be done about it. Six months later I think I finally have my answer. Thanks to the wonderful folks at D.I.S.C up in Los Angeles, (who now treat most Olympic athletes for FREE—hallelujah!) it seems as if I was jumping and sprinting with a stress fracture.
I was actually excited to hear that. Let me tell you why. For starters, the healing process is almost complete, seeing as how I actually haven’t jumped or done anything high impact (on purpose) for the last 3 months. That’s way better than hearing you have an injury that needs to be addressed and dealt with in the form of surgery. Secondly, it makes me feel better. Many well-intentioned (albeit not fully informed) people thought I could have jumped better in Berlin and wondered why I wasn’t jumping and running so well later in the season. Well, DUH! There is your reason. I don’t really owe you one but it makes me feel better to have one nonetheless. It was also a bit of a blessing in disguise finding out now. Sure, I would have preferred to not have anything wrong with me at all, but what if I had found out in July that I had a stress fracture? Do I sit out the rest of the season and not compete? No way. I needed that season for my sanity and to find my way back. It was much more helpful to not know and continue to try and tape it up, get my stim and ice, and do pretty much every other type of treatment you could think of, and be able to live in the dark and still compete. The alternative would have been retirement.
So if there is a silver lining in news like this, then that is mine. Lord knows I will always do my best with what I’m given and I don’t think I did so shabby last season, all things considering. Now what I am hoping for is a chance to really shine. I’m a little behind schedule right now but I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I’m excited to see what I can do.