We all know downhill is a hard sport and in my opinion every athlete needs to learn how deal with injuries because if you’re taking risks you will sometimes fail. In an ideal world, we would never fail while taking all the risks we need to, but that isn’t the real world. This is where I think many differences lie in our sport. In order to succeed you have to be so consistent race after race, avoiding injury and health issues, while pushing your body and bike to the limit. Learning how to avoid injury is great, but even more important is learning how to deal with injury and recovery once it’s happened. I’ve learned it’s important to take a long term approach and not get caught up too much in the moment, where things can appear to be at their worst. It won’t stay like this and we need to remember, it can only get better.
The thing I always try to remember is that in my case the feeling of love for riding my bike and racing is always stronger and more positive than the infrequent bad moments, so I will keep trying, always! When you ride for a top team with an amazing group of sponsors who are always supporting you and understand the nature of our sport, it helps you through the bad days. Sitting in the waiting room of the doctor’s office, your mind can play tricks on you. Sometimes I close my eyes, hear the crowd on the side of a World Cup track going crazy, remember all the positive vibes from the people who believe in me. The smile comes back and I know it will get better. I’ll be back out there, riding with Aaron and Neko, as soon as I can!