This isn’t really a blog purely about mountain biking, it’s more about dealing with injury. So where better place to start than with where my injuries started….
2008. A trampoline.
When I was 16 I was attempting back flips on a trampoline, the fun ended when I didn’t rotate enough and smashed my elbows on the metal edge of the trampoline. My right elbow was broken and my Mum wasn’t very happy (I was supposed to be revising for my GCSE’s). A couple of visits to hospital, lots of physio later and all was fixed – if only!
I started playing rugby where my arm got a lot of abuse. I then started climbing and windsurfing, further abuse. Along came skateboarding and some falls and a few tiny fractures to my weakened elbow. As a result of this my elbow was very weak and couldn’t support much weight.
2014. Then came the bikes!
Not long after I had decided biking was my new and favourite hobby I was out riding with a couple of guys in Cann Woods – a great spot near Plymouth. I wasn’t very good and they were pretty good so I followed them and fell off, putting my arm out to stop my fall. As my arm hit the ground I felt the familiar popping sensation and knew I had probably broken it. Trying to hold face in front of the boys, I lay calmly on the floor, trying not to faint and told them I was fine, as they offered me Mars bars to make me feel better. I rode a further 5 miles that day until I decided I should probably give in and admit that I should go to hospital, where they confirmed that it was broken.
2015. Fast forward several more rides and crashes and my arm was not loving life. I was sent to see an elbow specialist and was told that the ligaments essentially holding my elbow together weren’t doing their job anymore! I had Posterolateral Rotatory Instability of the elbow and needed my ligaments reconstructed.
I had the surgery and was told not to ride a bike for 6 – 12 months. Bummer. I went back to live with my parents and got a puppy to make me feel better. I persevered and was told I could start riding again after only 5 months! My surgeon did a great job and I felt like I had a brand new bionic arm.
Back to the bike and making up for lost time!