Shark Bite? Nope, Rock Bite.
WOWZA! What a first half of the season, eh? (Just practicing for my upcoming trip to Canada next week ;))
My season kicked off in March at XTERRA Chile and Argentina. Chile was my first pro XTERRA race and I managed to win in front of one of my best friends, Maca Salazar, and her family! I had no idea what to expect, especially when toeing the line with former Olympians. I legitimately was bawling during my pre ride of the course two days before the race and crashed on one of the descents. Talk about a blow to one’s confidence!
Somehow I pulled it together on race day and was able to break the tape, making it my first ever pro victory! It also helped to have a gigantic glass of beer waiting for me at the finish (alcohol-free though, dangit!).
XTERRA Argentina was quite the adventure. I learned that I still have a lot of work ahead with my mountain bike skills. It was a beautiful venue though, almost like you were riding along the moon. I also befriended an adorable stray puppy and fed him granola bars #winning. I really struggled at this race but was able to eek out a podium finish in third.
After a better start to the season than I could have imagined, I flew back to Boulder and began preparing for a wild month of May with three back to back races in Uruguay, Brazil, and Alabama. I bought my flights, arranged housing, etc. and was stoked to travel back to South America until………
I found myself sitting in the back of a police car speeding down the highway to Saint Anthony’s Hospital. WHY???
Julie and I were on a fantastic mountain bike ride outside of Golden, CO shredding a flowy downhill when I suddenly found myself pinned down by my bike on the ground. I’m still not 100% sure how that happened. I am 100% sure it was my own fault but I like to blame it on a lack of a dropper seatpost. I brushed off the dirt and went to untangle myself from my bike when I saw it. The inside of my leg facing outside. “Hm that’s interesting. JULIE JULIEEE JULIEEEEEEEEE!!!!”
Julie was already out of earshot down the trail (she’s like crazy strong and fast #goals). I wasn’t crying at all, probably just in shock. I got up and hopped back on my bike because I mean we were somewhere in the trails with civilization still a 25 minute ride away. I found Julie, she turned white when she saw the innards of my leg, and I said we should probably go get a bandaid somewhere.
We rode the rest of the way down the trail then smashed down the road to the police station. Long story short, the police freaked a little when they saw my leg and since I was refusing an ambulance (“no worries guys, I’m fine, we’ll just take the car”), they insisted they drive me to the hospital. Shoutout to the Morrison PD for taking awesome care of me!
In the end I was lucky...in the sense that there was no muscle or bone damage. But it also meant that 26 stitches later, I would not be racing in May….or June for that matter.
So here we are on June 25th and I have a flight booked to XTERRA Victoria next week. I have no idea where I am fitness-wise at this point or how the race will go but I’m just excited to race again! The hardest part has been trying to push the memories of the accident out of my mind while riding and even running. I’m getting better but I think it will also take time...and knee pads.
Professional cyclist turned professional triathlete living in Boulder, CO.