Day 1 back on snow!

Yesterday I skied for the first time in 11 months. After 3 knee surgeries, I was a little nervous but also very excited to get back to doing what I love. We took it pretty easy day one since my muscles and knees aren’t used to the forces that skiing creates on them. My muscles memory kicked in and the good on snow feeling came back pretty quick! While my first turns were quite tentative, I was able to gain confidence and slowly increase the speed and improve every run. I had no pain and only a little stiffness at the end of some of the runs. I am excited to keep working hard and get some more time on snow!!

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Setback: Just a setup for a comeback

After a few frustrating setbacks in my rehab, things are finally going well and everything is on track! If all continues in this direction, I will be skiing in a few short weeks. Until then, here is an update on how my rehab has been the last few months…

Things started off well right after my second knee operation. My muscles were engaging better than my right knee initially had and everything was looking really good. Unfortunately, about two months later, my left knee swelled up and stayed this way for three consecutive months. When 5 months’ post-op came around and my left knee was still swollen, we became concerned. We had tried every non-invasive technique to get the swelling down, but none of them were working. After a lot of thought and discussion, my rehab team and I decided to get a scope done on my left knee to figure out what the issue was.

Post-scope June 2018 

Post-scope June 2018

 

Fortunately, my new ACL and meniscus looked really good and they were healing well! However, the Doctor found some build-up in the joint that was stopping my leg from reaching full extension and irritating my knee. He was able to clear this out. After the surgery, it took about a week to get back to full weight-bearing activities. Thankfully, the scope had worked really well! My full extension finally started to come back, and after a few weeks the swelling came down. My left knee was turning around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           Working on explosive jumps.

 

 The swelling in my knee had put my left knee rehab months behind where it should be. So, we had to work really hard to progress it to where my right knee was. After a lot of hard work and many hours spent in the gym, we finally got both knees pretty equal in strength. 

  

Fast forward to today, both knees are feeling really good and strong! There is still work to be done in the next few weeks before I get back on snow, but right now I am very happy with how everything is looking!

Check back in a few weeks to see how my back to snow camp goes!

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My New Partnership with Muskoka Woods!

I am super excited to announce my new partnership with Muskoka Woods, summer camp dedicated to inspiring youth, offering staff that share a common desire to help young people realize their full potential.

This partnership means a lot to me because I attended Muskoka Woods as a child. I always had such an amazing time there while making great friends along the way. At Muskoka Woods they always support you in your journey and are committed to making fun experiences. They give you the opportunity to try many different activities, some you would never even think of trying. I remember one summer, I even had the opportunity to speak on the camp radio! This was way outside my comfort zone as a kid, but I loved it! Muskoka Woods, “exists to inspire youth to shape their world”, which is such a powerful motto to me as I try to inspire youth in athletics and other aspects of life during my journey to become a world class skier.

I am so grateful that Muskoka Woods is interested in supporting my journey back to snow and into the future. Rehabbing from injury is just as challenging, both mentally and physically, as skiing is, so thank you to Muskoka Woods for your dedication and support in this chapter of my life and career!

Thank you for your support, Muskoka Woods! I can’t wait to see what this partnership brings!

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Rehab Update

I am now four weeks out from left knee surgery. With only two weeks left on crutches, I have been working really hard to prepare my left knee to take those first steps. I have been spinning on the bike with both legs (if you’ve been injured before, you know how exciting this is) and working on getting my quad muscles working like normal again. My right leg keeps getting stronger and stronger (although there is still a long way to go), and I am keeping my upper body as strong as possible. #makeithappen 

When I am not at the gym rehabbing, I have been taking a Human Anatomy course. I have found it really interesting to learn more about the human body and how it works. As an athlete, a lot of the information I read is very relatable and I am learning things about my own body and injury that I didn’t know before!

With the Olympics underway, I want to send out another GOOD LUCK to my fellow Canadians competing in South Korea! I will be watching every day, and cheering loudly from home! #GoCanada 

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Surgery: Round Two!

About 8 weeks after my first surgery to repair my ACL and meniscus on my right knee, I walked into the hospital to get a similar surgery on my left knee. I had been walking for two weeks without crutches at this point. I was starting to feel a little more back to normal…only to have to return to crutches for 6 more weeks following this surgery. The last thing I remember before heading into surgery was insisting to my mom, who was sitting beside my hospital bed, that we have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner the following night. But, of course, when I woke up, that was definitely the last thing I wanted to eat. The next thing I remember was trying to open my eyes as I heard the doctor’s voice speaking to my mother about how the surgery went. I struggled to keep them open but almost instantly feel back into a sleep. When I finally could stay awake for longer than a few minutes, my mom filled me in. The doctor said the surgery went well! For the most part, there were no surprises; the left knee was almost identical to the injury I sustained on my right knee. After a little while, I got up and crutched slowly on my reconstructed right knee, careful not to put weight down on my left leg, to the wheelchair that the nurse wheeled me to our car in.  

Although part of me is bummed to have to repeat the last 8 weeks again on my left knee this time, I am really excited to have taken this next step to getting back to snow. I have learned so much from this experience already and have gained so much more respect than I already had for fellow athletes who have come back from injury. I am excited to see what else I learn from all the new experiences coming my way in the next year!

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