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Concussion And Courage (11/11/13)

BY KATIE UHLAENDER


I sit now thinking of how fragile we all are. One minute everything is fine, better than fine — things seem to be flowing together perfectly. The next, everything is uncertain. We all experience this, but I began to believe I could control my own destiny. That I had paid my dues by blowing out my right knee April 2008, losing my father to cancer February 2009, shattering my left knee cap twice April and August 2009, and then having hip surgery September 2010! All in a row! I have spent most of the last four years growing and overcoming adversity, having no clue how far I could go on my comeback or if I’d have to retire as an athlete. How dumb am I to think I had paid up all that was coming to me? Jeez, life is scary! Just cause I say I’ve had enough doesn’t mean it will stop coming. Guess it’s just like working on the farm at home — if the hay bail or the fence post is too heavy, “too bad” doesn't mean it doesn’t have to still get moved. Once again, now is another time I have to have courage, rise above what was or could be, and just face the now with faith.

Three weeks ago, I was flying 70+ mph head-first sledding down Mt. Van Hoevenberg, having the time of my life in Lake Placid, N.Y. Somehow, one of the bumps or holes in the track (that cause me to bounce my way down the hill and hit my head on the sled or ice) happened to be big enough to give me a concussion. As my face was dragging through corner 7 (due to the amount of Gs in the corner, I am unable to hold my head up so my helmet drags along the ice until the pressure lets go), I turned my head to spot the exit and as I did it felt like I was literally hit upside the head by a 2x4.


Yoga time

I know my mother would probably say I needed it, but it has been three weeks since I have done one workout, lifted one weight or gotten to slide. I could barely look at my computer until this week. It is now less than three weeks to the first world cup and I have to be patient once again. Go to plan B. All I can do is have courage and keep faith. That doesn’t mean there is an absence of fear or despair, but the strength to conquer them must prevail and rise above. The hardest thing is not knowing or feeling prepared, but hey that’s what makes life interesting. At the moment, meditation, yoga and slowly working my way back to training is the plan. One day at a time I will slide to Sochi and have the courage to rise above my expectations or plans. Shoot, 2012 I trained through the world cup to prepare for 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting and the world championships for skeleton. I can train through the world cup again. The skill everyone needs in life is to keep on going, never quit, and know every turn in life is unknown.