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PR To ER To OR (9/12/13)

BY SARAH HENDRICKSON


In the airport traveling home

With my mom before my MRI
Five days after surgery

Many of you know I underwent knee surgery two weeks ago in Salt Lake City. On August 21, I tore my ALC and MCL, and severely damaged my meniscus in my right knee while jumping in Oberstdorf, Germany. We had been jumping the large hill and after one of my best jumps ever and favorable wind, I jumped about 148 meters, making it a new personal best distance-wise, and kinda... exploded? After an ambulance ride, hospital visit, uncomfortable 20-hour travel home, MRI and doctor visit, and now surgery, I guess the news is finally settled.

The second I landed and the pain shot up my leg, I knew the result wasn’t good. I was lying at the bottom of the hill screaming in pain as a fellow jumper helped me remove my ski from its twisting position. I closed my eyes and continuously moved my leg, trying to convince myself it was just in shock and just needed to be shaken out. I was wrong.

The next couple days in Europe basically contained endless amount of tears. Everything from sponsors dropping me to not competing in the Olympics crossed my mind. I told myself I could cry for a couple days, but then I had to get back up and fight for my road ahead. I didn’t want to hear the diagnosis that I already knew in the back of my head and then suffer with the reality that I had ahead. Honestly, I thought I was in the worst nightmare ever and I was never going to wake up.

Today, I am sitting on my couch for over a week. I eat, sleep, ice in this exact spot and the pain to move to the bathroom makes me want to throw up because of my already upset stomach from the medication. I don’t think I have ever sat in one place for so long and used so little energy for activity in the entire life.

It’s hard to believe in the blink of an eye my future is completely flipped around. I am not saying it’s ruined or crushed, just different. Very different. Where two weeks ago I was looking forward to squatting my max at 80kg, I now feel accomplished if I can feel my toes when I wake up. I sometimes sit and just stare at the wall (partly because of the pain medicine) and just think about what has all happened. I can’t quite put a reason to it yet, but I know this happened for a reason. I have never been a religious person, but I know this was set on my path for a reason and in the end, I will overcome the battle. I can’t quite say if I will be back for Sochi or what the rehab looks, but regardless, it will make me stronger.

One thing I have noticed is how many amazing people I have surrounding me. It is times like these when you discover your true friends and supporters. Everything from my sponsors making sure I had first class on the way home to the endless amount of flowers I have received. This is not going to be easy, but the team I have behind me medically, emotionally and physically will help me rise again. I have my dreams, and I will not give up until they are reached.

Thank you for all your support and kind words, and I will be posting about my road to recovery and hope you will follow me on my unexpected path of chasing my dreams.