Spring Cleaning (3/18/14)

BY SARAH HENDRICKSON


In my last blog I voiced how much pain I was in when I competed in Sochi and the mental barrier I overcame with that pain in order to jump. The fact that my knee was swelling and painful definitely inhibited my quad and strength when jumping. Even though it was hard I was very happy to be included in Sochi. I am also very thankful that I walked away from the Olympic Games healthy — almost.

Once I got home from Russia, my doctor wanted me to get an MRI just to check the progress of my healing. Luckily all the major ligaments, including my meniscal repairs are perfect; however, I did have a large piece of scar tissue inside my joint, which was limiting my extension and casing the swelling.

It was really hard to be told again that I would have to go back into the operating room to get this removed. I was in pain but the thought of another surgery was a huge surprise for me. My doctor did say that it was optional, but if I wanted no pain, it had to be done. For myself, I want to be 100-percent pain free for the next seasons in order to jump far again and compete to defend my world champs title. Therefore, I made an appointment to get the tissue removed, which happened on Thursday. It was a very minor surgery fixed through scope holes and the surgery went very well. My doctor easily removed the tissue and was very pleased with all the reconstruction from my other surgery six months ago.

Today, I can already walk and with almost no pain. This recovery is about four weeks and then I can finally move on from this injury. It was almost a relief for me that he found something wrong because I was scared I was going to have pain in that knee forever.

I am now beyond excited for warm weather so I can run and bike and be back to my normal athletic life. Injuries are a huge part of the athletic world and are thrown at you at the worst possible times. I can’t say I am happy this happened to me and of course the hard work and pain that I pushed through was not enjoyable; however, I have learned so much about myself through the process. I realized in Sochi just how happy my sport makes and regardless of my results I can still walk away from the jumps with a smile on my face. The biggest mental change for me was the goal to be happy.

This injury pushed me on so many levels but I realized that at the end of the day I have to be happy and proud for how far I’ve made it. Every day I fall more and more in love with my crazy sport and that’s what keeps me going.

This next winter we have world championships and it is my goal to defend that title. I have set some high standard these next seasons and I am more than ready to come back stronger than ever. Jumping far, gold medals and globes are my goals and if this injury didn’t stop me…nothing will.