Exclusive blog sees injured FIS World Cup overall winner eye Beaver Creek return.
Around two weeks after my accident training on the Mölltal Glacier in Austria the good news is that the fracture to the outside bone in my left ankle is healing well.
The bad news is that, as with everything, it takes time. The plaster cast has been on for almost three weeks now and I have been told it will have to stay on for around six weeks in total – but getting the cast off is just the first step on the long road to recovery.
Right now it is a waiting game. The fact is that the ankle is broken and there is nothing I can do to change that overnight.
So the question is what to do in a situation like this where my competitors are already hard at work training on snow testing the new giant slalom skis for next season, and each session on skis could, literally, be the difference between gold and silver?
The answer is to fight fire with fire and start working myself on weaker areas which I normally wouldn’t have time for at this point in the season.
That means focussing on parts of my upper body, supporting muscles and, of course, my right leg ; )
Although I won’t be back on skis for a while, I have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime. The physiotherapists supporting me have their hands full and I am training every day as much as I can and am allowed to in order to stay as physically fit as possible.
At the same time I am working on my mental game to slowly but surely get me into a competition mentality. Despite the injury it is really important for me to find my rhythm and the right mindset.
Looking back, it is a shame I did not test the new material at the end of the last season. After the final races of the season in Aspen my batteries were totally empty, so we took a conscious decision to postpone testing the new giant slalom skis until September.
That won’t be possible now, so I really don’t know what to expect going into the new season. When I finally get back on skis, my rivals will have spent 20 to 25 more days on snow testing the new material. That will definitely be an advantage for Alexis and co.
But as I have said before, there is no use moaning about it. Instead, I can be grateful that I stayed injury-free for six years – apart from the odd bout of man flu…
There is no point spending too much time and energy worrying about things I can’t change. I know that I will miss the start of the World Cup season and probably not be back on the start line until the races in North America.
It would be great if I could be back for Beaver Creek – anything else would be very, very optimistic.
By the time the Olympics in Pyeongchang come round I am sure that I will be back on top form.
So now it’s just a case of waiting for the cast to come off and then building up the muscles in my left leg and making sure my ankle is as mobile as it was before the accident. Then it will be time to go skiing again!
Read the original blog in German here.