Patience & Resilience Through Another Injury
Unfortunately our training in Buenos Aires in February was cut short by injury. On the fifth day of training since the Miami World Cup, I broke my middle metacarpal in my right hand while sailing. I flew from Buenos Aires to Colorado Springs, CO for surgery to insert a permanent titanium plate.
The USOC and their National Medical Network provided outstanding care, including a week at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs after surgery, where I started physical therapy and used technology to bring the swelling down as fast as possible. I have to say, the whole process was too familiar, having had carpal tunnel release surgery on both hands by the same surgeon there and also staying at the OTC for a week in August 2015. Working out in the gym there is always inspiring and motivating!
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I focused on putting the frustration and disappointment of a second Gulari/Scutt team injury aside, instead channeling my energy into getting back on the water safely as soon as possible. During the time at home I focused on: physical therapy, rest, nutrition to heal the bone, workouts, extra exercises to avoid imbalances after injury, sport psychology, and fundraising and logistics so that upcoming time in Europe could be focused on training and racing.
I also enjoyed three days volunteer-coaching a clinic for 12 Nacra 15s in Long Beach. The kids’ energy and excitement was contagious, and they said they learned as much in those 3 days as they had in a year of sailing the boat! Bora had a fun time speaking to elementary school kids in Detroit about the Olympics and acting on big dreams.
Less than 7 weeks after surgery we were able to get back on the water, this time in Barcelona. Although I had to wear a custom hand brace and make some compensations for the lack of grip strength in that hand, it was a huge relief - we were able to train! By being smart about the type and amount of training, we had no issues returning to training. We made big progress in speed in waves and downwind speed in our 7 days there. Then for a six hour drive to Hyeres, France...
Sailing World Cup Hyeres
During this regatta in the last week of April, we finished 22nd out of 30, which was not the result that we hoped to earn. We came away with a long list of things to work on, and we're excited to get to it. It was mostly a light-wind event, which we found tough, so we'll spend more time in those transitional conditions. On the last day we had medium breeze and really solid upwind speed. This was our second regatta as a team so we are still learning a lot about communication with each other. Most of all, we are happy to have been able to race after the injury, and it was exactly what we needed to diagnose weaknesses relative to other teams so we can work on them before the World Championships. This was our first regatta working with coach Mike Ingham, who is now the Nacra 17 squad coach for the US Sailing Team. His perceptiveness, knowledge, and dedication will serve us well!
Starting tomorrow we have two weeks of training in Long Beach, CA. Looking forward to logging hours on the water!
Our next regatta is the World Cup Final, June 3-10 in Marseille, France. All of our focus is on building up to the Aarhus World Championships that start Aug 5.
Thanks to the US Sailing Team, Futuramic, Bayview Yacht Club, the St Francis Sailing Foundation, All-Ways, Harken, and NE Ropes.