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Blog posts tagged with 'USA'

Road to Recovery

 

My last post for Recovery Pump left off following a track sprint camp in Colorado Springs in late April. I had plans to race overseas with the US National Team, I had set new PRs in the flying 200m at the LA Velodrome, I was working with a new coach, and I was excited about the summer leading into the last round of qualifying for Rio 2016. Everything seemed to be falling right into place, following my incredible world cup season. 

I celebrated my 25th birthday on May 9th, which was also my three-year track sprint anniversary. I was taking off for Germany two days later. I woke up the morning of May 10th, (also Mother’s Day), grabbed all my race gear, and headed to my final training session. Not long after, I left on a body board in the back of an ambulance.

 

When I look back at it now, I had no idea how hard this was going to hit me. I was riding at my absolute best. I’d just hit some HUGE PRs, and I was riding faster and better than I ever had in my entire life. And in a split second, that was all taken away. Fracturing my L5 in my back was a challenge in itself, but I had no way of preparing myself for the months that were lying ahead of me. 

I broke my collarbone in three places. When I arrived in the Emergency Room, they scheduled a surgery immediately to repair it. While lying there, they also discovered I had fractured and dislocated my wrist. There was also evidence of meniscus and ligament damage, but I didn’t receive surgery on that until two weeks post-crash. And lastly, I sustained a concussion, one that left me with a chronic pounding headache five months later, into October.

As an athlete, I’ve experienced physical pain, and mental stress. But like I said before, nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. Just as racing season was getting started, I was a swollen beat up marshmallow sitting on the couch. The house emptied out, as my boyfriend took his athletes for two weeks of racing in t-town in June. I was home alone, less than two weeks after surgery, with our three large dogs, a nest on the couch, and my own thoughts to battle with. I fell into a state of depression those around me weren’t prepared for.  I saw my lost training time, medical expenses, and not to mention that my bike frame was cracked, my rear racing wheel had a hole punched through it, my front racing wheel literally exploded, and my helmet was cracked. But as soon as I could, I climbed on my Wattbike, got a fork mount stand for my rollers, and got in the leg press in the gym.

Two months later, I was driving up to Seattle for the Marymoor Grand Prix. After months of sifting through UCI points, selection criteria, and calculating what I had to do to make the Pan Am Championships team. Only one keirin spot was open for Team USA, and I was determined to have it. This was my only chance, with less than a week left before the point cut off deadline. I pinned on a number, wrapped a splint around my arm, pushed myself a little too hard, but I won. I accumulated 90 points, became world cup eligible, and retained the #1 ranking for a US sprint female in the keirin and match sprint. I was then qualified, after only two races.

I continued through physical therapy, and as the US National Championships approached on my home track in LA, I took a hard blow realizing I couldn’t financially afford the entry fee to participate and defend my national titles. But, with my ultimate goal on Rio 2016, and nationals having no part in team selection, I wasn’t worried. As we left for Chile in September for the Pan Am Championships, I was excited. Racing in South America is dirty, rough, and full of contact. I was nervous, but I was excited to show that I was back. Here’s an exert from my blog about my keirin,

“I felt like a pinball. Getting bounced around, getting thrown to the back. What just happened? But it’s ok. There is a rep ride. This was my first real keirin back from crashing at 66kph straight onto my face. I got the first one out of the way. And this is South America. You aren’t going to get this much contact anywhere else. It was time to line up again. I was ready to get bumped this time. I was ready for all the illegal moves that are somehow legal in these countries. And I went through, by the skin of my teeth. You could feel the lack of belief in the air. But that just made me more pissed off than hurt. And I was going to prove everyone wrong, because of it.

I was ready for the second round. My hip was still in its place. I wrapped my wrist tight, pushing the pain aside. I had two more rides. And I was going to make it happen. The motor pulled off and I went straight to the front. 500m to go. I pushed the speed higher, and higher, and higher, and at one lap to go, we were going. I stood up, but there was nothing left, we went into corner one, and I held that black line as hard as I could. Still in the front going down the back straight, I told myself, “Just keep pushing. This is just like training,” I pushed. Coming around corners three and four I could feel them breathing down my throat. But I led through the finish, and won my semi-final, putting me into the 1-6 final for gold. Just like the world cup in Colombia. That was the first time I felt like my old self again. I wasn’t timid, I wasn’t scared. I didn’t feel the pain. I was just, me. And I was proving them wrong, one pedal stroke at a time.

One more ride. I’ve been sitting on the floor of our hotel room applying for jobs, grants, and setting up interviews. I’ve been fighting with insurance companies and hospitals. I didn’t go through all this to give the doubters what they were looking for. But, I fell one place short. A 4th place finish burns worse than finishing 6th. One step from adding to the medal count. One step from a Pan Am Championships.”

I did it.

Back from Pan Ams, I took on three new jobs: Teacher at a tutoring center, coaching with Big Picture Cycling, and working at ERO as a fit specialist. Since then, finding the balance between training and working became harder and harder, as my goals became centered around becoming financially stable, and paying the bills related to my crash in May. Making this transition was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make, after reaching out to my NGB and other resources, it became a reality that I just didn’t have the means to continue living the life of a professional track sprint athlete. But…I’m absolutely in love with what I’m doing. I’ve taken some time away from the bike, but now I’m back riding, and pursuing a few new goals. Without being able to attend the 2015/2016 World cups, my Rio 2016 Olympic dream is a little derailed, but I do believe everything happens for a reason.

Over the past five months, I have experienced an unbelievable amount of support from my sponsors and supporters. The rollercoaster of winning national titles, fracturing my L5, winning a world cup medal, and having my world turned upside down shortly afterward, again, has brought me back to the roots of why I loved this sport.

We might think we have our lives planned out, but in a split second, everything can change. It is how well we adapt to those changes, and become stronger and better because of it. I’m proud of everything I have accomplished, I’m proud to represent Recovery Pump in those efforts. I can’t wait to see what the future unfolds for me, and I welcome it with open arms!   

-Missy Erickson, US Track Sprint Cyclist & #RPInspiration

 

2015 Recap

 

Training has been going great, preparing for a big world championship year in Beijing, China. Recovery has been a key aspect, so using the recovery boots has really been helping keeping my legs fresh from training session to training session each and every day. I have been using Recovery boots since 2013, and can’t see how I can go without them especially during training. Great addition to add along with massage sessions, acupuncture and cold ice baths during training. This has been the best off-season up to date for me. A big season is ahead, and I’m looking to make some big splashes and to PR.

 

First competition in Clermont, Florida in April, the earliest I have ever open up. Outcome wasn’t what I wanted but was the best opener for me. Next race was in a street race in Manchester, where I suffered a severe hamstring. Three weeks later with little recovery, I raced at Prefontaine, and ran a season best thus far with a 20.4. Following Prefontaine, I raced in Rome, Italy and suffered a grade 1 hamstring that caused a downfall for my season. Due to injuries I was unable to prepare properly for USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. First round of USA championship was great, came in first place. During Semi-finals I was unable to sustain the momentum due to injuries. After USA Outdoor Championship, I ran a few more races then went to Ireland to get treatment and start to recover properly. I am currently training and preparing for a great season and the upcoming Olympics. 

-Curtis Mitchell, USA Track & Field

The Life of a Track Sprint Athlete

The 2015/2016 racing and travel season has started way sooner than I anticipated. After coming home from the World Championships in February, I was looking forward to a few months at home, training hard before I’d have to board a plane again. But it wasn’t long after my few weeks off I was on my way to Colorado Springs for a USA Cycling Track Sprint Camp in the middle of April, and now, I’m finding myself one week away from heading to Germany with that same group of athletes for two weeks of traveling and racing.  It’s a whirlwind of staying on my toes and being ready for anything, while also balancing the life of an athlete with that of an adult.  So, as my first blog post for RecoveryPump, I’ll take you through a whole season in the life of a track sprint athlete.

Like I said above, after the World Championships in Paris, I took some time off. But it wasn’t really. Landing back in the US Monday night, and one day on the ground, Wednesday morning I was back  to normal life, taking the dogs to the vet for checkups and shots (we have two huskies, 2 and 10 yrs., and one golden doodle, 7 yrs.), and by Friday, driving over to Wheelbuilder to get my new race wheels loaded up with Atomic High Performance parts, and ready for the next season. By Saturday I was driving to Scottsdale Arizona for a Personal Gold Film screening alongside the introduction of the Foundation for American Track Cycling. As a guest speaker, I actually found it fun to switch out the spandex for a dress and heels and promote both an incredible film and this generous foundation. The following week was a little easier. I did my first video interview with RecoveryPump, volunteered at my local velodrome for the Sunday time trial events, and then got the exciting news that I had been added to the UCI Medical Monitoring program for their BioPassport. Bobby Lea and I drove down to the Chula Vista Olympic Training center for the some blood work and physicals, and then it was back home. A few days after that, I worked alongside Woodway Treadmills and WattBike at the IHRSA Show in Los Angeles, before a road ride that ended up taking 2 hours longer than it should have kept me from attending it the second day.

And that was three weeks gone. It was time to start training again.

The usual schedule of track training, road riding, gym training, massage, nutritionist,  chiropractic, etc, was then back. I was a bit relieved to be honest! After coming off such a high from last season and the incredible things I had accomplished, I just wanted to get back to the strength and power phase of training that I had missed because of injury last year! 

Then I had the opportunity to be part of a USA Cycling video project with Universal Sports at the Velo Sports Center! Along with Sarah Hammer, Jennie Reed, Dotsie Bausch, Jen Valente, and Kim Giest, we rode around the track, did a few interviews, and had a blast! It was great to be back with the worlds crew, and hang out with our Olympic silver medalists from London 2012!

Alright! This brings us to April!

One of my most favorite things to do is mentor young kids. Running my mentor program (Missile Mentor Program), alongside the Lemonade Exchange gives me the opportunity to help in so many ways, and it feels as though I’m able to give just a small part of what has been given to me, back to the world. So, when I was asked to help run and organize a Junior day at the Encino Velodrome here in Southern California, I couldn’t have been more excited. We had a huge group of young athletes come from all over California and Arizona to take part, and it was an incredible few hours of learning for everyone.

And this brings us to the USA Cycling Track Sprint camp in Colorado Springs. With nine girls and six guys, one coach and an Olympic Training Center at our disposal. I haven’t had that much fun with a group of track sprint athletes in a long time. Throughout all the testing, snowstorms, “thunder-snow”, dirt path bike rides, and coffee shop stops, there was plenty of laughs and making the most of the situation. 

After two weeks, then it was back to Los Angeles, where I’ve been acclimating back to sea level and getting back into training the best I can before we leave for Germany in one week. While overseas we will take part in six days of racing, before I return to the United States for 5 more weeks away from home at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown Pennsylvania. 

The season is about to start! Here we go!

 -Missy Erickson, USA Professional Track Cyclist 

 

One on One with Professional Rugby Player Carlin Isles

What are some of your favorite accolades at this time in your career? 

"I play wing. Prior to that I ran track and field professionally. 10.1- 3 is my fastest in the 100th. High school, couple state titles. I was the fastest in Ohio in my state. Did football also. Did football and track in college, had a couple records in track and also in football for the longest kicking terms. That’s who I am."

What is a typical day like for Carlin isles?

"The typical day in the life of me is pretty heavy. I train Monday through Friday, sometimes 8 days straight. It is very intense, very tenacious. I start around 7 in the morning and get done 3:30-4 in the afternoon. So it’s a heavy day."  

What are your thoughts on the topic of Recovery?

"It is very important especially at a professional level. We have to be ready to train and compete and be the best you can be every day. If you’re not, then your training and things get set back. So for me what we put our bodies through is a lot and what our coaches are real adamant about is  recovery and things like that and that’s what’s number 1!"

How did you approach Recovery prior to discovering RecoveryPump?

"What I did prior to when I found RecoveryPump for my recovery, I was in the mix of a lot of things like stretching. I really didn’t know the best method to recovery because I just didn’t know. When I found RecoveryPump and the first time using those, I fell in love with them. So you always try trial and error more like went through a whole bunch of trials and recovery wise to get my body how I wanted too and finally found RecoveryPump and that’s when I knew it! I hit the sweet spot."

How did you find out about RecoveryPump?

"Man, I first found out about RecoveryPump in January of 2013. We had an event in Las Vegas and they were there. I saw all the New Zealander’s (you know they are #1 in the world) in there using them and then I saw the RecoveryPump and was like what’s this? My legs were feeling fatigue and so I went in there and I tried on the boots and then stayed in them for a long time and I loved them!"

What kind of results are you getting with RecoveryPump?

"ReccoveryPump how has it affected me? I use it every day. It has made my training scores go tremendously up. I’m able to compete at the highest level I’m supposed to everyday. Injury free. Thank God. So it helps with that I’ve completed the YoYo test. I finished it and nobody has ever in history. By using RecoveryPump, it has got my legs ready for the testing that we have to do because we have test to take to get ranked for World Standings. If your this and that it helps and my coaches hold me at a high level. And I was like theirs no way I’m gonna get that. But my recovery has been so good and has helped my legs so much that I completed the test. Nobody has ever done that before so big factors to it as far as that and staying healthy. I’m faster than ever so everything comes together by these boots here!"

- Carlin Isles, USA Professional Rugby Player

ALL OUT for Racing and Recovery

As a sprinter I'm always looking for an opportunity to sit down and put my feet up. I go all out for 8 seconds to 1 minute then rest for 20 minutes. I know, it sounds tough! But somebody has to do it... When I got into the RecoveryPump system over 2 years ago I went from just sitting around, to active recovery. This was great! I now had an excuse to sit down whenever I wanted :)

I am a professional track sprinter on the velodrome and my training is very unique. Because all of our efforts are done at 100% we have ample recovery time in between efforts. Anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on what we're doing. I love being able to have a RecoveryPump system at the track to use for 10 minutes in between my efforts to flush out the lactic acid and keep my legs feeling fresh. When you can win or lose by as little as .001 of a second every little bit counts every day.

There are the obvious uses for the RecoveryPump system like starting your day for 20 to 30 minutes to get some blood flow in your legs or ending your day to make sure all of the trash is flushed out, but one of my favorite ways to use the system is when I travel. It fits great into my carry-on luggage and is awesome to have during long layovers. People might look at you little bit strange in the airport, but it is totally worth it!

As for the other "similar" systems out there, I do not think there is any competition at all! First off, your legs should not go numb during your time in the boots. This happened when I tried out other systems, but not with RecoveryPump. Also, the RecoveryPump system is by far the easiest to travel with. This is not a tool that you should only be able to use at home, but you should be able to take it and use it wherever you'd like. RecoveryPump makes this possible.

Lastly… If you have not tried the recoveryCORE unit YOU NEED TO!!! It is a life-changer ;)

 

Thank you RecoveryPump for making such an amazing system and being such a great company in all areas. I look forward to continuing our relationship and the benefit of all the great products that you produce.

 

-Nate Koch, USA Professional Track Cyclist

#TEAMNATER