The last thing before walking out the cabin door for the race tracks in Beitostolen I found a parchment of paper and wrote the words “insurmountable opportunities.” After the race ended with me fighting for the top spots at the Norwegian Cup and a dislocated shoulder, I’ve remembered these words. “Insurmountable Opportunities:” It’s become a little mantra of mine.
After five days of lower-body centric skiing, today Scott and I headed to Sandvik, Norway for an appointment with the MRI machine some very nice people working for Norge’s IdrettToppen- the country’s high performance of sport center – helped set up for me. Ten minutes after I set foot in the hyper efficient clinic I was getting strapped down, and sent off on my way towards the blinking blue light of the several million dollar magnetic resonance imaging machine. For twenty minutes I lay there as motionless as possible while this giant white contraption whizzed and whirred, with sounds emanating around my head; the audio sounding a bit like a cross between a pinball machine and the old-school video game Astroid.
A couple minutes later I left with a CD for my doctor to look at. It seems the dislocation has caused a bit of fluid to enter the tendons surrounding my rotator cuff and there’s bruising on the humurous head, but -and here’s the beautiful part – there’s been no tears in the ligament or tendons. I’m clear to race in a week’s time at the World Championships in Holmenkollen.
“This is Great news!” writes my physical therapist Michael Hansen. “It is typical to see bone bruising like this after a dislocation on an MRI because they are so sensitive. And inflammation in the cuff is also normal being that those muscles hold the humeral head in the socket along with the ligaments. The key is no severe tearing or fracture of the bone. Yes, it is going to be sore, weak, and vunerable. But the good news is that it is a first time dislocation, it self reduced, you are young and healthy, and with proper taping/support, and avoidance of extreme positions, and rehab you can continue to compensate and compete. If you are too unstable, then stop. You will know. You are not going to loose much fitness in the next week for World’s. Train within your limits and go crazy when you compete. Let me know how you are doing. I want to help.” Because of people like Michael Hansen, the MOD and people of this character and quality, I am doing a little better than alright.