One normal day at work I get word that my new patient in the next few days is a triathlete. I already get pumped about that but once I reviewed her chart I knew this case was special. During the initial interview my jaw dropped. The words BIKE VS BUS shook me. I have had close calls personally and can identify with that as a possibility, she lived it.
Chelsea decided she was going to do some cycling hill repeats on a minimally busy road with a long challenging hill. She climbed and came down the same side of the road. She saw the bus, the bus did not see her. In fact, the bus did see recognize her until the driver heard the screaming. She was screaming because the bus WAS STILL ON TOP OF HER. The bus ran her over her, stopped on her, then rolled off.
My first thought is "grrl you are lucky to be alive and you want to RUN?" I LOVE IT. My advice at this point is not an uncommon thing for me to say. I say "Chelsea, you and I are going to be close. I am going to promise you at no time will I sugar coat things for you. No one benefits from that. I will provide you with what the science and literature says and I will provide the facts and you will decide. I will say that you have a lot of work to do in order to run. The way this goes is to get on the progression to run and see what happens." She replies, "If I am OK by next years RAGE can I race?" My first thought was that I would be surprised if she can even run a 5K at that point. I say "If you are ready for RAGE, we will do it together" She says DONE. Straight face and confident.
At this point she is 3-4 months into this recovery already. The multiple skin grafts, various fractures, and infections had to heal. She had to graduate to be a candidate for the ACL/MCL reconstruction. She is not your average triathlete or ACL reconstruction. Her rehabilitation was hard. We held her back and went slow. We applied the latest running science and traditional rehabilitation to her and she put the work in. She did everything the Dr and I asked and she simply put the work in. She is going to go from this: