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Injured! Doh…

Well, I broke my arm 4 days after wrapping up the Cascade Cycling Classic. Ironic how one can race all year without any major injuries and then yard sale it big time on an easy MTB ride back home.  Sure didn’t see that one coming…

Anyhoo, I was out for an easy cruise with Jake from Athlete Octane, he is also my coach and quite awesome.  On our way back to town after a few hours of fairly technical riding, I endoed on a smallish rock on a descent.  Nothing major.  I’ve endoed my MTB many, many times.  Unfortunately, I stuck out my right arm to catch myself (stupid…) and when it hit the ground, it was probably hyper-extended, as my limbs tend to do that.  Crack!  I hit the ground, and the first thing I noticed was my elbow.  It looked dislocated and was pointed the wrong way and a bone was in the wrong place.  Shock started to set in.  I screamed for Jake like bloody murder, but he was a little ways down the trail and didn’t hear me.  I sat down on my butt and looked at my arm.  Suddenly it popped back into place.  Phew, I thought, but crap!  It hurt! 

I screamed for Jake for a while and then realized I would have to wait for him to realize something was wrong when he got to the trailhead…maybe 1/2 a mile away…and climb back up to find me.  I sat there going deeper into shock for what seemed like an eternity.  Then, I heard Jake call my name.  Sweet relief!  He got up to me, calmly assessed how f’d up I was, made a sling for my arm out of a bike tube, gave me some water, called my dad to come get me, and encouraged me to get ready to walk down to the trailhead where my dad would meet us.  It took every ounce of effort I could muster to walk to the trailhead.  I really had to pull myself together.  The pain was intense.  We finally made it back down, just as it started pouring, and my dad was there to meet us.

Long story short, I had severely fractured the radial head of my right arm.  Turns out, I did such a number, it was beyond repair and had to be “replaced” with a titanium implant.  Not the greatest prognosis for a 26-yr old, but it is what it is.  Apparently I got the most badass arm/hand surgeon in Flagstaff, so that’s a big bonus.  Anyways, don’t let me elbow you in a crit, is all I will say.  It might hurt.  😉

Now time to recover.  The surgery was rough.  I had to miss my best childhood/college friend’s wedding.  I was devastated by that more than the injury.  But time heals all wounds, and now I get to go visit her in Chicago this fall instead!  Plus, now I have all this free time this fall!  And I got a pedicure, since I can’t really use my right hand much.  Hidden benefits.  And I’ve heard that using your left hand more can make you really smart.  So watch out, ya’ll!  I’m looking forward to a full and speedy recovery, to getting out of my evil arm brace (at least no cast!), and to free time…and the recumbent trainer.  And I’m super grateful to my parents and husband for putting up with me for the last two weeks!

So happy riding and keep two wheels on the ground!

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1 Spring Clegg { 08.19.11 at 5:26 pm }

Your amazing girl! I did the same thing but with my left arm but the crash transferred up to the shoulder/collar bone area. Painful yes, but I would be scared if I was racing you next year because, I have noticed the time sitting here gives us more time to dream and plan how we are going to crush once we heal. Watch out! Miss you big time.

2 Luisa Bryce { 09.02.11 at 8:17 am }

You are a one tough girl, Mel! Hang in there and enjoy the r & r :-)

3 Broken Arm-iversary « Melanie M. Colavito { 08.07.12 at 11:13 am }

[…] took the entire impact – bike and body and momentum all crashed down onto my outstretched hand.  At the time, I didn’t realize how that single crash, those small mistakes, would change my […]

4 2011 Utility Cycling Year in Review | Commute by Bike { 11.11.15 at 6:58 am }

[…] to Commute By Bike; Josh busied himself with launching Bike Tech Shop; and I found myself with a badly broken arm. Whoops. Anyhow, the product of all that was that the steady stream of posting you may be used to […]

5 Utility Cycling While Injured | Commute by Bike { 11.11.15 at 6:58 am }

[…] in this video. Unfortunately, I’ve spent the last six and a half weeks dealing with a badly broken arm. Fortunately, I did not break my arm in a utility cycling accident, rather I broke it in a sport […]

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