The Whiskey Off-Road 2019

Having something unexpected happen (something typically negative) right before a race happens more often than not it seems. Some could call it a distraction, others getting cheated. I have come to a point of doing my best amidst the natural disappointment to embrace the challenges and do the best to my human capability to work through it.

At the Whiskey this came on a post travel easy spin after arriving in Prescott. I randomly clipped a pedal while out on some mellow trail with Chloe and hit the ground hard. My left forearm took a hard hit, and in return jammed up my newly repaired shoulder. This was my first hard crash since overcoming multiple injuries last season, and in part was good to get it out of the way, in part relieved that my shoulder stayed in socket, but it left my shoulder aching and sore, with restricted range of motion and intense impingement. I damaged something in there yet again.

The Whiskey weekend became more about overcoming that set-back than the racing itself. It took me a day to know for sure that I would be able to start the races. I raced somewhat conservatively as I wasn’t in a place to take risks, and so both the crit and the backcountry marathon remain stepping stones toward being able to battle amidst the mix of the action rather than suffering my heart out just to hang on. Although my shoulder was weak and sore, it was able to get the job done.

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A quick shoulder check before the start of the backcountry race. pc: Kenny Wehn

I love being out racing, but it has been a slower process than I expected… finding the ability to dig deep and still go deeper. Right now, I just feel like I continue to suffer, and focus on staying positive that the work is going to show at some point. It has been a long testing of patience.

Whiskey will always be special to me. It was at Whiskey where I took my first pro win in 2016. The season is still young; let’s see what we can accomplish!

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Gratitude became my focus; gratitude to be present, gratitude that the percussions of the crash weren’t worse, and gratitude to be rooted in hope despite the outcome.

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Pain face at the finish. pc: Kenny Wehn

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