Jit’s Journal: PatienceIt is a road that many have taken, but it’s a road I was hoping I would miss out on. The reality is that when you do a sport like ski racing, no matter what the level, you are constantly in danger of injury. It is that risk that makes it so exhilarating; and it is that risk that brings me back race after race.
For me, it has been two weeks since I had surgery on my torn ACL, and the progress with my leg is coming fast. Everyday consumed with the thought of what needs to be done with my leg to get it back to where it once was. However, the effects of surgery and almost a month of no weight bearing are very apparent. I have lost a quarter of an inch off the circumference of my leg muscle and my knee is home to a couple of fresh scars. For any athlete it is difficult to see your body in such a way, but you have to move on.
I will be taking some college courses during my little ‘winter vacation’ to keep my mind occupied. Mix in a little therapy, a few days on a beach somewhere, and things won’t be so bad. Slowly I will try to rebuild the strength that took hundreds of hours on the bike and in the gym to create; but for now I have to take it easy on my knee and not over do it too soon. A lot of athletes make the mistake of trying to get back to action too fast. You have to slow down and let your body completely heal. As much as I miss skiing, I am in no rush to get back out there until my leg is completely ready to take the punishment again. If you need a lesson in injury patience you should talk to Freedog (Bryon Friedman) or Sully (Marco Sullivan). They know it better than anyone.
With that said; I have been doing Jit’s journals now for some time. In my last journal I said that this would be my final entry for Ski Racing. What I wasn’t expecting was the outpouring of e-mails requesting I not stop. It was reading these e-mails that made me decide to continue, and I thank those of you who wrote. I guess I didn’t realize people were actually reading my bantering. I also realized that while I may not be out on the hill right now I can still help bring you the reader and fans of ski racing the perspective of an athlete as well as updates on my teammates with fresh photos from the road courtesy of my good friend and teammate Drew Roberts. The Europa Cup guys are currently en route to Europe after a successful Nor-Am series in Hunter, New York.
One thing I have had many requests for is updates on the women’s side of things. While I agree the Europa Cup girls on the move up should have an outlet I think one of them would be better for the job than me. Hopefully in the near future you will see this happen. Where does it go from here? You tell me. I encourage people to send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about anything they feel relates to racing, or skiing in general. I am open to suggestions and answering your questions. Till next time, train hard, have fun and ski fast,
Tim Jitloff was the 2005 Sprint / Ski Racing Junior of the Year. He will keep his online journal here all season. You can e-mail him your comments or questions at email@example.com. To read more athlete journals, or to hear industry insiders in their own words, click here.