Monday, April 25, 2011
"Getting on with it"
What a difference a year makes. Easter was a pretty cool weekend for us, and far removed from the last 3 or 4 years when major MTB events were on the agenda. Last year Nic was in Dalby, England for her first World Cup, while I sat up late nervously waiting for results. Fast forward one year and we were both having a great old time blasting round the farm on dirt bikes.
We figure now would be a good time to officially announce what has been going on with Nic, as her absence from the entire domestic MTB season has left many questions. So here it is.
In late February Nic was diagnosed with Bilateral Illiac Endofibrosis. What? In laymens terms there is a narrowing and hardening of the major arteries feeding her legs. At high intensity effort(about 80% intensity and above), the plumbing is just too narrow to supply any blood to her legs and the muscles literally shut down. The problem becomes exponentially worse as intensity increases. As you can imagine this makes high level training and racing near impossible.
The positive is that she is otherwise perfectly healthy. AND, it ended a few months of extreme frustration and confusion as we struggled to discover why she was so fatigued, and couldn't train as she desired.
Can it be fixed? Yes. Via rather invasive and expensive surgery. Will it be fixed? We intend so, and May 2nd is D day when she visits the guru in this field down in Christchurch to assess the extent of the damage and discuss the path forward.
However we are not rushing things. If anything the whole ordeal has understandably led Nic to some soul searching. If anything it has led her realise how lucky she has been to be able to pursue her sport to such high levels. But it has also helped her realise there is more to Nic Leary than Mountainbiking. Don't get us wrong, she unfinished business and goals to achieve there. She will be back. Fitter, faster, and stronger than ever.
We are very grateful for the best wishes and support expressed by friends, family, and our loyal sponsors.
But life is a journey, not a destination. There is no point being railroaded down one track (MTB) that in reality is a hobby. It is not a job for us, nor some noble quest for the good of the country as some tend to paint the picture of young athletes on the world stage. It is a hobby (albeit one we are passionate about). There are many more roads to explore on that journey, and for Nic these include opportunites in business, farming, hunting, chances to give a bit back to the MTB community, and many other as yet undiscovered adventures. So any decision on the timing of surgery will consider the "whole life" balance. We are pretty determined to ensure that these decisions do not limit future opportunities in all aspects of life.
Just one week ago we heard that a fellow "Elite" MTB'er was expressing the opnio that Nic should "stop being miserable and get on with it (the surgery)"... At first we were pretty pissed off at such uniformed and misplaced comments. But on further reflection I just feel sorry for that person who has developed that tunnel vision.
This (below) is Nic, getting on with it. Look's like the polar opposite of miserable if you ask me!