Ellie had her third race of the high school mountain biking league this past Sunday. It was exciting; I was anxious, hopeful and proud of my daughter.
At practice on Wednesday Ellie was doing an tight turn and crashed. The end of her handlebar pushed into her sterum (the space just below your ribs)which resulted in a funky, tattoo like bruise that displayed the design on the end camp. That image was surrounded by a heathered blue. The coach that is also an ER nurse talked to me about how to look for internal damage and bleeding. Her coach who is a lead pharmacist talked to us about pain control. Ellie' torso hurt and breathing was impeded. Being the stubborn girl that she is, she did not want any medication. She wanted to tough it out on her own. Nate told me it could take up to six weeks to completely heal.
On Thursday Ellie found that it hurt more than it had the day before; she could not stand straight without pain. I offered comfort, a hot pad and no judgement. Having never injured myself in that same fashion, I could only guess how bad it was based on what others told me. My stoic girl kept it mostly to herself. Eventually she relented and allowed me to help her, just a bit. We strapped chemical heated pads to her sternum in hopes that it would help her sleep. We heated and reheated a pad that helped bring temporary relief. It seemed to continue to hurt, yet she did not really complain.
Along with her injury, I worried about the weather. Friday was the first snow of the season. Saturday there would be a hard freeze and we were scheduled to camp out. Then we dithered about whether to drive to the race location (about 1.5 hours away) to preride the course and return home. In the end she opted for resting instead of riding. Her coach and I thought it was a good plan.
With so much stirring in me, it was hard to stand still and keep my anxiety to myself.
In the midst of all of that Ellie came speeding through the diversion that we set up. She thought the girl ahead of her was in her category so she put on extra speed, sprinting to a strong finish, winning her the JV category by a long shot. My worries of how injured she was slipped away. Once again, I was amazed at my girl's power of determination and her ability to focus on her goal. I would have been happy to have her race and have fun. It is extra fun when she wins and is happy with her own performance. Her coach says that the fire in her belly is fierce.