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Ups and Downs on the Swiss Mountains « Matt Bailey's Blog


Ups and Downs on the Swiss Mountains

How things can change so quickly, as you know I have been training in Switzerland with the team, just over 2 weeks ago the day started like most other days in the mountains, I got up at 6:45 ready to go to the pool for a 7.30 swim session. The swim was fine and I was feeling quite pleased with how things were going with training. Coach said right easy ride today one group go around the bull loop the normal way and the other group go around it the opposite way. I was stoked because I got the so-called easy way around the loop, as we left Leysin it was a beautiful day the roads were dry and the sun was shining. So all was going well but this is how quickly things can go bad, as we were going down a mountain the road went from being dry to wet and full of gravel. My back wheel slipped from underneath me and before I knew what had happened I was lying on the road face down. I got up, didn’t feel too bad there were a few cuts and scrapes on my legs and arms and a couple of holes in my hands, which I thought no big deal easy to fix.

Coach came, picked me up in the car and took me to the hospital in town, they cleaned up all the wounds and stitched up my right hand and sent me on my way. I thought great nothing broken give it a couple of days and I will be back training again, they always fall off in the Tour de France get stitched up and back on the bike the next day so how was my injury to be any different? Well that was over two weeks go and after an operation to remove two stones and gravel that was lodged under the skin on my right hand, I am still not able to do full training due to an infection that occurred as a result of the debris in my hand and all the antibiotics that I had to take to clear it up.

Physically this crash did not really affect me, other than not be able to do basic things like being able to cook or shower because both hands were bandaged, but mentally it has been very hard. Dealing with such a simple crash you would think it would be so easy to cope with considering there had been no broken bones. Apart from being incredibly frustrated at myself because this injury could have been avoided if I had worn gloves. Sitting up in the mountains in my small bedsit I have had to fight a lot of mental battles, thinking that you are loosing fitness and everybody else is just getting stronger, the thought that you are putting weight on because you are not doing the same amount of training as usual but still eating the same amount of food (frozen microwave meals) but the biggest battle has been understanding and accepting that this type of injury takes time to heal and you can’t rush it. Even when the doctors give you the all clear to train they are talking about the injury itself not about the effect it has had on your immune system, which during the course of the injury has had to work three times harder than usual, and the effects that the antibiotics have on your body. So now being back on camp and still not being able to do full training and doing just low heart rate stuff until I go home will be hard, but I know at the end of all this it will be for the good and I won’t fall in a heap a few months down the track because I didn’t give chance for my whole body to recover, not just a lacerated hand.
Thanks Doc for your wisdom even though it has been a bitter pill to swallow.

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