SummerTwenty12Posted in Sweet Team on July 25th, 2012 by Mariann Sæther – Be the first to comment
The summer started out perfect. Moved to the capital of norwegian whitewater, Voss, into a house situated at the take-out of one of the best runs on the famous Raundalen river. This river flows for more than 40 kms of untouched whitewater, including gems like Nosebreaker waterfall and Marine canyon. The valley is lush and green, snowcapped peaks poke the sky, and even the local playrun involves two decent horseshoe drops, making many creekboaters walk.
Nouria Newman (FRA) flew in one week before the Extremesportweek in Voss, and we spent the days kayaking, kayaking and kayaking. Nouria is one of the few women I have ever paddled with whom I feel looks at the whitewater exactly the same as I do. The first creek we ran together, just the two of us, some years back, was the Lower Rauma. We continued into the infamous canyons of the Utla, a 3-day misson through the deepest canyon this country has. It turned into an epic, but what an adventure!
Now, Nouria and myself were busying ourselves with hucking waterfalls like Moneydrop and Double Drop, with many more lined up. I was looking forward to racing the Branset Extremerace like never before, knowing that I would have to nail my lines and give it all with Nouria as the biggest competition.
The first competition of the Extremesportweek is also one of the newest additions, and most likely the most hardcore one. You get flown with a helicopter to the peak of Lønahorgi, then you ski down the mountain, change to downhill bikes and race down a difficult trail before finally finishing the race with a kayak stretch of 3-4 kilometers.
Only four girls were doing the hole race, and I was super excited to be one of them! I was doing ok on skiing, but got passed by local charger Gry Bystøl on the biketrail, just before a trickly little bridge that saw me go over the handlebars and straight onto my shoulder. Standing up, I knew I was injured, the pain was definitely telling me that much. However, I could kind of lift my arm, and I decided to continue. So I biked the rest of the trail, changed to my kayak gear and actually made it down to the finish line, crying the entire way. I could not help but to think constantly ” I am going to make it, I am going to make it”, as if I was on some superhard expedition and had to make it back to civilization to survive. Silly brain. Coming in third, Red Cross was on me right away. I guess missing the eddy, leaving the boat to float downstream while I ran for the finish banner, crying and then collapsing as I touched it, is not normal competition behavior.. A few of my friends had realised as well that something was wrong, and ran over to help. Thanks everybody! Especially to the ambulance people giving me lots of morphine on the way to the hospital..
With the gear taken off me, it was clear that my shoulder was bad. The collarbone was standing in a sick angle, and the x-rays revelaed and AC 3 shoulder seperation, category five. That means that all muscle attachments were torn, and the trapezius muscle was damaged by the bone standing up. A 5 hours surgery later, and I was on my way to recovery. Hell yeah! It has now been almost 4 weeks since surgery, and I am well away on my re-hab. No doubt, I will come back stronger.
Thanks to everybody helping me out at the time of the accident, thanks to Nouria and Louise Jull for taking care of my dogs, and thanks to all you people out there that have been injured, and made good recoveries. You are all my inspiration for getting quickly back into the game.
Enjoy the summer!