A cyclist’s road to recovery
Active cyclist Audrey Chia, 39, was recently involved in a cycling accident where she sustained a hip fracture. She also fractured her left collarbone and had a deep wound on her legs that required skin grafting.
She experienced a lot of pain on her right side when she bent in certain positions and wasn’t able to stretch.
After a CT scan, it was revealed that she had a hip fracture. The doctors recommended Chia surgery considering her active lifestyle and that the likelihood of developing arthritis is high.
The support from cycling partners and groups helped a lot
Before the surgery, she still tried to remain active by running and cycling.
She felt a little uncomfortable, slightly afraid and unconfident at first, but she still managed the road pretty well and all was possible with the help of supportive friends and family.
Said the 39-year-old: “I was still able to manage on the road quite well. There was a bit of discomfort, initial fear of being on the road. But I had regular cycling partners that encouraged me to keep going. I didn’t push too hard, because I know I still had to do the surgery. I had to condition my body into getting the feel back after some time.”
Life after surgery: ‘Listen’ to your body
After the surgery, she had to rely on crutches to walk. At week 4, she resorted to swimming as it’s an excellent method to regaining the ability to walk/stretch without putting too much pressure on the hips.
As she got better, she didn’t need those crutches anymore.
With the help of a personal trainer, she was able to perform light and easy workouts to prevent muscle atrophy which helped her to stretch properly again.
Motivation to overcome the struggles and get back on the road
“I’ve always been an active person, and I feel restless when I don’t exercise. So it was all about my mindset of wanting to get back that helped me persevere. But I also make it a point to pace myself to allow my body to recover.”
“Generally, the cycling community helped alot with my recovery. We are all very close-knit. I ride with people that will encourage me no matter what. For example, West Coast Riders, and Team Turtle – Hussian has been very supportive. These people guide you, they push you. And you get back faster because of that.”
At 12 weeks of her recovery period, Chia said she felt more confident cycling on the road, though she didn’t regain the level of frequency and fitness that she had before the accident.
Chia says she now rides in a pack with people she is familiar with, who will help her through it all step by step.
Her main advice to others going through similar fate is to try and ride with a slower pack first. Ride with friends who don’t mind slowing down for you if you cannot tahan. Ride with those that will not try to stress you and those that will wait for you.
Advice for those wanting to quit a sport because of injuries
Lots of people think of quitting a sport they love because of an injury or got into an accident. We asked what Chia would say to these folks. We found her answer quite encouraging.
Chia said it all depends on his/her mindset. The key to recovery is to never to give up and to be mentally cautious. Support from friends and family is crucial, and it is essential that they appreciate what you like to do helps a lot to a cyclist road to recovery.
Initially when you start back up you will be scared, not confident enough. But it’s about having people you trust to take care of you at the start. They help you bring you back. It all comes down to the people who support you. You should have the determination to overcome, she says. Every sport has its own risk. Just because you got into an accident doesn’t mean you should give up what you like to do, says Chia.
Regaining road confidence, one pedal at a time
She started off by cycling short distances, which are below 50km. As she regained her strength and confidence, she increased her tempo, frequency, and distance slowly and steadily.
“I have a stationary bike trainer. I started out 30 mins on a flat route without too much pressure. Slowly from there, I progress from the road to start out. It’s important to listen to your body, don’t over push if you feel any discomfort.”
Don’t put too much pressure on your body, pay attention to your body’s needs, and don’t take unnecessary risks. While cycling, remain cautious and slow down naturally when you are cycling on dark roads, roads with potholes, or bumps hills, says Chia.
What motivates you to pedal on? Share this article to motivate your kakis to keep going no matter the obstacles!
Author: Mizah Salik
Writer | Editor | Storyteller | Data geek | Aspiring Photographer
When she’s not writing, Mizah is constantly wired 24/7. She loves cats, cycling at night, and can’t survive without her weekly dose of chicken rice.