We recently caught up with Redline’s Alise Post and talked about injuries, the Olympics and what her “normal” routine is, check it out!
We know that you just came back fairly recently from a leg injury. Can you fill us in on that and take us through the process of getting injured, recovery and rehab.
“I broke my fibula and tore an ankle ligament on November 22, 2010 in my last training session before the grands just touching up on my bike. Obviously that was completely devastating considering the run I had at the ABA title and my upswing of riding and results at the end of 2010. However, it did happen and there’s not much you can say or do once it’s all said and done. So, throughout this whole process I just kept a positive attitude and was just always focusing on the next step. When I injured my leg, the first step being a good sport, going to the grands, promoting redline, and being there for my team mates (especially Sam for his title) while I awaited surgery. On December 1, 2010 I had surgery in the Twin Cities of MN, where a plate and 5 screws were placed on my Fibular and 4 “buttons” and 8 fiber wires were wrapped through my ankle bone to hold it all together. This was followed by a 2 week period of a 3/4 cast and excruciating pain (thank goodness for pain meds!). This whole time I was at home with my family and friends in MN, having as much fun with the off time as possible. Getting around on crutches was definitely tricky in the ice and snow, but everybody was so helpful at home I was still able to do things. Not missing a beat, on the morning of December 13 I went down to my doc, got my staples taken out, got a walking boot (a high tech air cast one…impressive I must say!), and by that afternoon I was at the airport headed out to Australia for the holidays with Sam. That trip was definitely healthy for me to take. It was so warm down there, which allowed me to heal quick and keep pretty active even with my boot on. I was able to do some bike rides and a few modified gym sessions and what not which was good. I was also able to regroup and just have a good time for a while away from everything which was awesome. Once I got back from Australia on January 13, I went straight back to MN for a weekend to get everything checked and outta that boot! That 6 weeks went a lot faster than I thought it would. Crazy how time flies. After I got my boot off, I flew back to SD on my birthday and went right to the rehab room at the training center for over a month. This part of the process was definitely what took the longest. I started out being in that room about 6 hours a days, 5 days a week, then slowly as my range of motion and strength progressed, it went down to 4 hours, then down to two and by the time I was getting on my bike again, I was down to just a half hour to hour check ups and treatments after sessions. During this time I felt extremely disconnected from racing after missing all the races and not really seeing too many people down at the center in the off time. I think it was good in a way though, because by the time I was able to ride a bit at the end of February/beginning of March, I was ITCHING to ride my bike. I had been able to do some sprinting on the road and modified work in the gym since the end of January, but that’s not the same as riding! I didn’t even get to try doing gym without a boot on until the middle/end of February either, so that part of the process definitely felt the longest. You feel so silly when you’re having to retrain your body things that were so simple before. But hey, I was back on my bike for a week 1/2 before the race in Phoenix and was still able to pull out a 3rd there on the Supercross style track. This was a huge step for me and I was so happy I was able to race both days. This was WEEKS ahead of schedule, and really boosted my confidence for the race in South Africa. By the time we got to South Africa at the beginning of April, I was hardly thinking about my leg anymore. It was all game face again. Even though my leg swelled up like an elephant on that giant trip over, overall I felt great there. My crashes and bad result were all a result of poor mentals. I just hadn’t been in a high pressure race situation for a long time and I think it got to me. I didn’t want to fall behind where I’d been at the end of the last season and I think that pressure forced me to make mistakes. However, as you saw a week later in Chula Vista, the cobwebs had been shaken off, and I was ready to put my race head on. I was still hurting and tired from the South Africa trip, but I made the best of the situation and enjoyed racing my bike again out there…and I walked away from the weekend not losing a lap all three days and becoming the US National Champion. I guess I’d definitely still stick to my original words when I got injured: “I think this was a blessing in disguise. I’m going to be pumped to race for the next year and half, and this renewed motivation is going to to play a key role in the months and races coming up.”
How does an injury like that affect you mentally?
“As I said before, I’ve kept a pretty positive outlook on the entire thing, which is why I think I’ve been able to come back so quick and strong. It’s not easy though. Trust me, it wasn’t fun watching the ABA title fall out of my hands at the ABA grands, it wasn’t easy watching everyone progress at the beginning of the season and feel like I was doing nothing but fall back. My confidence was knocked a lot. The pressure I put on myself in South Africa was too much. I practiced and raced liked I’d never been there before. But coming back from an injury has also made me stronger than ever, because I’ve had to understand the ups and the downs and take things in stride. My mental toughness is definitely stronger than ever now. “
Clearly Alise is back…
Obviously you have a love for BMX and racing is something that lives inside of you; when an injury takes you out how do you approach getting back on the bike as soon as possible?
“I was always just focusing on what the next small step was of the process. If you focus on the negatives or what you’re missing out on, you’re probably going to struggle getting back on the bike, or not make as much progress as you’d like. I followed what the physios said, was happy with every steps’ landmarks, and was able to get on my bike by February. It started with just sprints, but I had to be happy with that. Then it progressed simply to pumping on the pump track, then slowly I was able to start manualing and jumping things, and before I knew it I was back on the track full force. It’s crazy how long of a process it seemed like when the incident happened, but when you take things in stride like I did, time just flies!”
Now that you have been back, how have things been going on the track?
“I have been EXTREMELY happy with how I’ve been riding. I had spent most of last year just working on skills and technical stuff, and I am soooo happy I haven’t had to start over at square one with all of that. Obviously I wasn’t quite as “explosive” or quick immediately after getting back on the bike, but as it showed this weekend, all it took was a couple weeks of confidence building to get my comfort level back, and I felt as good as ever.”
Hey, sometimes injuries just make you faster.
With the Olympics fast approaching you are clearly one of America’s best female hopefuls for the upcoming Games in 2012, what are your thoughts on that and are you nervous at all?
“It’s a huge honor for people to already have confidence in me moving into the Olympic year, and there’s definitely nerves tagged on to that. But in a way, I’m not too worried about it. It might sound kind of crazy, but I don’t think about the Olympics all that often. I worry about whatever the next ABA race is, or whatever the next World Cup is, basically whatever is next on the schedule. I obviously have the long term goal of representing the USA in 2012, but there’s so many other small goals to be achieved before I can even think about that. Kind of like my injury: of course I was thinking about the day I’d be racing again, but I had a million baby steps to take and achieve before I could really even consider racing. I gotta think short term to keep myself sane and happy.”
What would it mean to you to compete in the Olympics and represent America?
“It would mean the world. I’ve always wanted to compete in the Olympics since I was a little kid. Back then I thought about it in gymnastics because BMX wasn’t in the Games, but things took a turn for the best in that I guess. I already have so much pride at the World Championships and World Cups when they announce my name riding for the USA (and Redline of course!), I can’t even imagine how proud I’d be at the Olympic Games. And personally, I am a perfectionist and want to be the best against the best, and the Olympics provide you with an opportunity to do just that. As the great gymnast Mary Lou Retton once said, “For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth”.”
At this point, Alise is on a mission straight to the Olympics.
Walk us through a typical day in the life; what fills up your time?
“Each day varies but you can pretty much count on something like this going down: Breakfast around 8, first training session around 9 or 10, some recovery (stretching, icing or bike ride), then straight to lunch afterwards. Lunch is usually followed by some sort of appointments (chiropractic, acupuncture, massage—not the enjoyable kind—, any rehab on current injuries, and then a little bit of downtime to write some emails update some blogs (you know, “business”). Then I usually grab a quick little snack followed by a second training session of the day. After that probably some hot/cold action or some sort of recovery and dinner…sometimes 2 dinners. Then hopefully the evening can consist of some fun time with buddies! That’s always a plus!”
Shout-outs and thanks?
“Thanks to my parents, friends, family, and fans for their continued support, my sponsors (Redline, JBL! Audio, Tangent, Oakley, Tioga, Answer, Sun Ringle, Kool Stop, Pryme, FLY Racing) for always taking care of me, everyone at USA Cycling and the USOC for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime out in Chula Vista at the Olympic Training Center (especially my “team”: Ross, Reiko, Chris, Quincy, Brett, Jamie, Sean, James, Mike), and also everybody at the ABA and UCI sanctions putting on a good race series every year…I couldn’t do it without all the pieces to the puzzle! Thanks guys! Also a big shout out to BMX PLUS! for doing this interview with me! Thanks again!”
Any last words?
“Follow my Twitter @Beasty_11, Check out my Facebook fan page (Alise Post), and Redline Blog to keep up with my day to day and get to know more about me!”