Comparing Recovery To An Olympic Athlete

When I told Logan the other day that I was looking forward to waterskiing after surgery, her response was: “But not this year.” When I gave her the evil eye showing my disapproval, she responded with: “Ok, Chris Klug.”

I made the mental calculation to conclude that a 8-12 week recovery would likely give me time to fully recuperate enough to be ready by Labor Day, which is approximately 18 weeks after surgery. That seems doable. Especially when you consider Chris Klug was back on the snowboarding World Cup Circuit in the same amount of time. I’m not looking for a record-breaking waterskiing moment. Just two skis, a rope, and a boat that would drag me through the water would be sufficient.

Here’s Chris Klug’s recovery timeline (from a recent news article, linked below):

I was out of the hospital in record time, four days, and back in the gym lightly riding a stationary bike and lifting my arms within a week. I really had to listen to my body and to my doctors and go easy for the first month. The risk of an incisional hernia was high, so I took it easy.

The doctors told us the best thing I could do was walk, so I that’s what we did. We walked to Broncos games, Rockies games, the new aquarium and shops all over Denver.

I even walked a round of golf, following Greg Norman, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson at the International at Castle Rock. Man, was I spent after that. I remember sitting on the 18th green in the shade after the event for about a half hour catching my breath and trying to muster the energy to make it back to the car.

I returned to Aspen a month after my transplant to begin my rehab with my trainer Bill Fabrocini at the Aspen Club Sports Performance Center. My abs had been sliced through, so it took quite a while for them to come back, and it left a “bad” new tattoo. I still get curious looks at the pool or lake when I lose my shirt for a dip. I’ve come up with some pretty good stories explaining my scar. The shark attack tale actually works!

Seven weeks after my surgery, I began light abdominal strengthening. A week later, I headed to Mt. Hood, Oregon, for my first runs back on my snowboard. It was pretty special. I remember being so excited to be back on snow and with my friends. I never take a day of riding with my buddies or a single turn for granted any longer.

I was back on the World Cup Circuit four months after my surgery. Six months later, I stood atop the podium in Olang, Italy, for the first time.


5 Replies to “Comparing Recovery To An Olympic Athlete”

  1. I am sure Bry would be thrilled to take you behind his boat, can’t think if a better boat and driver. You both have the right attitude going thru this which is a big factor, walking is the best exercise. XO

  2. It is best to listen to your wife, derek. I love how she is so concerned for you. Don’t touch the skis until u get approval….it is not worth a problem for your body or your marriage:)

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