By Kristin Boese
Posted Tuesday 8th July
It's funny how you only realize how much time it takes to get back to normal if you actually hurt yourself, but I can say that my ankle healed extremely quickly! Five weeks after the injury I started exercising – doing rehab and yoga classes at the "Flow" Yoga in Hood River. Thanks to Flow, I built up some strength in my leg and ankle and was able to go kiting for the first time again just 6 weeks after injury ...strapless and for 30 minutes at first as my ankle swelled quickly, but it felt incredibly good to be on the water again!
So I thought I would try to compete in for the US Racing Nationals at the Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco one week later. Last year's event had been so well organized that it was no surprise that this year it was also run in an extremely professional manner. After a long skippers meeting on the first day, all questions were answered, the schedule was clear and the next day the racing started.
(The courses can be tricky to remember, and you don't know which course you'll have to
race until you're out on the water, so some people write the courses on their boards.)
For the following 5 days we were going to have 3 races a day...the first 2 days were the qualifier races, and the last 3 days races were the finals, with longer races lasting about 45 minutes. Those 5 days really turned out to be an extreme exercise. After Day 2, everybody was really tired. I had not excercised my leg like that in way too long, and I was feeling every chop and bump on the course. Anyway, everybody kept racing and giving their very best until the very last minute, and the motivation was huge, and the vibe really great.
I got onto that wave of motivation with everyone and after 5 days of racing finished in an awesome 2nd place just 8 weeks after I had broken my ankle. I was not only super stoked to be able to still race alright but also very happy as I had just done the best thing for my ankle that I could have done – the muscles in my left leg were now still much smaller than in the other one, but I could now walk down stairs normally again and actually stretch my ankle back all the way and stand on my toes!
I have to say: I love racing ... it really is pure endurance! And the Saint Francis Yacht Club has once again put together one of the most professional events ever! Thanks to everyone that helped organizing it!