Part 2 of Klean Team USA-Sponsored Pro BMX Racer Athlete Diary: Alise Post

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Part 2 of Klean Team USA-Sponsored Pro BMX Racer Athlete Diary: Alise Post

Blog by Klean Team USA’s Alise Post

The following blog is part two of a four-part series by Klean Team USA pro BMX racer Alise Post. Alise is one of the most successful female BMX racers in the world, currently ranked #1 on the 2015 USAC BMX Power Rankings for elite women. She was kind enough to chat with us post-Pan-Am Games and World Championships to share her story of being an athlete and finding the motivation to train and race her heart out. Click here to read that blog.

While training just a few days before the 2011 UCI World Championships, Alise flew over the handlebars of her bike in a serious crash, rupturing her LCL and sustaining other significant injuries. Alise came back stronger than ever, though, determined to make a full recovery and compete in the London Olympics. To look forward, one has to look back – and we asked Alise to do just that in reflecting on her 2011 season and 2012 Olympic experience.

With less than one year until the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, it’s almost impossible not to reflect and try to draw from previous experiences … mine being those from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

I am in quite a different position to where I was leading up to the 2012 Olympic year. At this stage in my preparations for London, I was in and out of doctor’s visits and spending many hours a day rehabilitating my right leg after a major knee surgery I had at the end of July 2011. Along with a rare ruptured LCL, I had a ruptured hamstring tendon (biceps femoris), a partially torn ACL, an avulsion fracture off the top of my fibula, a fracture in my femur, cartilage detached from my tibia, and meniscus and internal damage from all the trauma. Initially, I was looking at a minimum of nine months recovery, about the same length of time until the 2012 World Championships and end of the qualification series for the US Olympic BMX Team. Naturally, I was crushed and felt as though all of my years of work and success towards achieving this goal amounted to nothing. Luckily, the USOC put me in touch with renowned complex knee surgeon Dr. LaPrade of the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He and our teams put me on the fast track to a healthy knee. Hope was restored.

After countless hours spent in rehab with a dedicated medical team, I was cleared to get back on my bike and start specific training exactly 5 months post-op, well ahead of schedule. I spent a month in boot camp with my coach, Sean Dwight, down in Australia and raced my first race of the Olympic Team points chase 6 months post-op. I was under the gun from then until the end of May (when the World Championships would conclude the points chase) to perform the best I ever had on the international circuit if I wanted to make the team. Thanks to the people around me, I managed to make every final and even capture my first World Cup win during that time. I was then the discretionary selection to the Olympic team based on my performance that year.

There are so many new experiences and extra attention brought about by the Olympic Games. As a BMX racer, I’d never been a part of anything like it. Looking back, the event is honestly all a blur. I remember the awestruck feeling of walking into the village, the constant buzz of cheering fans and success stories, riding on the Olympic track, standing behind the starting gate looking out to a packed and vivacious crowd, and the feeling of camaraderie with the American competitors and fans as the US Team took stage. But truthfully, as amazing as this all was, it was also overwhelming. In competition, I ended up on the ground twice during the semifinals, keeping me from qualifying for the final, a position I had not been in yet that year. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), my second crash knocked me a bit silly and left me with minimal recollection of the finish of my Olympic competition or the feeling of not getting a chance to compete in the medal round. I do, however, remember the feeling of disappointment as I met with my coach, friends, and family after the event, and the many tears that accompanied that feeling. Of course my family and friends were still incredibly proud of me for overcoming huge obstacles to be competing on that stage that day, but deep down I knew I had not performed at the level I was capable of.

Looking back, there are so many things I would have done differently both in and out of competition. I think that’s why I am so excited to have another chance to take advantage of this opportunity I’ve been given in life. I am healthy and already sitting in a much better position than my last go around, so things are on track. But as proven time and time again, things can change in an instant, so all that I or any other athlete can do is look to keep improving and preparing. Win, lose or draw, I want to put forth my best effort given the support, talent and now, experience, that I have to draw from.
Stay tuned for part three of this series as the season progresses.

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Photo ©Steve Diamond Elements


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