Comments 12


When I last reconstructed my knee in 2006, I was fresh off a previous injury and furious over the loss of two back-to-back seasons. I went into surgery sad, rehabbed in anger, and came back to sports scared; my knee had nothing but bad energy going into it from day one.

Of course, bad energy can’t stay in you for too long. I postponed it for five years, but the release finally came last week; a small drop starved for snow and the bones of my leg slipped over each other in that sickening, familiar way. I curled into the slope and screamed out everything; all the anger, fear, and pain left in that joint. Then I skied down and called Alpine Orthopedics.

Now I have no visible kneecap, three fresh scars and a burly new ACL. My fourth, including the one I was born with. I spent my first lucid day indoors yesterday while my friends flocked to the new snow, and felt once again like some kind of crazed, trapped animal.

But, I don’t feel anger. I don’t feel fear. I feel sad for the lost potential of the next six months, but I’m already creating other things to get excited about. Above all I’m focused on simply pouring as much love into this new joint as I can.

Oh, and hey, I might just give that “biking” sport a try.


  1. Ouch!
    So sorry to hear about your injury!
    Part of the not feeling anger is getting
    mature isn’t it?
    Any way, from a guy with a new (and now used…)
    ACL, take the recovery light and easy. Its crucial (but I guess you
    already know that…)

    Take good good care


  2. Sorry to hear about the injury Lydia, but I’m so proud of your outlook on the healing process! You could knit me a hat? ….I mean only if you have some serious time on your hands 🙂

  3. Bummer, Lydia. Healing vibes to you and best of luck on that “biking” sport. Might be a fun year to take it up what with some big race in London going on in August.

  4. bubbleboy says

    wtf man? that’s some shi*t luck.
    here’s a super-inspiring quote from some famous person about picking yourself up and trying again:”
    OK, F that. just get better and rage like hell on the next challenge.

  5. Barbara Stiehr says

    What he said! Bubbleboy is inspiring.. I’m so sorry all this has happened again Lydia. GOSH you have had way more experience on the wrong side of the bed with all your injuries. Enough! I hope this one launches you into the direction of your dreams! Ya never know what needs to transpire to get you pointed in just the right direction with just the right perspective and view… God bless you sweetie. Heal fast and well. Love you.

  6. Frances Higgins says

    HI Lydia – It’s Frances Higgins in Boulder. So sorry to hear about your injury and the reality it brings with it – hmmm what to do with that. Elliott has had many surgeries, and I have watched him do two things which I have always admired. Cross train time – for him it was drums and dabbling with a keyboard. He spent the same amount of hours a long kayak, bike ride or ski would take. And be a zealot about physical therapy –

    My nutrition side would say eat lots of healthy food to heal – balanced is always best.

    love, FH

  7. Oh Lydia – sorry to read this, but so glad you are looking ahead. Good luck in your recovery and rehab. I think you should come down to Boulder and let all of us mommas bring you goodness and spoil you plenty. Hang in there – you are one tough woman and I know you can get through this!

  8. Hey Chica,
    You are Awesome as usual! I am always amazed at your insight and your ability to put your feelings in to words. And for some reason I always have tears in my eyes when I read your posts?!
    When I heard about your ACL I was reminded why we were supposed to keep you on the damn bike!! Shit, how did I forget my job?! I know, it is not my job and I wanted you to fly free. But, you are always welcome to fly back in what ever level that may be. MTB coach?
    I will always remember Ksenia watching you ride an the Nats course last year. She was in Awe of your power and beauty on the bike. “Who is that girl?, she is really fast”!

    We love you L.T.(and we love your new ACL!)

  9. Marina Lepikhina says

    Hi, Lydia, Marina Lepikhina’s here, friend of your mom, you are such a strong and beautiful girl. Wish you all the best luck with faster recovery.

  10. Helen Nychka says

    Dear ACL #4 and Lydia,

    I have no doubt you will get through this and come out on some other wonderful side of the amazing person who is Lydia, but I am not happy that this happened to you.
    Your writing is spectacular and moving……as usual – thank you for sharing.
    Sending healing vibes your way and if you send me your address I will also send Mad Libs and some other survival bits.
    Power on strong girl.
    love and hugs from the Nychtakas

  11. Myke Hermsmeyer says

    Hey Lydia, sorry to hear about your ACL. I’m not sure you’d remember but you gave me some good advice about rehabbing when I tore mine shortly after you did back in high school days, and I then proceeded to observe you kicking my ass at recovering over the next couple of months. I guess maybe you were keeping some of the best advice for yourself… Really though I remember appreciating it a lot, and I would offer up some advice if I didn’t think you already knew how to pull yourself back to 100%. I wish you well, I’m sure you’ll be right back at it in no time.

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