I’ve been an athlete my whole life and have completed many marathons over the years. I love to run, cycle, and swim, so a triathlon was a natural progression for me. In my 30+ years of being an athlete, I’ve never had problems with injuries. I’ve had a sore knee here and there, but nothing major, so I would just ice it, rest and continue with my training when the pain and discomfort subsided.
My initial, major injury was not related to running. It was just a freak accident in my front yard. I went to my local, orthopaedic doctor in Anniston and he referred me to Dr. Jeffrey Dugas.
Dr. Dugas performed an osteotomy on my right knee and we worked towards a recovery. One of the first things Dr. Dugas said to me when I saw him was “What is your goal?” This really meant a lot to me because of my passion for competing.
From the moment I met Dr. Dugas, he was unequivocally confident that I would be back to my normal self. I instilled a lot of hope and confidence in Dr. Dugas and everything he told me was right on schedule.
In December, 2018 I went in for a follow-up on my right knee and Dr. Dugas challenged me by telling me I needed to sign up for an event. I knew from the timeline he had given me that I wouldn’t be able to run until around May or June. So, I signed up for an event, IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid, which was about 9 months away. When the time was right, I started my training regimen in preparation for the event on September 8, 2019.
My goal was just to finish the IRONMAN race, so I completed the entire event without looking at my watch or on-course race clocks. I not only reached my goal of completing the event, I WON my age group and qualified for the IRONMAN World Championship!
Training for the IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid was something that kept me hopeful every time I felt discouraged throughout my recovery. Running has always been a coping mechanism for me so this was a really difficult time for me. I have a great support system in my running buddies who kept encouraging me and helped me just as much as Dr. Dugas did.
Thank you Dr. Dugas for your surgery skills, encouragement and recovery plan for challenging me to make a full recovery and getting back to competing and doing what I love!