As a young girl growing up on a ranch in Texas, my dad would routinely take me hunting. He taught me how to bow hunt when I was four or five years old, so my love for archery started at a young age. I continued to practice archery, but took some time off after high school.
During college I was not that involved in shooting sports, but thanks to my sister, Madolyn (who is a retired police officer and competed in the Police Olympics) a Christmas present of a bow, turned out to be the contributing factor to my success today on the Archery Shooter's Association (ASA), the world's premier outdoor 3-D archery tour.
Soon after receiving my bow as a gift, I met a group of people who routinely participated in archery tournaments. Having many years of archery experience, the idea of competing in tournaments instantly sparked a huge interest, and as they say, the rest is history. I competed one year as an amateur, and became a professional archer in 1999. I even met my husband, Jesse, through archery and we are both still actively competing today.
In the spring of 2018, I started suffering with dull, aching pain, at times stabbing pain in my left 'bow' shoulder. We were in the final stages of our competition season, so I continued participating in tournaments while fighting through the pain. As the tournament season came to an end, the pain started getting more intense. Hoping my shoulder would get better with rest, I did not pick up a bow for 6 weeks. Unfortunately, rest did not subside the pain at all. So, I decided it was finally time to get my shoulder examined in hopes I would be able to recover during the offseason.
I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Steven Nichols. According to Dr. Nichols, my x-rays revealed evidence of AC and rotator arthritis. Dr. Nichols believed there was additional issues, so he recommended I get an MRI. The MRI revealed impingement of and partial tearing of my rotator cuff. Dr. Nichols recommended arthroscopic surgery. After discussing the risks and benefits of the surgery with Dr. Nichols, we collectively decided surgery was the best option.
On August 8, 2018 Dr. Nichols performed arthroscopic surgery on my left shoulder. Before surgery I did not think I would be able to come back to archery after my surgery, a concern I shared with Dr. Nichols. He recommended that I wait as long as I could before returning to shooting, giving my shoulder enough time to completely heal. Two months following arthroscopic surgery of left shoulder, I am surprised on how quick and effective rehab has been on the road to recovery.
My overall goal is to be able to compete by the start of the 2019 tournament season. As of today, I’ve had a successful recovery and will be competing in the ASA tournament at Fort Benning, GA. There will be more than 2,000 competitors’ varying from ages 3 to 80 years old competing at Fort Benning. I will be specifically competing with a compound bow in the 3D tournament.
I would like to thank Dr. Nichols, who was very understanding and was sensitive to my career in archery. He has led me to a successful recovery and has helped me tremendously by getting me back to participating in a sport that I have enjoyed my whole life.
On a separate note, my husband has had Achilles tendon surgery with Dr. Norman Waldrop and carpal tunnel surgery with Dr. Kathleen McKeon. We are from Decatur, Alabama area but don’t mind the drive to Andrews Sports Medicine because they have been great to my family and we highly recommend their doctors.