22 Apr 2019

Izzy Flint Race Update: EWS didn't exactly go as planned...

So ……….EWS was the biggest event on my calendar and I was keen as a bean!  I was in fine form and I was ready to unleash my little inner beast. But as we all know the universe has a way of making things happen; a way of throwing things at us that we can’t comprehend and that make us question why me, why now?  Unfortunately, my trip to New Zealand was one of those situations. After having a wonderful week riding the amazing trails in NZ, I focussed myself for the very last practice stage the day before the race.  As you only get one practice run down each stage at EWS this season, I was taking my time; looking at the run and repeatedly practicing sections when it all went horribly wrong.  I picked a line over an awkward rocky section and suddenly, before I knew it I was off my bike, way down the bank covered in prickles with a very sore nose, neck and head. I’m very vague on the details of what happened during the crash (and if I was being honest the next 3 days were also very hazy) all I know is that I had a very, very sore head.

I was completely overwhelmed and didn’t understand what was going on. I remember crying while being on the back of the 4-wheeler taking me to meet the ambulance while this beautiful lady held my hand and kept me safe.  In that moment of being a long way from home and family I was so incredibly thankful she was there!   I was transported to hospital via ambulance in a neck brace with thoughts of a c-spine injury. After x-rays and a range of other tests I was discharged with a severe concussion, a neck sprain and thankfully nothing else.

I flew home (although I don’t remember a lot of it) and met my mum at the airport who took one look at me and knew I just needed a mumma hug.  She described me as being like “the lights were on, but no one was home” and I stayed like that for around a week and half.   My words were jumbled, I had trouble remembering simple things and I couldn’t concentrate on anything.  I visited the doctor every two to three days and was continually unable to pass the concussions test which resulted in me not being given a clearance race EWS round in the Derby the following weekend.   I was devastated but knew that I didn’t really have a choice.

It took me a further week to pass the concussion test which also meant I was unable to race Cross Country and Downhill National and Oceania champs which were the week after Derby. I was devastated once again but thankfully I was still able to go on the trip to Bright to be a part of the atmosphere even though I couldn’t race.

It’s now been almost a month since my accident.  I’ve managed just 2 rides on a trainer for 30 mins and 2 rides on a bike path for 30 mins and I still haven’t returned to school. This accident means that I will miss the main part of my season and will rule me out of races for the next couple of months, which breaks my heart.

Through all of this I have had some very long, sad days but I’ve also been able to breathe, smile,  walk, talk and live which although isn’t very earth shattering to many, is a whole lot more than where I would have been if my accident had been worse. So today I’m thankful!  Thankful I’m still here and will be able to get back to riding my bike. Even though I don’t know why the universe had this in store for me, I know for sure that I was never its target.  Everything happens for a reason, even though we may never be able to see why and we all become stronger because of the challenges the universe throws at us. As my mum says, “the universe only deals you a hand you are capable of handling” ……so bring it on world, you’ve only just scraped the surface!