Jesse Anthony, a pro cyclist for over a decade has experienced his fair share of injuries, and come back from them too. He took the time to tell us in his own words, about a couple more serious ones he’s faced over his career and how he’s overcome them to continue riding at a highly competitive level for Rally Cycling.
“The most significant injuries I have dealt with are achilles tendonitis in both ankles (right in the spring 2005 and left in the winter 2008), a broken right scaphoid (summer 2008) and mononucleosis (spring/summer 2009). On top of those more acute injuries, I've suffered chronic lower back injuries caused by pelvic and sacral instabilities throughout my entire career.
My back issues were caused by growing up racing cyclocross since I was 13 years old. Jumping on and off the bike from one side while I my body and bone structure was developing left me with a twisted pelvis and rotated sacrum that came to a head in the fall of 2004 when I was 19 years old. My back pain got to a point where I could hardly pedal the bicycle at 60-70% of my normal capability. I went to see a physical therapist, Jodi Llacera-Klein, who was awe-struck that my right hip was rotated back and up about an inch higher than my left hip, and my sacrum was turned about 45 degrees to the side. This pulled my muscles out of balance so far that they could no longer fire correctly which caused my core to be too unstable for my legs to pull and push from.
When Jodi straightened out my frame, I could pedal, but when I came out of alignment all the time (usually within a few days) and I would lock up again. That fall, I began a series of core balancing and strengthening exercises that I performed regularly for nearly 8 years. During the road season my back/pelvis would become more stable, but still problematic at times; especially after crashes or stage races when heavy fatigue would set in. During the cyclocross season, I would have to see Jodi, once or twice a week and work hard at core stabilization in order to be able to race. This was the major reason that I quit racing cyclocross at the end of the 2010 season and decided to turn to road racing full time in 2011
To this day I still miss ‘cross racing very much, but I remember all the days that my back was locked up and I was only able to produce a portion of the power that I normally could. Those days were SO frustrating and demoralizing. At times it didn't matter how hard I worked, my body just rejected the idea of going hard and I would be left out on the course struggling for an hour. A few years after I switched to only racing road, my back and pelvis stabilized with continued core work, physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments, but I finally was able to find consistency in my performance as far as muscle balance and back pain were concerned.”
As a racer for the highly competitive Rally Cycling that competes not only continentality in North America, but all-over the world, it’s imperative that Jesse is able to produce consistent power in order to perform at the highest level day in and day out. Earlier this season, he secured a seventh place finish during the first stage at the Tour de Normandie in France against an international field. By focusing on his core strengthening exercises, recovery techniques (Topical Edge is good for recovery too), a balanced nutrition and years of experience racing his bike he was able to move up to fifth in the general classification by the end of the prestigious week long stage race. Check back for part two of Jesse’s story in the coming weeks, where he’ll talk about racing while overcoming mono at the same time.
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