(OBS. graphic images at the end of this post – don’t look if you’re squeamish)
Today I woke up feeling like my heart had tied a knot to itself, swallowed a stone and jumped in the ocean. For someone like me with the somewhat naive attitude that I can do whatever I want, this injury has been the biggest challenge in my wakeboarding career so far. Even bigger than my double flip attempts and winning four European titles.
As I’m writing the previous sentences I get a lump of guilt in my stomach. This shouldn’t be so bad, it’s only an ACL surgery, there are people dealing with way worse! The first person who comes to mind is my friend Mackie who had to amputate his leg due to a wakeboarding injury, and look how strongly he is handling it! “You’re such a baby Carro, stop feeling sorry for yourself”. Those were the thoughts echoing inside my head this morning. But beneath all those thoughts of devastation, exasperation I feel some different, weaker thoughts. These are the thoughts that never leave me even if sometimes, like this morning, they keep to the very back of my mind. They are whispering with very quiet voices “This too shall pass Carro, everything is going to be okay”.
This morning I’ve spent over an hour, crying on my yoga mat with a 1kg ankle weight strapped to my right leg as I was in the middle of doing my physio exercises when sh#t hit the fan. Since surgery I’ve been staying pretty positive, mostly because of JB, and I’ve been focusing on moving forwards “Look JB, I can straighten my leg now! Look I can bend it to 90 degrees! Look you can see me flexing my quad muscles!” I guess emotions just slowly were building up as I realized what this injury meant for me. I will wont be able to wakeboard for the rest of the season meaning I’ll have no way of defending my European Champion title. I wont be able to attend all the amazing events in locations all over the world. I wont be going to the World Cup in China as I was so thrilled to once again qualify for the tour and I will have to spend most of my time away from my boyfriend and friends without as much of a glimpse of all the parks I love in the US.
As my cat fled for the hills from my whaling noises and my runny eyes and nose I reached one of my all time lows in this injury process. This because I realized that it was raining outside and that I would have to make my way to the subway station on my crutches (which normally takes 5 minutes but now 25), take the train for 30 minutes and then crutch the 20 minutes to the hospital for a check-up appointment. After some close thought, I realized that the reason I was sad didn’t have anything to do with this but because I felt a huge sensation of abandonment. I’m ashamed to admit that I was hoping for everyone I love to drop their whole lives and jobs and stride to my rescue; “oh no, poor Carro with her injured knee, let’s all take care of her!”. The fact that the bossy receptionist at the hospital told me “So what that it takes you a while, you’re able to put weight on your leg aren’t you?” when I had called her earlier made me feel like I was being a big baby. Yes I could put weight on my leg but I’d made the trip to the train the previous day and after about half way my leg was throbbing and swelling up. Maybe I just have a low threshold for pain? Maybe I’m weak. Maybe I’m weak…
The real pain is the insight that I can’t handle this by myself. It’s always been important to me to be independent. I moved out of home when I was 16 to attend the Wakeboarding School, I’ve lived in 6 different countries since I turned 19 and now I can’t even carry my own coffee cup to the couch. I love my family and my friends and I know that they love me too. My Mom took off work the day of my surgery and waited 5 hours in the Hospital for me to wake up from the anesthesia. She’s been making me food, washing my clothes and caring for me ever since but of course she still has to go to work. JB flew all the way from Texas to sit on the couch with me and do absolutely nothing with me straight after surgery. We watched 5 movies a day, played sudoku, and started my physio exercises.
I know my family loves me but this morning I feel like my three year old nephew whenever he trips over real bad and scrapes his knees. I want someone to stroke my hair and tell me “everything is going to be alright”. Unfortunately I’m a “grown up” now, and I’m expected to take care of myself. Well most of the times I can, today I just needed that reassurance from someone and as it happened all of my family members where occupied this morning and didn’t answer their phones. Well except for my brother who told me to stop whining (I still love you bro).
After another 20 minutes of crying on the floor, all of a sudden the tears and sobs stopped coming. I laid exhausted on the livingroom floor with swollen eyes and small mountain of tissues next to me. I know, and I’ve always known, that eventually I’m going to feel okay. I know that this is tough for me and it’s okay that it’s tough. I don’t have to compare my journey through this injury to anyone else’s because they are all different. I can see most of my friends heading for different competitions and it’s crazy how something that makes me so nervous that I wanna throw up is the only place I’d want to be right now. I get so jealous after watching them celebrate their victories or the achievement of landing new tricks. But actually I am celebrating too. I’m celebrating that my stitches are out. I am celebrating that I can bike again, that I have all these amazing humans around me that I call friends and family and that today I had to find out the hard way that I can take care of my feelings by myself. Last but not least I’m celebrating that I now can carry my own coffee cup from the kitchen to the couch.
The hard work has begun, I will be back!
Wow, so honored by all the kind words on the Swedish News last night! I’m always a bit nervous filming for interview as you, as and athlete, never have any idea of the angle the reporter/editor is going to take. This 3 minute piece took us about 2 hours to film so obviously there’s always a lot of talking cut out!
Anyways, I was filled with this huge warmth when I watched it on the news yesterday with my mom. Thank you so much Swedish media for this amazing piece! If you missed it on channel 2 last night, you can watch it here: LINK
Sommarkurser 7-10 Juli!
I år kommer jag tillsammans med Froggy Vattensport att arrangera fyra stycken kurs-dagar utanför Linköping! Vill du lära dig grunderna, utveckla din åkning eller kanske börja satsa på nya volter och spins så är det alltid lättaste med coaching. Alla nivåer/åldrar är välkomna, gå en eller flera dagar och få massor med tips att träna på själv under resten av sommaren! 🙂
Mer info här: LÄNK
Excited to be running a wake clinic together with Froggy in Linköping, Sweden! Check out the link here: LINK
Only 3 more days left to vote for you favorite riders!
It would make me so happy if you wanted to vote for me ♥ wkbm.ag/2016ReadersPoll
One of my favorite things about Texas is all the amazing nature! When you’re from Sweden and you think of Texas you think about: Horses, Cowboyboots, Guns and tumble weed. When I went there the first time I was so surprised about all the amazing watering holes around austin such as the Hamilton Pool, Jacobs Well and Barton springs to mention a few. JB and I have been visiting a bunch of different nature preserves after a stop at Wholefoods to fill our backpacks up with sandwiches and snacks. I even got him to skinny-dip at one location with me! Us europeans… 😉
Anyways, feeling like discovering some Swedish Hiking spots so I need your help! I live in Stockholm so preferably around that area would be great! All tips are welcome, GO!
(please let me know in the comment field, and yes you may write in Swedish)
Feels like summer finally arrived in Sweden, and last week I spent my days either out at the Cable parks in Stockholm or Västerås. Right now it’s mostly drinking coffee in the sun though 😉
JB is still here and I’m teaching him all the swedish I can, starting with Cocosboll and Saft. Yesterday we tuned into the live cast of the US Masters and I’m so pumped for Nicola who got second!! Both Meagan and Erika killed it too so congrats to all of you! Of course I wish I would’ve been on the invite list but I guess that’s what happen when you choke in WWA boat-contests because you’re nervous. There will always be another contest though and I don’t think this year was the year I was supposed to ride in the US masters but who knows, maybe I’ll compete in the next one.
Yesterday I managed to grab a quick set behind the boat in between the rain. It’s been a while so I took it super easy an it felt really strange being back behind a V8. I love the smell of gas for some reason though, maybe it’s just because I associate it with all the good times I’ve had on the water. My riding at the moment is not exactly where I would want it but I know I’ll get there eventually.
Texas is one of my favorite places to ride. There are so many cool spots and inspiring riders out here! Lately we’ve been spending some times at the Steiners new park in their beautiful backyard. 12 year old Rocker has been killing it off the kickers, watch out for him in the future!
Such a funny edit by my friend Nicola Butler from our trip to the Philippines. I feel like the most responsible in there, haha good thing my dance moves weren’t caught on camera!
Somehow my breakfast looked so good this morning that I now can classify myself as one of those people who take pictures of their food. (My apologies) Mornings are my favorite time of the day, it’s when I feel most productive and I always start with a huge breakfast. Today it was home made granola and oat-yoghurt, avocado toast and a huge cup of coffee.
Right now I’m looking out at the snow falling outside my window (it’s soon to be May!) and getting ready to go to the gym. Hopefully the weather will figure out that it’s spring soon so that the cables open again!!
I get a lot of email (mostly from girls) about how to start wakeboarding. I thought I’d make a post about it for you, since the season is about to kick off!
You’ve seen all the pictures and video’s on your friends social media and it does look like a lot of fun, but you don’t know where to start.
- First of all, ask your friends! Most people in this industry love new riding buddies and a lot of us have spare equipment lying around. Even if you’ve only met those people that one time at a Christmas party, it’s a great way to get away from your computer screen and get a “real” social network! Worst case, they say no, and then just proceed anyways to step number two.
- Step number two, locate your closest opportunity to ride, weather it’s your local cable park/boat club or wakeboard camp. There’s an excellent way to do this, it is called Google. Make sure it is OPEN (sometimes bad weather can effect the opening times so check their social media or website for the latest updates).
- Number three, rock up to this park/camp/club and tell the staff at the front desk that you are a complete beginner and that you are excited to learn! They will (most likely) get excited too and help you out with all your basic tips and equipment. (Although it is a good idea to bring your own swimmers, towel, sunscreen etc). If you’re at a cable park introduce yourself to the operator when you get down to the doc and ask him if he/she could help you get started.
- Number Four – and this is the point a lot of people get wrong – Be kind to yourself! Since this might be the first time you ever have had your feet strapped down onto a piece of wood/fiberglass you’re not going to be throwing any triple flips straight away. No-one in the line thinks you look stupid if you fall in the start – only you. Everyone standing on that dock were once beginners and now they are all too concerned about their own riding to care about yours (well unless you actually do throw a triple flip your first try). Try and have fun, either way you are learning something new, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and gaining life experience. I think no matter if it’s wakeboarding, fishing or learning how to feed chickens, new experiences are what makes us grow, and you should be proud that you took the initiative to try one!
There you go, that’s how easy it is! Once you are at your local spot maybe you’ll make some new friends that are beginners too. Maybe you guys can push each other, laugh with each other at the crashes you will do and hopefully have a ton of fun!
EDIT: Of Course always wear a life vest! I sometimes don’t but every time I ride and want to try something new, or even just ride “for real” I wear both my helmet and O’Neill Slasher vest. Not only because it’s safe but also because it gives me the confidence to push my riding and ride to a 100%. The photos I have without a vest are usually the ones like these, where I am just riding along or throwing tricks I can do in my sleep (Don’t forget I have been wakeboarding for over 10 years). ALWAYS WEAR A LIFEJACKET/HELMET WHEN YOU’RE STARTING OUT!
I came across this video a couple of weeks ago and it still sticks with me. When these interview questions are portrayed like this it makes it so obvious how incredibly irrelevant they are! I thought I’d help this organization spread this message as I don’t think the reporters making those questions realized how ignorant they sound. Of course they want to come up with interesting questions that attract traffic to their magazine/tv-show etc and they might not think twice about asking someone to “Twirl” in front of them.
However, I urge reporters (especially in the wakeboarding industry) to consider this question whenever they are covering a piece of a female athlete:
“Would I ask this question to a male athlete”
If the answer is no, maybe you should skip that question? And also, I know I have made the misstake before of not acknowledging questions that are inappropriate for what they are. It’s partly our responsibility, the athletes, to make sure we reply “I don’t think that is relevant” to the questions we don’t agree with.
Just some thoughts I wanted to share with you! Let’s change the conversation, one step at a time! 🙂
ps. I’d love to hear what you think, comment below!
Being back HOME feels so good! After spending four months in the Philippines at CWC wake park it feels surreal to be back in Sweden. After stepping out in the cold spring air, the first thought that struck me was that I had traveled to the future. After being used to the infrastructure and technology of the Philippines being in Sweden felt like being in a sci-fi movie. What, I had a phone connection everywhere? What I can drive a car instead of a scooter? What everyone are living in big houses instead of sheds next to the streets? (Of course not everyone in the Philippines live in simple homes but the economy there is incomparable to the one in Sweden).
My first few weeks here have consisted of trying to get a lot computer work done. Since it’s soon to be May, it’s my favorite time here in Sweden (NOT) as our tax-reports for the year is due. Besides the many fun hours (NOT) spent sorting out receipts and looking through documents I’ve also been… wait for it… Sorting out more documents!! My interview for a US visa is around the corner and if everything goes well I’ll be able to return to the states as an “Internationally recognized Alien” for this years contest season.
Besides all this, I’m so happy to be home and spend some time with my family and enjoying the luxuries of vegetarian cafés and Swedish food (feels like I’ve been eating non stop since I got back)!
Check out this rad video from Betsafe from the past decade of their projects! So rad to be representing such a crazy brand! 😉
Head over to Slingshot’s website and check out my team profile! Got a little interview up here : LINK
Head over to the LifeProof Unleashed website to read more about my wakeboarding essentials! Link HERE