Just over a month ago, I took a nasty spill that left me with a concussion. Concussions are dangerous, they can have long term consequences especially when they're not treated properly. Concussions are mysterious too, their signs and symptoms are sometimes hard to recognize, diagnose, and evaluate.
Taking time off of training is imperetive to recover from a head injury. A precocious return to physical exertion can delay the recovery process substantially. A small investment of a week or two "off" from regular training is a price well worth paying...otherwise recovery can drag on for months on end.
It is counterintuitive not to train when we're not feeling well. A lot of the work-outs I do hurt, and are crazily uncomfortable. Pushing through them until the end is part of the fun. With a concussion, my legs don't even hurt, my heart rate doesn't race, and I don't sweat buckets all over the place. I want to go hard, but regardless, I can't, and I know I shouldn't try.
A lot of people helped me get through this bizarre and unfortunate period. A teammate from last year, and a fellow cyclist who has had rock star mountain bike performances both shared their mistakes, experiences, and first hand expertise with me. Their stories struck a chord, and prevented me from making the same wrong choices by trying to "come back" too quickly. The Conseil du sport de haut niveau de Québec looked after me by promptly setting up appointments with sport concussion specialists. I had advice from coaches from the Québec provincial team and the Canadian national team. Friends encouraged me and shared contact information with other individuals that could help.
I am extremely fortunate to have fully recovered, and I thank every single person who helped me get back on my Orbea bike a few weeks ago to train and race the way I like to. A little lag in fitness was the only price I ended up paying...but I'm not so sure that it would have been that way without your help. THANK YOU!
If you whack your head, take care of yourself, and ask for help!