Monday, July 12 2010
Story by Ryan Doyle.

State of Mind

Injuries are a major part of every sport, yet to be 100% focused on the tasks you’re trying to achieve in your sport you must have a pure mind, clear of consequence, clear of doubt, clear of fear.  This mind set is the hardest thing to achieve in any sport and once achieved even harder to maintain. It is the key to greatness, the key to being and competing with the best.  Well that and heart… and practice, practice, practice.

Dealing with Injuries

I’ve had many injuries in my lifetime from my days as a park rat at the snowboard park, to late night skateboard sessions, and of course my career as a wakeskater.  The beautiful thing about living in Canada is that when you get broken you get fixed for free assuming you can make it to a hospital.  In my early years of living/hiding out in Florida riding and training at The Projects, I couldn’t afford health insurance so I would fix myself with wooden splints, pain killers and the best tool of all, time.  Because after all time heals all wounds.  I'm not suggesting this is the best way to deal with injuries, but this is my story.

Blown MCL and ACL

In 2004 at the first ever Byerly Street Jam I landed one foot on, one foot off and blew my MCL and ACL.  At the time I did not know this because I had no money for an MRI.  After this I went home and spent about a week with my knee locked at 90 degrees. Luckily that’s the perfect position to ride a 50cc so I could still get outside and get around.  After about a month I was able to walk again with a straight leg limp, and in about two months I was riding pain free.

As the years went by my knee would slip out from time to time and take me out for a few weeks here and there, but I would train and get it strong again and continue to ride.

Ryan Doyle

The Collingwood Handrail

After years of traveling to countless places, riding countless bodies of water, and of course countless injuries, I found myself back in Canada with Nic Harlos setting up the scariest stunt I’d ever done - the Collingwood handrail.  Two tries before I stuck that harrowing handrail my knee slipped out on impact. 

For those of you who don’t know what this feels like. it’s like someone hitting your knee with a sledgehammer.  Maybe it was the adrenaline, I don’t know, but I put the pain in the back of my head and jogged back up the stairs.  Since I was home in Canada and Nic’s dad is a doctor with hook ups, I decided to finally get that elusive MRI.

The Surgery, the Rehab

After almost six years I found out I had no ACL or MCL in my right knee.  I got booked into surgery as soon as I could, another hook up via Nic’s dad, and as of February 1, 2010 I got my knee back!  Tara, my bride to be, got us the best little puppy to help with moral, as I spent the next three months rehabbing my leg working to get the muscle that I'd lost back.

Ryan Doyle

CTI & The Brace

I started to get anxious about getting back on the water as summer started to approach, so I called Brett Guerin at CTI and asked him if he could hook me up with a brace.  CTI is one of the top knee brace manufactures and they are very involved in the wake scene. This made them my first choice.  Brett was so nice about everything and got right on setting me up.  I was fitted and two weeks later the brace was on my knee.  I figure now all I need is the right inspiration by the right people to get me pumped as I get back on the water.  Luckily I know just the people…

Final Words

Injuries, if you let them can end careers, shatter confidence, and change your life forever.  But how you over come them can make you a stronger rider and a stronger person.  My time off the water has taught me a lot.  It gave me time to think about my riding and appreciate it more.  So thank you to everyone who helped me through a tough time in my career I feel stronger then ever and ready for a great summer.

Part 2 - Back on the Water

Check back in a couple of weeks to read all about my first time back on the water at The Projects.