Episode one of the new and exclusive blog from the WESS Champion, Billy Bolt. Billy talks injuries, recovery, missing out on the SuperEnduro action and getting back on a bike again ahead of round one of the 2019 season at Lagares.
Right, let’s get this thing started. Thanks for taking a look at my new blog for Enduro21 and welcome. The plan is to get in touch once a month throughout the 2019 season and keep you all up to date with how things are going as I begin my defence of the World Enduro Super Series title.
As you’ll most likely know I injured myself just ahead of the SuperEnduro World Championship last December and I’ve been off the radar a bit since then.
The actual injury was quite a rare one they tell me because the initial break of my leg was where the ligament attaches to the bone. Maybe read this bit through your fingers if you’re a bit delicate but basically where the ligament attaches to the lower leg, below the knee, I pulled the bone apart and it was a bit like a jigsaw putting that back together.
The operations went well to pin it and they attached wire around it to hold the ligament in place but the problem was the wound just wouldn’t heal up at first. When I went back in for an x-ray the ligament had knitted itself, but the wire had detached and was sticking through the wound. So that wasn’t good!
In the end they took the wire and metalwork out and that was a really good thing because that meant it had healed well, apart from a slight infection. The downer was having to spend another week in hospital on a drip to get rid of the infection.
The long-standing issue comes from that stretched nerve which is causing signal problems to my foot. I’m keeping positive about it because I know it is still early days for this kind of injury.
The rate of recovery for nerve damage is so slow, really it is early days for this and it could be six months, a year or two. There is no guarantee that it will make a full recovery but it is showing all the right signs that it will and I’m doing all I can.
So how are things now? The short answer is that it’s getting there. We’re definitely ahead of schedule to what we initially thought and my progress has been really good so far but we still have a lot of rehab to go.
As I put this blog together I’ve literally just got back on the bike in the last couple of days – nothing major or hectic, just riding to see how it feels and it feels good.
My knee has healed well and was better than I expected on the bike. The specialists and physios are happy with how that has healed and how I’m moving. We’re just at the stage where we’re building strength in the muscle again and riding is only gonna help that.
My foot (left) is a different story though because of the nerve damage that occurred in my leg. My foot still isn’t functioning properly basically and I haven’t got much control of my foot. In a boot you don’t notice that too much but the main problem is changing gear.
So as far as hospitals and whatnot is concerned that is mostly over now and it is just physio and recovery work getting the strength back. Now I’m back on a bike that can only progress.
One thing I have to work on is keeping the muscles in my leg active because as it stands my brain isn’t doing that automatically like it should. Riding helps with that too.
I’ve stayed positive though and got my head around it all pretty early that it was gonna be a while off the bike. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t gutted about not being able to compete the SuperEnduro World Championship. I felt confident I could take that this year.
I think I understood my body quite well from an early stage so it wasn’t too bad being out of that championship and laid up. I went to some British races and made the most of the time I wasn’t riding to understand the injury and make the best of it.
I learnt a lot actually while I was injured about the body and how it works and repairs itself and that was time well spent which is only gonna benefit us in the future to understand more about myself.
I couldn’t be happier with the help and treatment I’ve been getting and I actually enjoyed the learning process during all of this and it has also helped me keep positive and not dwell on the negatives.
The good news is it shouldn’t affect my WESS championship. It is looking good that I will be at the start for Lagares. It wasn’t looking that good always and it would have been tough if it had affected two seasons, indoors and out, but I took the positives from it and know that it happens to everyone at some stage of their career.
I’m not gonna say for definite but all being well I should be on the start line in Portugal for round one of WESS. I’m doing all I can to get back there but also be safe and do the right thing to make sure I am in the best possible shape.
It is still literally one day at a time and I’m just getting back into riding. There are definitely some modifications that we need to do to the bike to help with my foot but the team and everyone is well on the way to finding some solutions to help with that.
I’ve worked all my life to get where I am and win that championship so I’m fully committed to defending that title – it wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t doing everything I could to be there provided it is safe.
Till the next time.