Yannick is one of our oldest ambassadors. He has seen BIKESHIELD PROTECTION evolve in all stages of a company and is still riding with us for this year. Always ready to lend a hand, you can find him at the Marin Wildside Enduro races or riding in various trail networks in Quebec and elsewhere!
Those who know him know that he only has two gears on his bike: "Fast" or "Very fast"! Yannick has been riding mountain bikes for a long time and has seen all kinds of situations, types of terrain and landscapes. He has seen the sport evolve, he has a lot of mileage in his body and by the way some falls... We all know that this is how we gain experience! But, for the past two years... Let's just say that he has faced different injuries and situations that prevented him from being at 100% for his racing seasons... One bad luck didn't wait for the other.
Yannick has worked hard in the last few years to come back strong and have a great racing season for 2022. To get back on track, he had to face illnesses, surgeries and injuries both physical and mental.
I'll let him tell us more about the obstacles and challenges he has faced over the past two years:
"Summer 2020, It all started in Whistler when someone bumped into me on the first day and first run of my vacation. It tore my rotator cuff. I still managed to finish my racing season with a lot of pain in my shoulder but I wanted to finish first overall because I hadn't been able to reach that goal for two years... But at the end of the season, mission accomplished!
I thought that with rest and weight training I would get my shoulder back in good shape. I had to realize that it was too damaged and I had to go to surgery. Remember that at that time, the COVID-19 crisis was at its peak and the surgeries were cancelled. The date of the surgery is November 2021. Between that, I caught the long COVID in December 2020 and believe it or not, I was on the sidelines until September 2021 with several symptoms such as heart lesions and myocarditis, with constant fatigue, difficulty concentrating and severe anxiety... Even very severe.
To give you an example, I went up to Les Sentiers du Moulin which is my favorite place to tack when I got there because I was unable to ride because of my anxiety and discomfort in my body. This has happened more than once. Another symptom: Shortness of breath as soon as I got above 160 bpm I was unable to see obstacles properly in the trails, blurred vision. I had three scans to be told that my heart was cured by the end of June 2021. I was finally allowed to push the machine a bit more around 140 bpm max.
I did my best to try to run the summer of 2021 but nothing worked. I still signed up for the Marin Wildside race at Camp Fortune. I managed to make it through the practice day without pushing too hard to get some juice for the next day. But during practice three, I was unable to hold my bike in the track... No strength and no clear vision. I didn't even finish the course, I stopped in the middle of it because it was too dangerous in the state I was in, Camp Fortune is not a small beer!
I was very disappointed and anxious that I would not be able to get back to the level I was at because of an illness! And yes, despite the fact that I was taking it easy for the rest of the season, I managed to break my collarbone while on a quiet trail ride.
Clavicle too damaged, it too needed surgery. The intervention plans of my orthopedist who was following me for my shoulder changed due to the broken collarbone. He needed a second specialist to operate on me. A big operation of more than 4 hours that went really well I was told.
But then my real work began, the rehabilitation... Oullalala!!!
Two months without moving my arm a month just of movement. During this time I got a call to have another surgery offered on January 5, 2022 that I have been waiting for years: Right hand carpal tunnel so left shoulder scrap and right hand scrap, nice winter!
Oh yes, and to top it all off, on January 6 I had my eyes operated on.
I kept my spirits up. Since then I've been doing some rolling and weight training to try to get back in top shape and be able to ride my bike again and come back to work. I've been working hard on my training. But I can't go any faster than my body is healing. I'm doing everything I can to make my rehabilitation a success. Will I be able to push like I used to? Will I be able to perform like I used to? Only time and discipline will tell!
For now, I am giving 110% to my rehabilitation. I didn't take the Fatbike out for the winter to give myself a chance to have a great summer on my bike and be able to take care of my couple and family!"