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Happy Holidays (a message from Patricia)

I sincerely hope that your holiday seasons are shaping up to be awesome.
I am writing this update from Colorado Springs, where Levi and I have decided to remain and train over the holidays to make up for some lost time on the mat….

It has been one hell of a 1/2 year: after my final graduation in May, Levi and I remained for a few more weeks in Connecticut to train for World Team trials which were held in Vegas in early June. After winning a spot on the 2007 World Team set to compete in Azerbaijan in September of this year. it became time to settle into our new abode and make a calculated adjustment to enhance my final competitive run. Levi and his mother (graciously) drove our belongings out to Colorado Springs where we made our move back into the Olympic Training Center (I had lived there from 2002-04 training for the Athens Games). During the summer, we trained in Canada and then in Poland, where my preparation for the World Championships came to an abrupt halt when I dislocated my knee during practice. Actually, the halt was not that abrupt. I walked out after the relocation and was convinced that it it had been a minor patella shift at worst. In that mindset, I so proceeded with some rehab and training through the rest of the Poland camp and then back in Colorado. I was reluctant to take an MRI of my knee because I figured that if I was going to go ahead and compete in Azerbaijan (which I was pretty dead set on) then it would be psychologically better not to know exactly what was wrong with it. That plan held up until 2 weeks later when I dislocated my knee again, this time with such a small precipitation force that we knew things were not good. The MRI revealed that I had completely torn my ACL and that my lateral ligaments were also torn but not completely through. I went through several more stages of denial before the doctor put it pretty clearly – that it was a choice between going to the World Championships at 50% or to the Olympic at 100%. Coaches pretty much made that call for me and I was into surgery a few days later.So, I spent the next 3 month in intensive rehab mode – 5 hours a day in rehab, 2 in the weight room, some cardio, video work, getting into my new weight class, pretty much sums up how I and the many people helping me out, have gotten me to where I am right now…which is just beginning live wrestling again. It is so exciting and I am totally pumped for my run at Beijing. Deprivation definitely makes for appreciation and I am having one of my best X-mas’s ever getting to battle a bit again.During the rehab time,

I also have worked a bit with a US Olympic Committee project to create Division I wrestling for women in the NCAA which would help eliminate the dilemma that too many high school girl wrestlers have right now between a good education and their athletic interests. I have also been working with a community organization named Project START which helps struggling high school freshmen and sophomore students (worked with them in 02-04) in their endevour to create and entire charter school around their principles of support towards achievement. It has been a great ride since graduation. The injury was a bit heartbreaking in that it cost me the World Championships, but it did leave me with the Olympics and for that I am eternally grateful.

My husband has bloomed into one of the finest wrestling coaches out there (who knew, he really just started out of necessity becasuse we were out in Connecticut) and several other girls have taken him on as their coach as well. We are having a blast working toward the Olympic Gold and I am getting closer and closer to obtaining the level of mental control that is the essential ingredient that I have been striving toward since my come back. I know that what I do is a really fun game, and the trick has been keeping that balance between knowing that it means nothing and everything at the same time.

Thanks for listening to my rounding out of 2007. I wish you and your families my kind of elation this holiday season. At times, I miss every one of my friends and supporters that have graced my life along the way. Happy Holidays!

Love you,
-Patricia