Injuries and rehabilitation are familiar terms for athletes. Ask them how tough it is to stage a return.
Pune-based cyclist Chaitali Pavnaskar is one of those bravehearts, who defied a career-threatening injury to be back on the track (literally). The 16-year-old suffered a head injury during a training session. The accident kept her out of action for a few months. But Chaitali not only recovered quickly, she has also been selected to represent India in the Asian Cycling Championship to be held in New Delhi from March 2.
“It happens with everybody. You are doing well, preparing hard and, all of a sudden, you get injured. In such critical times, an athlete’s family, teammates and coach play a major role in the comeback. In my case, it wouldn’t have been possible to get back into action so soon if my family hadn’t supported me,” Chaitali told DNA from New Delhi.
Chaitali was kept under observation in an Intensive Care Unit for a week. After almost four months, she started riding again under the supervision of coach and Chhatrapati awardee, Vishal Pawar. Soon she regained her form and got selected in the trials held in New Delhi last week.
Asked what kept her motivated, she said, “The whole credit goes to my coach. He is a true motivator and with his help, I kept myself busy without thinking much about the injury. Initially, it was like starting from the scratch, but I trained hard to reach the target.”
Despite her progress, doctors have advised her to be careful while racing.
Not that she’d be thinking about the injury when the Asian Championship starts. “This would be my first international event, so I am quite excited. This will be a whole new experience for me and I would give my best shot,” she said.