AST Athlete Journal: Makenna Lebsack

Hello Everyone! My name is Makenna Lebsack and I am currently going into my second season representing the Alberta Ski Team. It is presently snowing while I am writing this which means it’s one step closer to skiing! I hope everyone reading is just as excited for the season as I am!

My summer training looked a little different from the rest of the teams as I have been rehabbing a back injury. Last January I crashed in a GS race and hurt my back but after many days off, physio sessions, and a lot of ice I thought it had completely gone away. For the first few months of summer training, I was in the gym 5 days a week feeling stronger than ever, I even hit my bench press goal of 135! Sadly, in mid-July, just a few weeks before the team took off to Switzerland, my back pain suddenly came back in a workout. I spent the next couple of weeks unloading my back in the gym and loading up my schedule with doctors’ appointments to figure out what was wrong.

The day before we left for Europe I had a bone scan, which let me tell you is not recommended when you have to go through airport security and set off every alarm because you are “radioactive!” Thankfully everyone safely made it to Switzerland and we had a beautiful bluebird day for our first session back on skis. On day 2 I got an email with my bone scan results which unfortunately showed that I have a stress fracture in one of my lower vertebrates. From then on I was put onto a modified ski program and although I didn’t get a lot of gate training, I still enjoyed the stunning mountain views of Saas-Fee and worked on the basics of my ski technique plus a LOT of core.

Even with the best efforts to get me back for our second training camp in October, I was sadly not cleared so I stayed back to rehab and train in the gym. I am so grateful for the amazing support system I have from my physio Lauren Vickery, trainer Nathaniel Morris, Dr. Brian Benson, coaches, teammates and parents. With them, I have been able to stay positive and get stronger. I recently did strength testing and all my tests have improved since the beginning of summer which is really exciting seeing as I have not been able to do all the heavy Olympic lifting I usually do. On another happy note, I have been cleared to start my back to skiing program. Although my return to snow will be slower than my competitive self would like, I am still so stoked to get back at it and am very optimistic this will be an amazing race year!

Lastly, I want to say none of this would be possible without the support from the ski community, my parents, and sponsors; Sporting Life, Karbon, GMC Dealers of Alberta, and Mission Wealth Advisors. I would also like to thank Dynastar/Lange, and Shred for the sick set-up this year!

See you on the slopes!