Elvijs: In the beginning of spring I will try to get back into sidecar
Raksts latviski šeit
April 15th. A regular race day. Until the moment when yellow flags start to appear. Team with number two has crashed. Valentin Giraud and Elvijs Mucenieks. Consequences - Elvijs has 5 broken ribs and spinal vertebra. It's been 7 months since the day that took away Elvij's hopes to become World Sidecarcross Champion in 2018.
6 months ago, not being able to get out of bed, Elvijs told that he won't be back in sidecarcross sport. It seemed like a logic decision but his closest people knew that it's just first thoughts and soon enough he will be singing completely different song. He suffered through operations and unspeakable pain to get back on his feet and to walk again. Iron Man. Months went by and his family wasn't able to make him sit still, secretly Elvijs had gotten behind the wheel of a sidecar. Even though there's still a long recovery process ahead, Elvij's progress is huge and view on the future - positive.
It's been 7 months since your terrible crash in Spain. How are you feeling now?
- For almost two months now I've been back at work and working in my usual schedule. There still is some discomfort in my lower back when I bend, because at work I have to do that quite a lot. But I have to deal with it and I'm just trying to find new ways how to do things differently. Health slowly is returning and I truly feel that I'm on the right path.
What is your every-day recovery process?
- The recovery process itself is quite long. Right now I'm able to do almost everything except make sharp movements. I often get in touch with my physiotherapist Liga Smite, who tells me things I need to do. I listen to her very carefully and I feel that together we have made a lot of progress. My every-day routing consists of going to work, in the evening I go to the gym to work with myself and weekends I spend in fresh air on my bicycle.
In late April you had a surgery in which you had 6 screws inserted in your lower back. What impact does it have on your daily life?
- During the operation, three lower lumbar vertebrae were screwed in the back, which are the most moving ones in the body. Right now doctor is realy optimistic and is surprised how fast my body is recovering after the surgery. Doctor predicted that I would be able to get to work only after 6 months but for two months already I'm back in my usual schedule – working 9 hours a day. My left leg is the most affected after the operation. It is much weaker and sometimes tends to disappear from the base, but I feel progress every day and that is the most iportant thing.
How did it feel to watch races at the other side of the track?
- After my accident I went to watch two rounds live – in Cesis (Latvia) and Belgium. To be honest, for me it wasn't hard to watch the races on the other side because at that point I wasn't ready to think about active sport. In that time I was evaluating my time and options and just decided to enjoy my summer in Latvia together with wife, family and friends.
How do you rate Vanluchene and Musset performance this season?
- New champion is young and passionate. This year they were the fastest and most stable – technically and morally. The win was well deserved for sure.. even though until my crash they weren't able to ride in front of me (laughing). I have to say that there's also a young talent – Hermans, and Musset made big contribution to their progress. They're deffinitely to be reckoned with in the future too.
What are your plans for the future?
- There's only one – to recover as good as possible. In the beginning of spring I will try to get back in sidecar and do little training. If I will feel that I'm capable of something, then I will think what's next but right now I'm concentrating only on my training's so I can live my life fully. Right now it really looks that we're on the right path for everything to work out the best way possible.
What is your biggest lesson or what did you learn from this experience?
- To trust only my closest people. Before arranging plans for the season, to make sure that everything is sorted and there's safety guarantee if something happens. In my case I wanna learn from small mistakes in relation to paperwork. I'm not blaming anyone in this accident because that's how sport is and it has it's risks that we expose ourselves to. If I ever get back in racing, there will be things I will do differently for sure.
It's too soon to judge on Elvij's future involving sidecarcross but as of now, it's sure that Elvijs won't be competing for champion title in 2019. He may have broken his bones, but not his fighting spirit and love for motocross.