Heather Moyse is usually completely focused on her training and performance in the wide variety of sports on her plate.
However, injury woes have been a problem over the last two years and now she is in recovery mode yet again.
The 2010 Olympic bobsled champion recently underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in her right hip. The procedure came about two years after she suffered a serious ankle injury at the Rugby World Cup.
The latest injury news came after a period of uncertainty for Moyse, who was unsure whether to begin her transition out of sports or to give it another go. She has already conquered the bobsled track, shown her prowess on the pitch, and even reached an elite level in track cycling.
After much thought, Moyse is clear on her future plans. She had decided to focus on rugby and bobsled once she returns to top physical form.
“For me, it’s always been about challenges,” Moyse said in a recent interview. “I thought, ‘OK you know what, trying to excel in both of the sports that have gotten me here — just giving whatever I can, everything I can — to these sports in the next year and a half, that will be my challenge.’
“So let’s just throw in a hip surgery and start from scratch and make it a really big challenge.”
Moyse said that the ankle rehabilitation process prevented her from following her usual running routine for a year and a half. Before lacing up her running shoes, she started slow with mobility drills but felt pain in her hip after a few weeks.
An MRI exam revealed the labrum tear and surgery followed. Doctors also discovered cartilage issues and bone spurs in the area.
Moyse will wear a brace for the next month and hopes to get the green light for strength training early in the New Year. She feels good knowing that she has a plan in place.
“I’ve never been a long-term goal person,” she said. “I need something that’s urgent. I need something that’s immediate. I need to be driven.”
Her specific goals include competing for Canada at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens and defending her bobsled title at the Sochi Games in 2014. She still needs to make both squads and is confident she can do it.
“This next year and a half for me is kind of like a pinnacle,” Moyse said. “I’ve got a year and a half to give back to the two sports that have gotten me to where I am now.
“I’m going to just give whatever I can.”
The 34-year-old from Summerside, P.E.I., also wants to pursue other goals when the time is right — including maybe starting a family. But sports is a priority right now.
She’s also not closing the door on the possibility of hanging around until the Rio Games in 2016.
“I don’t really rule anything out because if you look back at the track record of my life, everything has just been so random,” Moyse said. “And so wonderfully random — but things that I could never have predicted. So yeah, I won’t rule it out.
“But right now I’m just happy to be focusing on bobsled and rugby.”
Kaillie Humphries, Moyse’s bobsled teammate from the 2010 Games, has been on a tear this season. She has teamed with rookie brakeman Chelsea Valois to win a whopping seven straight World Cup races.
Moyse is happy for their success and is hopeful the deep Canadian team will qualify two sleds for Sochi in February 2014. As for who pushes who, that would be determined down the road.
“Chemistry can be automatic,” Moyse said. “Kaillie and I had chemistry on the ice right away. Our pushes right from the beginning, they were on fire.
“I think that if you have the right personalities and the right group of people, then it’s kind of coaches’ decision to see who will be able to provide Canada with the best opportunities — and maybe multiple opportunities — to medal at the Games.”
Her rugby goal is closer at hand. As a fullback-wing, she was one of the team’s top players at the last two World Cups.
Moyse realized how much she missed the sport after she did broadcast work at a recent tournament. The Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament is set for June in Moscow.
For the short-term period, Moyse will concentrate on her rehab and recovery before getting back into proper training mode. After that, the press will be on for a return to the top.
“Right now I’m just going to give in and accept the fact that I’m an athlete,” she said. “That’s what I do.”