WHAT is a good way to prove to everyone you have fully recovered from a crash which left you with six fractured vertebrae? How about riding up Mount Everest?
(min cost $8)
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That is what Emily Watts plans to do next week and she plans do it without even leaving her house.
While actually riding up the famous mountain is not possible - even without the current travel and social isolation restrictions due to the coronavirus - Watts can emulate tackling the slopes of Everest on her indoor trainer with the help Zwift online cycling.
"So what you do is you is head to one climb, you do that and you keep turning around and go back up it - you do reps of the same hill. The elevation adds up to be the same as Everest," the Lithgow resident and Western Region Academy of Sport graduate said.
"The plan actually was to do it on the road the day I crashed, there were a few boys that I was going to ride with, but because of all the quarantine stuff I won't be able to do that.
"I saw that one of the boys was doing it as like charity thing and when I saw it I was like 'Can I join?'. He had two days and asked which one I'd like to do and I said 'I don't want to like push you or anything, but one of those days is a year ago when I crashed, so can we do it on that day?'.
"It's still in the working, but now I'm committed to it."
While Watts has tackled plenty of races longer that what her Everest challenge will be - the mountain is 8,848 metres high - the amount of climbing and elevation rises she faces will no doubt be a challenge.
Still, Watts knows all about overcoming challenges.
After crashing at a training camp at Bright in April last year, she found herself in a neck and back brace for two-and-a-half months. That did not stop her from training.
She made her comeback last November and while it has not always been easy, Watts has still proved her talent.
At the Cycling Australia Road Nationals in January, under 23s rider Watts claimed bronze in the time trial and placed fourth in the criterium and road race.
Watts had made the Tour of Brisbane, where she planned to contest the road race and time trial for the new Subaru-Giant Racing Team, her next priority.
That event also included the 2020 Oceania Road Championships.
Her training pointed to a strong showing, but Watts' plans changed due to the coronavirus shutdown.
Now no National Road Series events will be conducted until at least September, but Watts is staying positive.
"Coming out the B2B I was peaking in my training I was pulling out numbers I'd never done before and I was really on a massive high ready to hit Brisbane running," she said.
"That was my plan, to just show everyone I'd comeback from my injury and from nationals I had continued to get better. But that wasn't to be.
"It's definitely gone from frustration and this is annoying to well now I need to get back on track and I haven't been doing much gym, so I can refocus on that.
"I will be able to say, I know racing will come back eventually, I don't know when, but when it does come back I'm going to be there."
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